Post # 1
I’ll try to keep this short! We are having a beach wedding but are being married by a Reverend from my Dad’s church in that same area . They require premarital counseling but because we live 4 hours away from the wedding location they said we could do the counseling here and the pastors would just talk to show that we fulfilled this requirement.
So after meeting with the pastor in our town he tells us he’s too busy to do the counseling himself and refers us to a pastor at another church who is also a professional counselor. Here’s the bad part….at least 3 sessions at $135 each. We never expected to pay for this and didn’t have a $400 line item in our budget. I’ve never heard of anyone paying for counseling either.
We have had one so far and didn’t really like the woman. She’s definitely more of a psycho analyst than representing the church. She said that there was no way we could only do 2 sessions even though we have already talked to both of the other pastors for 3 hours already.
We decided to go this route so the church was involved and we didn’t want to just pay a wedding officiant we didn’t know! Not really sure what to do next but we really don’t want to pay for more sessions. It could be worth traveling to SC instead to fulfill our requirement.
Post # 3
That’s really expensive sounding! Maybe look around for another councellor in town? Or go to SC a couple days before the wedding and do some councelling beforehand.
Post # 4
I called the priest who is marrying us tomorrow and will hopefully here from him today. I think we are going to try to get to Beaufort in Feb and we are going to be in town the whole week before our wedding. Hopefully 2 more sessions with him will do it and it won’t cost us anything more than our donation to the church.
Post # 5
Here its standard in the Catholic Church to pay for sessions but they are massive GROUP sessions (40+ people) and they charge 150-250 for the set of 6 sessions. If we wanted 1 on 1 counciling we’d be required to pay more.
There is the stipulation if these are not completed we wont be allowed to marry in the church.
Check around but it doesn’t seem that unreasonable if its 1 on 1 sessions. I only found out I could pay 150 when my local church put on a session, if I went with one hosted by the arch dioses (spelling) it was 250
Post # 6
We paid $600. This covered the fee for using the church, the pastor fee, and pre marital counseling. We got married at a Lutheran church.
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
Aw sweetie that sounds like such a predicament – I think $135 per session is a lot!! What denomination church do you go to? Have you tried talking to pastors at any other churches? To be honest, charging $135 per session sounds a little greedy to me, and maybe it’s because this pastor is a “professional counselor.” Mr. W and I did premarital counseling with a younger (40-something) associated pastor at my Presbyterian church, and he was awesssssome. He didn’t charge anything, we met with him about 5 times, and we really got a lot out of our counseling sessions – we learned a lot about each other and talked about what to expect in marriage and how to get through the big issues during the first few years. Maybe my church is an exception to the rule, but there have to be churches with pastors that will offer you marital advice for free, or at least much cheaper…I think it’s a little odd that they’re billing you. At my church, you’re expected to make a donation (the suggested donation is $400) for the whole process – premarital counseling, using the church, and the pastor fee.
Post # 8
Thanks all for your feedback. This is the Episcopal Church and we are happy to do the counseling to meet the requirement but paying someone was a curveball we weren’t expecting. My sister got married by the same priest and did her counseling in Charlotte, where we live, but with a different church. She didn’t pay anything.
We are planning on making a contribution to the church as well on our wedding day. We have already had 4 hours of counseling so far. The worst part is that we have gotten so much more out of talking to the 2 priests then we did this pastoral psychotherapist. She felt much more like a regular therapist than someone who was representing the church and the role of faith in our marriage.
Post # 9
That’s a lot. We didn’t pay for our counseling, but we were also sort of his guinea pigs because he had never counseled before (it wasn’t worth it). Our home church has a standard fee for theirs, but it was like $90 for 6 hours or something. $135 per session is really steep.
Could you maybe talk to your pastor and find out if there are other faith-based counselors in your area? Maybe this is someone who has been referred to him and he has no real first-hand knowledge of. That said, our sessions had a lot of analying of past and family and even with a Christian counselor was maybe 1/3 faith-based.
Post # 10
That is quite expensive, especially to meet with the Pastor.
We actually had options–we could do a weekend couples retreat, meet with the Pastor and other couples at night classes OR go through a counselor that the church recommended, which is what we did because we wanted to communicate privately. Our sessions were $175 for 3-4 sessions. We had a minimum requirement of 3 sessions per our church.
Post # 11
I called the pastor who is marrying us yesterday to discuss our options. As it turns out I think we are going to have to travel to SC in Feb so we could meet with him then and then the week of the wedding if necessary too.
He knows what we are going through because the therapist called him directly when I took 2 days to reply to her email when we were trying to set up our first session! He was surprised at the charge too. I think she needs the business hence calling him directly and telling us we have to have 3 sessions and not 2.
Wedding planning is always an adventure. You never know what could become an issue!
Post # 12
Good news. We are going to finish our counseling with the pastor that is going to marry us in SC when we go down over President’s Day weekend.
Thanks for the feedback and comments from everyone.