One of the greatest gifts the church/minister can give to couples preparing for marriage is to help them see some of the basic issues they will be facing. Oftentimes during this pre-wedding time the couple is so enamored with each other that their discussions and reflections are skewed; blinding them to important issues or need. But even though (or maybe especially because) they might have limited “vision” it is still vital for someone to encourage them to take time for some reflection, evaluation, goal setting, and expectation outlining. Here are some thoughts on things to cover in pre-marital preparation/counseling with couples in order to give them a strong start:
A. What is marriage? Why do they want to get married? Why marry in a church?
B. Goal Setting: This is a time to discuss goals they may have individually to see how these
fit into the relationship’s future as well as goals they have together.
C. Budget: A budget is the dream they want to reach. It is the pathway to get to their dream. It is
a tool to help them achieve their desires. To talk about money separate from their dreams
over looks a key component to its use and management.
-Exercise: have them identify where their money goes by tracking it for a week or month.
-Have different types of accounts: budget, special, savings
D. Perspective Survey: There are many of these out there to use or you can do your own. The
purpose is to review issues, strengths and perspectives. Topics to look at include: family of
origin, task preferences/expectations, interest, emotional expression style, etc.
E. Wedding Service Planning:
Give a few different services as examples of vows and possible aspects (e.g. unity candle,
communion, special music, prayers) that could be part of a service.
Give rules for the facility (policies)
F. 5 Top Needs for Women and Men – survey by Minnesota Health Clinic and in Willard
Hartley’s book His Needs, Her Needs. –This book talks about the differences between
males and females in what is needed from a relationship.
-How do they each communicate feelings & how is the other to identify what is going on?
-How do they express love/care: 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
-How do they typically want to deal with conflict?
-What is the best method for them the deal with conflict in a healthy way