Why run The Marriage Preparation Course?
The Marriage Preparation Course is an easy-to-run, practical five-session course for couples who are engaged or exploring the idea of marriage. No expertise is needed to run the course.
You may have experience of working on your own marriage or you are passionate to see marriages and family life strengthened in your community.
An individual can host a course using the DVDs, though we recommend having a married couple on hand to offer support.
Key features of The Marriage Preparation Course:
- Easy-to-use DVD
- Leader's guide with instructions for when to pause DVD for exercises and discussion times
- Effective whether held in a home or larger venue
- Practical material presented in a fun and interesting way
- Welcoming and accessible content for any couple
As part of The Marriage Preparation Course, couples may be asked to complete a Couple Survey online. The survey is not a test of compatibility; it is designed to help couples highlight issues that are important to discuss before getting married. It also affirms areas of strength in their relationship.
To access the Couple Survey, please register your course. Once registered, you will have the opportunity to access the Couple Survey system and purchase credits so you can send the survey to couples on your course.
How to run The Marriage Preparation Course
1. LEARN HOW by watching our training videos
We have a few short videos here to help you get started.
We recommend you first watch "Our Story" and then "Learn How" which will give you top tips on the key elements of running The Marriage Preparation Course.
2. PURCHASE the course materials
You need The Marriage Preparation Course DVD with Leaders’ Guide and two guest manuals per couple.
3. PLAN your course
- Find a venue
- Ask people to help you run the course
- Decide what/if to charge guests
- Budget for food and/or drinks and promotion
- Use The Marriage Preparation Course leaders’ resources for support to run your course. For example, training includes instructions on how to incorporate the Couple Survey as well as guidance for Support Couples. VIEW RESOURCES
- Think of ways to make your course feel like a fun 'date night' for your couples
- If using the Couple Survey, purchase credits and send the survey to your guests. We recommend these are sent out 7-10 days before your course starts. To access the Couple Survey, make sure you register your course.
6. FIND support in advance
Find a counsellor in your area to whom you can refer couples if they need professional help.
Who should I invite?
The Marriage Preparation Course is for any couple who wants to give their marriage the best possible start or who are exploring the idea of getting married.
Think about inviting:
- Friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues of members of the congregation
- Current and previous wedding and baptism candidates
- Community groups such as gym classes or mother & toddler groups
- If your church is running Alpha and/or The Parenting Courses, invite current and past guests
How do I invite guests?
The most effective way to encourage guests to come on your course is to personally invite them.
Promotional materials such as postcard invitations and banners are easy to use and generate interest from those outside your personal network.
Customisable promotional materials including posters and postcard invites are available on the Alpha Print Shop.
How to reach couples in your community:
- Promote your course from the front of church with a fun video or by sharing feedback from previous guests
- Give out invites and encourage everyone to invite one couple
- Place posters and postcards in strategic locations such as coffee shops, gyms, crèches and libraries, etc
- Advertise the event on your church website and social media
- Make sure the date, time, venue and contact information are clear on your communication
- Make a final push the week before your course as many decide to book on at the last minute.
'The course has exceeded my expectations, I wasn’t expecting as much as we got. We’ve learnt to listen and to explain where we’re coming from.'
- A Marriage Preparation Course guest
'The course has exceeded my expectations, I wasn’t expecting as much as we got. We’ve learnt to listen, how to explain where we’re coming from.'
- A Marriage Preparation Course guest