Do I have to be Catholic?
Nope. The weekend will be presented in a Catholic expression of faith, but couples of all faiths are welcome. We will not try to convert you or put pressure on you and your relationship. We present God as a focus for a successful marriage.
Does this satisfy the Catholic Church's requirement for marriage prep?
Yes, within the Diocese of Richmond and most anywhere else. Though whether in Richmond or elsewhere, your local priest always has the final say on what he will accept for your marriage preparation. Please check with the priest or deacon who will officiate your wedding before registering. At the conclusion of the weekend, you will receive a certificate to show your priest verifying your participation.
What time should we arrive?
Check-in is at 7:30am on Saturday; the program begins at 8:00am on Saturday morning.
Do we have to stay for the whole weekend?
Yes. It is very important that you stay for the entire weekend. Please arrange your schedule accordingly and select a weekend during which you can make this full commitment.
What happens over the weekend?
Personal reflection and couple discussion are the main focus of our weekend. The weekend consists of a series of presentations, after which you and your fiancée will be given time to write and talk about the issues covered. Led by a team of two married couples + a priest or deacon, the two of you are encouraged to talk privately with each other on many aspects of marriage, from the viewpoint of your own relationship. You will have an opportunity to discuss your ambitions, goals, God, money, sex, children, family, and your role in the church and community. Since each relationship is in a different place, your private answers will be unique and special to your relationship. The members of the presenting teams share their personal experiences and talk about what the marriage means to them and the impact a great marriage can have on the world. We will not tell you how to live your life. Our stories are meant to encourage you to explore your own attitudes and expectations. We will offer some good ideas and tools to help the two of you to continue growing closer through the years.
We have some ground rules ...
Do not bring anything that will be a distraction to you as a couple, such as laptops or other electronics.
Please do not bring children or pets to the weekend.
Please sleep in your assigned room.
Please do not leave the weekend, for any reason, unless an emergency arises. If you need to leave, speak to one of the team members.
WHAT MEALS ARE PROVIDED DURING THE WEEKEND?
Lunch and dinner are served on Saturday; breakfast and lunch are served on Sunday. Coffee and tea are available throughout the weekend, and couples are encouraged to bring snacks to share. We recommend that couples have breakfast on their own before arriving Saturday.
Will I have a roommate?
Yes. You will have a roommate of the same gender as yourself. While we recognize that couples may already be living together or civilly married, you will not be permitted to share a room with your fiancé while on the weekend.
Dress for the entire weekend is casual. Please dress comfortably. While you are welcome to do so, there is no need to change for dinner or Mass.
Can you accommodate my special diet?
Absolutely! Please indicate any special dietary needs when registering.
How much free time will we have?
The weekend is designed to be intense so that you can get the most out of this dedicated time together. You will have a lot of alone time with your fiancé to discuss your upcoming marriage, but not very much "free time."
What if we are civilly married?
After you meet with your priest or deacon and he schedules your wedding, you are welcome on the weekend as you prepare for your sacramental marriage within the Church.
Do I have to speak in front of the group?
You will be asked to introduce yourself and your fiancé. This is the only time you are required to speak in front of the group. There will be only one or two group discussion periods; participation is voluntary. The weekend is designed for the two of you to have quality time for private discussions.
What is the refund policy?
In the event you need to cancel for any reason within 14 days of the retreat date, $160 is non-refundable and non-transferable. No refunds will be issued on or after the start date of the retreat.