(Closed) pre-marital classes VS. engagement retreat.

posted 6 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

My ex-husband and I did the retreat.  I just wanted to say that is was an amazing experience and something I WISH I could do with my current Fiance. (Maybe after the anullment)  I know it’s a lot of money, but it’s so worth it. 

Post # 4
Member
3978 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

THe pre-marital class at my church was $60 per person for the materials and tests. I found it useful. We didn’t have to worry about transferring. I’d ask the church if that’s even a possibility before you start looking around and getting your heart set on that option.

Post # 5
Member
1719 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think you may choose any pre-martial class that you want.  As long as you have the marriage certificate in the end, you should be a-ok.  Our priest told us we could do anywhere we wanted since it would have to fit into our schedule and not all churches have dates that would work for it.  We paid $175 for our one-day marriage prep. 

 

Post # 6
Member
149 posts
Blushing bee

Our priest wanted us to do the weekend retreat but we can’t because of work schedules, so we have to do the Transformed in Love weeknight program. We are going for four Wednesdays in a row, and it cost us $200. 

Post # 7
Member
4432 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Mandatory donation of $1k? What the heck? Are you kidding me? We’re getting married in a catholic church as well, in White Plains, NY.. no donation necessary.  We’re paying $250 to get married there, and extra for the music/vocalist they provide..about $200.

Our classes and such will not cost anything, either.

Post # 8
Member
765 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m not catholic, but the title caught my eye.

We are doing a pre-marital class, and it is costing us $125 with all books and materials included. $400 sounds like a lot, but from everyone I know who has done the retreat they have all talked about how awesome it is, and if I had the option of doing one I probably would.

Also $1000 seems like a lot for a donation to get married there, but maybe that’s just me.

Post # 9
Member
3720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We have a donation of $1k for the church and $500 for the music and $500 for the priest. That does not count the $100 for FOCCUS or the $325 for engaged encounter weekend. And the expected weekly donation. I hear you on the expense!

We are doing the retreat because it is recommended by our diocese. We have to do a diocese recommended program if we don’t want to get married in our home church (we don’t, we are getting married 3 miles away in another diocese). If we wanted to get married in our chuch, we could do a church-hosted pre-cana program that was free.

What I have learned in working with 3 churches on this issue (mine, the one I am getting married in, and the one where the priest who is marrying us is a part of) is that it is up to your priest. Some priests are fine with you doing a program at another church. Some aren’t. We were encouraged to do the weekend because it is recognized in both dioceses and would simplify everything. $400 seems like a lot, but I think it is worth it for piece of mind that you are done.

Post # 10
Member
19 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m an Out of Town bride, so the church I’m getting married in is allowing Fiance and I to take the EE through another church and just bring the certificate of completion. We just went a couple weekends ago, it cost us $250, we paid it directly to EE though, we talked to other couples who some said they paid up to $400 when paying through the church. 

I would look to see if you can sign up for the classes or retreat on your own. Just search engaged encouter and your city.

We really enjoyed the weekend retreat, you mostly spend time with each other aside from the lectures and meals.

Post # 11
Member
1642 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I ditto all of the sentiments here. Catholic weddings are not cheap! 

Post # 12
Member
7652 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

Not sure about the Catholic church, but we just did pre-marital classes with a marriage counselor that the church recommended. It was $175 for 4 sessions, and she did an amazing job. I enjoyed meeting privately with her and my Fiance because I didn’t feel pressured in a big group like the retreats around here are set up. To each is own though, and I have heard that the retreats are fun.

Post # 13
Member
4336 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@LizLemon:  The average cost of a U.S. wedding is $25,000 (according to costofwedding.com). You think that’s the fault of the Catholic Church? I think that all of these $100’s added up to help people prepare for their actual marriage is what makes people complain, and contrasted to the total cost of most weddings, is not much. (all the other expenses spent for the single day shows where people’s priorities are…)

Post # 14
Member
1642 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@red_rose:  I’m just speaking from my personal perspective. $2000 of my wedding = solely church related, between the cost of the church itself, the mandatory retreat, the mandatory wedding planner, the mandatory organist fee, and the mandatory music organization fee.

Only $100 of that is going toward the marriage, not the wedding. $100 is the cost of the retreat.

Trust me, I literally had a conversation THIS MORNING with Fiance about the cost of everything. if it wouldn’t upset my family, I would scrap the big wedding and go as small as possible tomorrow.

I agree with you 110% that far too much emphasis is placed on the the six hours of the wedding/reception and not the marriage (I have said this countless times to him). So please don’t take my previous comment to mean that.

Post # 15
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

@LizLemon:  When you pay the church, insist on a receipt for your tax returns. Because it’s a “donation,” even though it’s mandatory, you are within your rights to claim it on taxes. Especially when it’s so steep!

That sounds awfully high for a church (it’s quite a bit higher than what we were asked to pay), but I know that some churches have problems because they get a lot of requests from non-members of the parish, or inactive members, who want to get married in “the pretty church that will look nice in the photos” but they don’t actually do anything in the parish. (I’m not insinuating anything about anyone on this board, By The Way, just saying that it happens, and not only in Catholic churches.) Some churches actually have a two-tiered set of fees, a lower one for parishioners and a higher one for non-members.

My Fiance are putting together a relatively simple wedding on a bit of a shoestring, and we are getting help from our parish on this aspect of it. Fiance is a regular attendee at Mass, and I actually cantor for the parish. We spoke to the priest about our circumstances, and they agreed to let us “pay” for the use of the church with my singing. Depending on how active you are in the parish, you might be able to work out something similar to help defray what they are charging.

Post # 16
Member
1642 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@KCKnd2:  Yes, this is actually my problem. The church on the campus of my college alma mater really holds the most meaning to Fiance and I, and we recently moved so we are not in-parish parishioners for that church. In that sense, we definitely could have saved money. Great idea about itemizing, though…

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