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Marriage Preparation

Your engagement is not only a time for planning your wedding, but a time during which you build the foundation for a lifelong marriage rooted in Jesus.

Coronavirus Update for your Marriage Preparation

While engagement is a beautiful and sacred time of preparation and anticipation, we know that this time of uncertainty in the midst of Covid-19 likely adds unexpected stress to your plate.

We want to walk with you on this journey to help you prepare and celebrate the joyful moments, as well as navigate the stressful ones. Because engagement presents such a unique time to pray and prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage, we want to capitalize on this time to really help you feel prepared and excited for the journey.

While we cannot be with you in person, we hope to accompany you in carving out space in your hearts and in your relationship to really prepare for your marriage. Please explore the resources we have gathered to help you go deeper.

Congratulations on your Engagement!

Right now, you’re probably thinking about your reception, dress, and invitations. You want your wedding to be beautiful and perfect – and we do too! The beauty you’re hoping for points to a hope much deeper – a joy-filled, solid marriage. Your engagement is not only a time for planning your wedding, but a time during which you build the foundation for a lifelong marriage rooted in Jesus. In a world where so much seems temporary, the Church is here to help you prepare for a lasting marriage, one that is fully open to all the grace and blessings God wants to give you through this sacrament. Don’t miss out on knowing all the things God wants you to know about building an excellent marriage! 


Preparation Steps

Contact the Parish Where You Are Getting Married

  • This is essential to do as soon as possible to ensure that you have enough time to resolve any particular issues that may arise. Once you contact your parish, you will be invited to meet with a priest, deacon, or parish staff member to discuss the marriage preparation process.

  • You will also be invited to participate in a pre-marital inventory. This inventory is not a test, but rather a tool to help you as a couple learn more about yourselves and the manner in which you relate to one another. FOCCUS and other similar inventories can be very useful for diagnosing areas of both strength and weakness in couple communication. You will be assigned a trained married couple to walk you through the responses from your inventory.​

Sign Up For an Archdiocesan Marriage Preparation Experience

  • Once you have connected with the parish where you will be getting married, you will be invited into the parish’s process for preparation which will include your participation in one Archdiocesan marriage preparation program. This day-long or weekend-long experience (detailed below) will give you the opportunity to encounter dynamic married couples who will share about the meaning of marriage, praying as a couple, and the powerful gift of sexuality and offer tips for a healthy marriage. Regardless of your faith or background, you are welcome at any of these preparation experiences. You will choose one program that best suits your needs as a couple. Please see descriptions and dates below.

Sign up for an introductory NFP Workshop

  • Natural Family Planning is a natural, scientific, holistic approach to fertility care. These workshops, taught by one of our local teachers, will introduce NFP in a broad sense and also explain the differences between the several NFP models.  Following the workshops, a teacher will be available for follow up to serve your specific fertility needs. This could include navigating cycle irregularities and connecting you with specialists trained in diagnosing and treating medical conditions.
  • Find out more information and sign up for a workshop below.

Plan Your Wedding Liturgy 

  • Creating time to plan your wedding liturgy is a beautiful way to intentionally include the Lord in your wedding and ensure preparedness and peace on your big day. Click here for helpful resources.

Participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation 

  • The Church welcomes and encourages all Catholics to spiritually prepare themselves for marriage through participating in the sacrament of Reconciliation. We invite you to receive God's mercy even if you have not gone to confession for some time. Find confession times near you here!

2020 Marriage Preparation Options:


Marriage Preparation Conferences take place on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m and are run by a team of dynamic married couples. This retreat-style day gives you a chance to slow down, enter into intentional conversations about your relationship, pray together, learn about the sacrament of marriage, eat great food, and so much more. Cost: $125 per couple (includes breakfast, lunch and all supplies)

January 11 |  Schoenstatt Retreat Center, Waukesha

February 15 | Mary, Mother of the Church Pastoral Center, Milwaukee

March 7 | Holy Family Parish, Fond du Lac

March 21 | Schoenstatt Retreat Center, Waukesha

May 2 | Mary, Mother of the Church Pastoral Center, Milwaukee (Spanish track available)

June 6 | St. Lucy Parish, Racine

July 18 | Mary, Mother of the Church Pastoral Center, Milwaukee (Spanish track available)

August 15 |  Holy Trinity Parish, Kewaskum

September 19 | Mary, Mother of the Church Pastoral Center, Milwaukee (Spanish track available)

October 24 | Holy Family Parish, Fond du Lac

November 21 | Schoenstatt Retreat Center, Waukesha


Catholic Engaged Encounter is a quiet weekend retreat with other engaged couples with plenty of time to talk honestly and intensively as a couple about your future together – an opportunity to discover a deeper appreciation of your relationship and the Sacrament of Matrimony.  This weekend is especially recommended for couples who are looking to take their relationship to a new level spiritually. The retreat begins on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m., and concludes Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Sunday Mass will be celebrated. Cost: $250 per couple (includes all materials, five meals and overnight lodging in shared rooms. Brides will share rooms with other brides, and grooms with other grooms)

May 1-3 | Schoenstatt Retreat Center, Waukesha
November 6-8 | Schoenstatt Retreat Center, Waukesha

Register Here


Connect With Us

Financial Assistance and Payment Plans
Please contact Emily Burds, Associate Director of the Office for Marriage & Family Life, for more information. 414-758-2213 or

Registration Questions (rescheduling, registration errors, etc.)
Please contact Merridith Frediani at 414-758-2201 or 

Contact Us

Mary Mueller
Director of Marriage and Family Life

Emily Burds
Associate Director

Tori Franke
Program and Events Coordinator, NFP Consultant

Merridith Frediani
Administrative Assistant


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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408