Yes it’s normal to pay a fee for the pre marital or cana course.
Our cost $70 per person, so $140 for us total. We’re in Ontario in the Greater Toronto area. We did the course in 2016.
We did not get a weekend retreat like some people have. We definitely didn’t get free food! Ours was 16 classes. We had to attend a 2 hour class twice a week for 8 weeks. Attendance to every session was mandatory. There was not a workbook, just a lot of paper handouts. So much paper.
Heads up! You can also expect to make a customary donation to the parish where you wed, and pay the organist.
At my church, when it got closer to the wedding date, Fr. gave us an info sheet explaining that if we wanted the organist to play, it was a flat fee of $200 and using your own music was not allowed.
He did not outright ask for a donation, but I knew it was expected, so I asked him about it.
He nodded and said yes it’s customary. A donation is made to the name of the parish, not to the priest.
We are going to donate $200, because we’re having a tiny wedding with just two witnesses and not having a mass, so I feel that’s appropriate.
It’s really hard to get peoples opinions on how much in an appropriate donation. You ask and they get coy. It’s weird. It depends on where you live, cost of living, how much you’re spending on the wedding, et cet. You’de probably get major side eye from your parish if you’re having a $40,000 wedding and give them fifty dollars! 😉
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Doing the cana course is a big step, how exciting for you both. We found the course very helpful and gave us a lot to talk about.