Marriage Prep Process
Congratulations on your decision to get married in the Church!
The engagement period is a time to not only prepare for your wedding day, but to prepare also for your marriage. The following steps are your starting point in this journey.
Step 1: Meet with your priest/deacon
During the initial meeting, your priest/deacon can determine your freedom to marry, how many times he wants to meet with you, and discuss with you what marriage preparation he wants you to complete. Your priest/deacon is your main source for information about preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Beginning in October 2017, the Archdiocese of New York Marriage Preparation Program requires that your priest/deacon guides you to take one of the following online premarital inventories (you will need to specify this when you register online):
- Prepare/Enrich (requires a facilitator)
- Catholic Couple Checkup
Step 2: Register
After meeting with your priest/deacon, please register for the archdiocesan marriage preparation program at marriageprep.nyfamilylife.org. The cost is $150 per couple. Please note that class size is limited and fill up quickly.
Step 3: Complete your online Premarital Inventory
It is ideal to complete your online premarital inventory before attending your Pre-Cana Day. Premarital inventories help couples discover their relationship strengths, which are what enables couples to enjoy and continue developing a healthy relationship. They will also help identify issues that are threatening the vitality of their relationship and may need to be addressed.
Catholic Couple Checkup and Prepare/Enrich are part of the archdiocesan marriage preparation program and are selected during your marriage preparation registration.
Step 4: Complete the Online Components and Attend the Pre-Cana Day
The archdiocesan marriage preparation program is a set of integrated components including online learning modules and a one-day, in-person experience of faith, witness and community:
- Pre-Cana Day
- The in-person Pre-Cana days are held on Saturdays, year-round, at churches and retreat centers throughout the Archdiocese of New York. You should participate in a Pre-Cana Day 3-12 months prior to your wedding date.
- Built around short, high-quality video modules and engaging facilitators, the Pre-Cana day provides practical advice and assistance for engaged couples on topics including self-awareness, communication, conflict resolution, commitment, and decision-making. The day is also designed to help couples understand and embrace a Catholic vision of married love by offering insights into the “whys” behind the “whats” of Catholic teaching. It proclaims the beauty of God’s plan for marriage and the joys of living it, and is meant to help couples grow in love and be open to God’s grace so they can have happy and fulfilling marriages.
- Online Modules
- The online modules are intended to educate you. They include short videos followed by several questions to answer.
- Program Evaluation (anonymous)
- When you have completed all segments of the program, you will be asked to complete an anonymous survey about the marriage preparation program.
- Certificate of completion
- When you have completed the program and evaluation, a certificate will be available to you to download and either print or forward to your priest/deacon as verification of your marriage preparation requirement.
Step 5: Follow-up meeting(s) with your priest/deacon. These will be as your priest/deacon requires. You should ask during your initial meeting, how often and when these follow up meetings will happen. Also, this is a good time to bring any questions you have about topics you heard during your marriage preparation program.
Step 6: Take a Natural Family Planning (NFP) class (strongly recommended).
Visit our Natural Family Planning page for more information.
Still have questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us at (646) 794-3188.
Wedding liturgy readings and information.
For information on readings for your wedding liturgy and additional information:
We are excited to offer an online premarital inventory as part of the Archdiocese of New York Marriage Preparation Program. Please discuss which premarital inventory to take with your priest as you will be prompted during your online registration to choose the Catholic Couple Checkup (CCC) or Prepare/Enrich (P/E) inventory.
Catholic Couple Checkup (CCC) and Prepare/Enrich (P/E) are in the same family of premarital inventories. The main component of each program is an online survey you each complete in 30-45 minutes. The items you respond to are based on research and are intended to help you identify the unique strengths and potential growth areas of your relationship.
Catholic Couple Checkup is the “light” version of Prepare/Enrich and does not require a couple to meet with a trained facilitator (usually a priest/deacon) to go over the results. Couples complete the inventory individually online and then receive a 15-20 page report on their relationship. They can also download a free discussion guide, designed to help them learn relationship skills. Research has shown this process improves relationships by stimulating honest dialogue, increasing understanding, and empowering couples. It does not require facilitation, but it is recommended that you share it with your priest/deacon.
Prepare/Enrich is a comprehensive relationship inventory and skill-building program. It is built on a solid research foundation and significantly improves a couple’s relationship. Prepare/Enrich is custom-tailored to a couple’s relationship and provides exercises to build relationship skills. It requires facilitation. Your priest/deacon may direct you to choose Prepare/Enrich during your initial meeting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Today, there is an increasing number of questions concerning marriage and marriage preparation. For questions on marriage preparation, choose from the frequently asked questions below. If your question is not listed, you may contact us at (646) 794-3185 or at FLRLEvents@nyfamilylife.org.
- What’s the purpose of marriage preparation?
- What are the requirements for marriage under the Church’s law?
- Why does the Church have so many rules about marriage?
- Do we have to give the priest or deacon any documents?
- What if only one of us is a Catholic and the other is non-Catholic Christian?
- What if only one of us is a Catholic and the other is a non-Christian?
- Do I (we) have to be Confirmed before we get married?
- What if one of us was married previously?
- What if we’re getting married outside the Archdiocese?
- What if one of us is from outside of the Archdiocese, or from another country?
- Can we get married in a place other than a Church, like a synagogue, catering hall, or the beach?
- What if we don’t fulfill all the Church’s rules?
- What should we do if we’re living together?
- Does the Church have a position on pre-nuptial agreements?
- Do we need to get a marriage license?
- What is Catholic Couple Checkup premarital inventory?
- What are Prepare-Enrich and FOCCUS premarital inventories?
- What is the “Premarital Interview” or “PMI”?
- Where can we get a Papal blessing for our wedding?
- Where can we find support for living this married lifestyle?
- Are there other marriage prep programs other than the Archdiocesan Marriage Prep Program?