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Marriage Preparation - Main Page




Congratulations on your decision to get married!
The vocation of marriage is a great adventure, through which you will establish a new family, grow in love with each other, and encounter Christ.

Please be assured of our prayers for your happiness. We ask God for his blessing upon you, that you may truly be partners in life and love.

What steps do we have to take?
Here is an outline of the steps you will take in preparing for your marriage.

Step 1: Print out and use this Marriage Preparation Checklist. 

Step 2: Start by meeting with the Priest or Deacon who will be witnessing your marriage. 
(If you are getting married out of town, you should also meet with a local Priest or Deacon to ensure that all requirements have been met.)
Click here for more info.

Step 3: Attend a Marriage Preparation Class or Retreat
(This is also referred to as a "Pre-Cana Class".)
Register for your marriage preparation classes A.S.A.P. (6 to 12 months before your wedding).
Click here to choose what kind of class you want to attend.

Step 4: Follow-up meetings with your Priest or Deacon.
After completing the Marriage Preparation Class(es), you should have further meetings with the priest or deacon to plan the wedding liturgy and complete the“Pre-Marital Interview” (also called the "PMI") to make sure that all the Canon Law requirements for marriage have been satisfied.

Step 5: We also strongly urge you to attend a class in Natural Family Planning.
Click here for more information  or here to sign up for a class.

Still have questions? Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page. 

What kind of classes or retreats are available?

1.  Marriage Preparation Classes ("Pre-Cana")
These classes are offered by this office and are held at churches throughout the Archdiocese.  The fee is $195 per couple.  *They should be completed at least 6 months prior to your wedding date.

  • Two Days This program requires attendance at two day-long classes on Saturday OR Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Both parts must be taken, but you are allowed to take Part 2 before Part 1, and you may take them at different locations.

Part 1, the Relationship Skills Workshop, offers practical advice and assistance to the engaged couple to help them build a successful marriage.  Topics covered include self-awareness, communication, conflict resolution, commitment, and decision-making.

Part 2, entitled God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage, is designed to help today’s couples understand and embrace a Catholic vision of married love.  It seeks to demonstrate, in a non-judgmental manner, the “whys” behind the “whats” of Catholic teaching.  This workshop will help couples see the beauty of God’s plan for marriage and the joys of living it.

Click here to register.

Inscripciones en Espanol

  • Four Evenings This program covers the same topics as the Two Days (above), but takes place over four shorter evenings.   For example:
7:00 p.m. Registration and introductions (or 7:30 p.m., depending on the location)
7:15 presentation with Couple Exercises
8:05 break
8:10 presentation with Couple Exercises
9:00 dismissal

Click here to register.
Inscripciones en Espanol


  • Two-Session There is one Two-Session class this year, at St. John's Church in Orange county. Click here for the schedule.
  • In-HomeThese classes are available in Dutchess County only, and on a limited basis. The sessions are limited to one couple and meet four evenings.  For more information about this program only, please call Edward and Valerie Towlsey, (845) 896-7540.
  • Special Class for Couples in their 30’s and 40’s Designed specifically for older couples. There is one class scheduled this year, which will be held at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in the Bronx. Click here for the schedule

2. Marriage Preparation Retreats:

  • Engaged Encounter Weekend — Click here to go to their website for more info and to register. The cost is $415 per couple.

  • Three to Get Married weekend program — Click here to go to their website for more info and to register. The cost is $275 per couple.

3. Other types of classes:

These classes are not offered by our office but do complete your Marriage Preparation class requirement.

  • Pre-Cana at Our Saviour — A multi-evening parish-based program at Our Saviour Church in Manhattan. Please call (646) 341-0848, or email mcfadden@mac.com for more information or to register. The cost is $295 per couple.

  • Sponsor Couple Program in Dutchess County — please call Edward & Valerie Towsley, at (845) 896-7540, for more information.

Natural Family Planning
We strongly urge you to attend a class on Natural Family Planning in addition to your Marriage Preparation classes.  It is an effective way to plan our families in keeping with God’s desires for happiness for us. See here for more information. Classes should be started at least 6 months before your wedding.



Additional Resources

There are many free resources online you may want to consult as you prepare for married life together.  Here are some good ones (please note that these sites are offered for your information; they are not affiliated with the Archdiocese of New York, and we are not responsible for their content):


Marga Regina
Marriage Preparation Coordinator



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