Catholic Weddings

Pre-marriage counseling

Hi ladies,

My wedding is 12/28.  My FI and I took the FOCCUS in May, and we wait to get the results when we do our pre-marriage counseling with a mentor couple.  However, we haven't been given any information about when to expect to be assigned to a couple and how many sessions we will have.  I'm worried that our wedding is only three months away and we haven't had any of our pre-marriage counseling.  The coordinator at my church said back in July that there were aobut 100 couples needing preparation and 24 mentor couples.  She said they will assign weddings after October as couples become available.  I guess I thought we would hear from her by now and I'm getting very anxious.

I was wondering what your experiences have been regarding your pre-marriage counseling?


Re: Pre-marriage counseling

  • edited September 2012
    I had similar situation. I emailed the lady in charge of the mentor couples and because of our date (so soon) she and her husband graciously agreed to be our mentor couple - What a blessing it has been!! They are truly great people. 

    We split it up over several meetings - like once a week. I think we will end up meeting five times. We meet our mentor couple next week and they are treating us to dinner as we go over the last two chapters of the book. 

    So, I would relax and breathe. We are getting married in two weeks and are just finishing up this last requirement. 

    Have you taken God's Plan for a Joyful Marriage (is that a requirement for you??) 
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  • I think we ended up only having one meeting pre-wedding with our sponsor couple, and then another one after we were married.  I think it was just a couple months before our wedding, but we worked around their schedule.

    I think it would be okay to wait until October, at least, since that's when you were told couples would be assigned.  Maybe if you find yourself halfway through or at the end of next month with no news, an email or a phone call would be in order, but I really wouldn't let it stress you out too much.

    You could probably ask now how many sessions you'll be expected to attend, so you can plan accordingly.  Ours was just a Sunday after mass.



  • We don't have a sponsor couple, just our officiant.  He's a Deacon and a friend of ours through our parish.  We started pre-marital counseling right away (in July and our wedding is in May) and we're having our third session today.  He said that we only need about six sessions and we could spread them out longer if we want.

    Since you're concerned, I would call again now that it's been a couple of months.  Ask when you can expect to be contacted by a mentor couple since it's almost October.
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  • I would reach out to your parish contact for a feel about what will be required, and reconfirm that you should hear something in October-ish.

    We only had one session to discuss FOCCUS, though I know some people do more, so we didn't end up working with a sponsor couple. My H is still really sad about that. We were also required to do a day-long retreat (similar to Engaged Encounter or the like) and God' Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage. We probably got more out of those experiences than we did the FOCCUS review.
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  • We had our FOCCUS in April, and based on those results, we didn't need any further counseling.  We only had to complete the Engaged Couples Conference through our archdiocese (aka pre-cana), which we just completed last Saturday.

    I know it varies from archdiocese, but ours asks that we complete all marriage prep required within the six months prior to our wedding. So I would definitely ask for more info if you haven't heard anything, and you think there's more to do.
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  • After taking the FOCCUS, we only had to have 1 meeting with our sponsor couple. This was accomplished in an hour following Sunday Mass.
    I would make sure to ask the coordinator at your parish if there are any additional meetings with your priest that are required. We had several scripture discussions that were required with our priest as part of our premarital process. Every diocese is different, for sure!
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