Post # 1
My Fiance and I are trying to determine if we should do Pre-Cana which would be two Saturday’s OR if we should do the Engaged Encounter weekend.
Pre-Cana is consists of two 9am-4pm sessions on Saturdays — and the sessions are only offered once a month. Engaged Encounter weekend would be a full weekend from 7pm on Friday to 4pm on Sunday.
I should also mention that we have 3 weddings from Sept – Nov so we are very limited on weekends with the showers, bachlor/ettes and wedding dates…not to mention our own wedding.
We want the experience to be personal and not to be a group experience with other couples. Any advice from those who have taken either?
Post # 3
We had a great experience with the Engaged Encounter. Neither of us are church-goers but we found the experience really valuable. Here is the review I wrote:
We signed up for the engaged encounter weekend because it was the only pre-cana date we had available (out of all the Mass. programs) last summer. We really enjoyed the weekend. It’s led by two couples who kind of guide the discussion topics and inspire ideas. Then you and your fiance separate and each write in notebooks, your thoughts about the topic. Twenty minutes later, you meet up and discuss what you wrote. It’s totally private…you meet just the two of you and no one knows whatyou write in the book. Even after being together for 4+ years and living togehter almost all of that, we found out new things about each other and discussed really important topics. We didn’t socialize much with the other couples, but you do have to bunk with the a same-sex roommate. The first day ends in a group discussion and prayer service which I found really meaningful. It was nice to hear other people’s thoughts on some topics. This was the only time we actually had a group talk. So if you’re worried about “public speaking” or your feelings being on display, don’t worry! We would recommend this to any Catholic couple needing the pre-cana, and even for those that don’t need it!
Post # 4
After hearing about it I would have liked to have attended the Engagement Encounter weekend but neither one of us could take a full-day off of work at that time and we wanted to use the $$$ towards the wedding. So we did the Pre-Cana, however we only had to do one full Saturday, not two.
We had been dating 10 years before we got married so none of the issues thrown at us hadn’t been discussed already. I definitely recommend the weekend retreat to anyone that hasn’t been together more than two years.
I will say there were a few times during the day where we had to break off into groups and discuss certain topics with strangers. I felt like I was back in grade school, however I did enjoy drawing the pictures of where I see ourselves in 5 years. LOL!!! I kept our work-books.
One other thing I noticed was the body-language on some of the guys (and by guys I mean the grooms-to-be) who so didn’t want to be there. Sitting way back in their chairs, arms folded, legs streteched out looking bored. Those couples needed the Engagement Encounter weekend for sure!!!
Post # 5
All I can say is that FI and I are going to Engaged Encounter tomorrow evening!I am very muc looking forward to it. Good luck in your decision!
Post # 6
there’s a lot of reviews on here for the Engaged Encounter. I don’t think any really ever said “boo we didn’t like it.”
We did the engaged encounter and LOVED IT! It’s actually really nice to take a solid weekend to deal with nothing but strengthening your relationship and working on your marriage… not the wedding. To actually NOT have to worry about what was going on, who is doing what, what are we cooking, what plans do we need to work on, etc… it was nothing but us… almost like a pre-honeymoon 😉
Post # 7
Thank you everyone. Your input is VERY helpful. I am going to chat more with my hubby-to-be so we can make the right decision for us.
Post # 8
I can’t compare the 2 since I didn’t do pre cana, but we went to an engaged encounter weekend on may 15th and 16th and really enjoyed it. It was a really personal experience, there was no group sharing. When you get there, you each get a workbook with questions, the guest speakers (a catholic couple and a priest) give a talk on each of the subjects and there is a corresponding question for each talk they give.
After the little talk you have 15 minutes or so to write down your thoughts/answer to the question and then you share it with your FI. It helps you to learn a lot about eachother even if you think you already know everything. A lot of the questions really get you thinking and go way beyond things like “who does the dishes, or how many kids will we have”. I really suggest it 🙂
Post # 9
We did Engaged Encounter in Virginia and we loved it. I wrote a longer post on it back in May 2009. You could probably find it with a search.
Post # 10
oh my goodness, my future husband and I just got back from Engaged Encounter a few weeks ago and it was amazing! It was really hard to find a weekend that worked for both of us in our area, but we wound up making it a priority because we knew it was important. It was even more expensive (later on someone suggested we could have asked someone to give it to us as a gift…whoops!) The time together was priceless, the questions and reflections thought-provoking. Most importantly, we were so happy we did it well in advance. This is one of those “best kept secrets” we’re glad we discovered.