Marriage Preparation

“God created man and woman out of love and commanded them to imitate his love in their relations with each other.  Man and woman were created for each other…Woman and man are equal in human dignity, and in marriage both are united in an unbreakable bond”

– United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, CH21 P 279

How to prepare for marriage in the Archdiocese of Atlanta

Schedule an initial meeting with your priest, deacon, or marriage preparation minister at your local parish in Atlanta. Be sure to schedule this appointment before booking a reception site, etc. 8 to 12 months in advance of your desired wedding date is preferred.

We are not getting married in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. What do we do for marriage preparation?

You still need to work with a parish in the Archdiocese of Atlanta for your marriage preparation.  The parish priest will need to send a letter to the location where you will be getting married stating that you have completed marriage preparation.

Available Catholic Marriage Preparation Programs:

Note: The marriage preparation you are attending must be approved by your parish priest.

Joy-Filled Marriage Workshops

The Joy-Filled Marriage Program is a two-part marriage preparation series offered at the Chancery. Part I: “Living a Joy-Filled Marriage – A Virtue-based Life-Skills Program. Part II: “God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage” – A Catechesis and Sacramental-based Program. The Joy-Filled Marriage program is offered in two parts taken on two separate Saturdays: “Living a Joy-Filled Marriage”, that approaches life-skills through an emphasis on virtue; and “God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage” that presents the sacramentality of marriage. Attendance at both programs completes marriage preparation. Couples will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the second Saturday workshop.

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Online Catholic Marriage Prep

Catholic Marriage Prep Online is the only one-on-one, interactive, mentor-led, on-demand, online pre-cana program. Anchored in John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is a great resource to enhance your marriage preparation or improve your marriage.

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For couples who may benefit from remarriage preparation, we offer a quarterly Saturday workshop: “Life-Skills for Remarriage” that focuses on life-skills for the couples where one or both are remarrying. “Life-Skills for Remarriage” fulfills Part I of marriage preparation. These couples will also attend Part II – “God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage” workshop to complete marriage preparation and receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the second Saturday workshop.

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Sponsor Couple Program

Sponsor Couple Program is a parish-based ministry that enables an engaged couple to share and learn from the day-to-day experiences of a married couple who are members of their parish. As part of a couple-to-couple approach to marriage preparation, the sponsor couple encourages and supports the engaged couple in much the same way as sponsors for Baptism and Confirmation. Check with the parish priest to see if this program is available. The Archdiocese also offers training for ministry leaders leading Sponsor Couple Program. Check Availability…

Catholic Engaged Encounter

Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) is an international marriage preparation program which gives engaged couples the ‘gift of time’ in the form of an entire weekend together to discuss their relationship with God, each other, and the community at large. Its motto is “A Wedding is a Day, a Marriage is a Lifetime.” The retreat weekends are presented by a team of 2 married couples and a priest or deacon. Topics for self refection and dialogue include self acceptance, communication, unity, intimacy, managing disillusionment and conflict, financial fidelity, becoming a family, sacrament, forgiveness, and stewardship. The cost of the retreat weekend varies by location, but the contents are identical. For more information and to register for a weekend, please visit This program is endorsed by the Archdiocese of Atlanta and satisfies the Archdiocesan requirement for marriage preparation.

Three To Get Married

This is a weekend experience for seriously dating, engaged couples, or married couples offered under the direction of the Legionaries of Christ. The program looks at both the sacramental/spiritual and practical aspects of married life. It is a Friday evening through Sunday afternoon program, with you staying in your own home each night.  More information about this marriage preparation course available through RC Atlanta – Three to Get Married.

Register Online

Together in God's Love

Together in God’s Love combines cultural perspectives, modern psychology, and Catholic theology to prepare couples to become one in Christ through matrimony.  A highlight of this program is that it can easily be modified to fit the needs of the parish.  It can be done as a sponsor couple program, in 4 weekly meetings with large groups, or as a weekend retreat.  It is also available in Spanish.

For more information please visit:

Building Your Marriage Before It Starts Workshop

Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman before God. Building Your Marriage Before It Starts teaches couples how best to communicate, discuss and manage finances, implement consistent parenting styles and integrate their faith in everyday decisions. This one-day workshop meets Archdiocese of Atlanta requirements and will help couples build a marriage that will have the foundation to last a lifetime. Each workshop is offered at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

Workshop dates and registration

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