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Preparing for Marriage



Married couple holding wedding rings

A church wedding is a reminder that marriage is more than just a contract between two people. It is a declaration of love that reflects the love of God.


"We love because he first loved us." - 1 John 4:19

Married couple lighting candles during church wedding ceremony

Making the decision to get married is one of the biggest decisions you can make. That's why when you choose to get married in a church, you can know that the church community will be praying for you as you not only prepare for your big day, but also for your marriage.


The church is also there to support you on the lead up to your big day. Did you know many churches offer marriage preparation courses for couples before their wedding day? These courses give you and your partner the opportunity talk about your life and relationship. The marriage preparation courses often cover subjects like children, resolving conflict, sex, attitudes to money, in-laws, and even how to fairly divide the housework!


Some couples who have attended a marriage preparation course describe them as a bit like relationship counselling before you need it. With the busyness of life, it can sometimes be difficult to discuss these important subjects. Therefore, your marriage preparation is a great opportunity to have time and space to chat about them in a relaxed and open environment.


Marriage preparation courses vary from church to church. It could be an all day one-off event, or it may be a course which runs for a few weeks leading up to your wedding. You may be in a group with other engaged couples (although you would not be expected to discuss anything personal in a group), or you may be offered one-to-one preparation as a couple.


My Marriage Preparation Experience


Bride and Groom smiling during wedding ceremony

I got married in 2022. My fiancé and I were invited by our church to daytime marriage preparation sessions with other engaged couples. They made the experience really special; setting up individual tables for each couple, decorated with a jar of flowers and drinks. Throughout the day we watched short videos from Care For The Family which discussed important topics for our life and relationship. After each video, my partner and I would have the opportunity to further discuss the subject and with useful question prompts to help us delve deeper.


At lunchtime we were even given a delicious meal made by a lovely team of volunteers from the church. They made the day so special for us- it felt like they were cheering us on.


I'm so glad my partner and I decided to complete a marriage preparation course. Looking back, we had the opportunity to chat about some important topics and set the foundations and expectations for our marriage.


Even though we knew each other very well, having the time and space to intentionally discuss your relationship and eventual marriage was extremely valuable to us- and has helped our marriage to grow and flourish.

Exploring Pre-Marriage Courses

If you are getting married in a church and would like to take part in a marriage preparation course, speak to the church vicar or wedding contact about what they offer. They will be very happy to support you as a couple as you start this exciting adventure. If nothing is being run locally do contact devonchurchweddings.org.uk and we can suggest other local churches which run courses.


 

Further info:


The Pre-Marriage Course: This course is a series of five sessions to help engaged couples to build strong foundations for their future together. Find out more information: www.themarriagecourse.org/


Marriage By Design by Care for the Family: This course contains 35-60 minute sessions featuring video clips, down-to-earth stories, activities and discussion prompts to help build a strong foundation for a lifetime together. Find out more information: www.careforthefamily.org.uk/courses/courses-for-couples/marriage-preparation/

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