Marriage Preparation

Congratulations! The Catholic Church congratulates you on your decision to marry. Our aim is to support you in making your marriage the best possible.

The marriage preparation courses run in the Archdiocese of Wellington are designed to give you and your partner time to discuss and reflect upon important topics.

COVID-19 Level 1 Response: Marriage Preparation Courses Archdiocese of Wellington

Wellington is now at Covid-19 Response Level 1

We understand that there may be couples who are experiencing anxiety regarding marriage preparations and wedding plans in the Archdiocese of Wellington and beyond. We want to continue to reassure couples that it is our intention to provide support for those preparing for marriage at this time as our nation and world copes with the pandemic. Our courses operate and follow procedures for Level 2 regulations.

There are two parts to Archdiocesan marriage preparation, The Commit programme and the “Love is a Decision” course.

COMMIT – Home based Introductory course:
The COMMIT programme for couples proceeds as normal. Couples will be accepted on a case by case basis and will be booked with a marriage educator who will take them through the questionnaire.
When you register for the Marriage Preparation course “Love is a Decision” you will automatically be booked in with a Archdiocesan Marriage Educator for the COMMIT programme.
Love is a Decision – Group Course:
The next ‘Love is a Decision course’ will be held at The Catholic Centre, 22-30 Hill St, Thorndon in September 2021. Please contact the Archdiocesan Church Mission staff if you have any questions.

Online courses through other providers are still available, please contact one of the church mission team for more details.

Marriage Preparation Courses

The marriage preparation courses include: how our family of origin affects the way we communicate; developing a shared understanding of marriage; intimate communication; managing conflict, intimacy and sexuality, and the Sacrament of Marriage, all from a Catholic perspective.

These courses are designed to build strong foundations for a lasting marriage. All are welcome regardless of religious belief. The course facilitators are trained married people and the courses give you:
Quality time together with your partner;
Real life experience shared by married couples;
Relationship education.


Is an inventory-based programme conducted over two sessions. It is an opportunity for a couple to reflect on their relationship at a moment in time, identifying strengths, challenges and areas of growth. This is the beginning of your marriage preparation. For COMMIT, a facilitator will contact you both to discuss a suitable time and place to meet.

When you register for the Marriage Preparation course “Love is a Decision” you will automatically be booked in with a facilitator for COMMIT.

COMMIT runs from 1 February to 30 November each year.

For more information about getting married in the Archdiocese of Wellington, please contact, Felicity Giltrap, Consultant Marriage Ministries 04 496 1719

Stay connected via facebook: Marriage Ministries – Archdiocese of Wellington. Click to follow our ADW Marriage Ministries Facebook page here!

Love is a Decision

Marriage Ministries Archdiocese of Wellington

A group marriage preparation course run over two consecutive Sundays. It is designed to encourage quality time between you and your partner to discuss important topics. 

Click on the link to book.
Our next Love is a Decision courses are:

September 12 and 19 REGISTRATIONS OPEN NOW


For more information please ask for the ‘Getting Married pamphlet 2021’ at your local parish.

COMMIT and Love is a Decision are very popular courses. You need to book early to ensure a place (at least six months before your wedding).

Engaged Encounter

Is a live out weekend group course. It is a weekend course to plan your marriage and discuss important topics together. The cost is $180 per couple.

To book go to:

or call Simon and Kate Olsen (04) 801 6192 or email

Getting married in New Zealand or overseas

All Catholic marriages require pre-nuptial papers to be completed with a priest. Whether you are getting married in New Zealand or overseas it is essential that you contact your parish priest as soon as possible to arrange an appointment to complete the marriage papers.

Marriage papers are required for all weddings, both in and outside the church building. It is especially important if your marriage is taking place overseas or in another diocese in New Zealand. Your marriage papers are prepared in the place where you currently reside.

If your wedding is to be held outside the church, or in another New Zealand diocese or overseas, the papers are forwarded by your priest to the Vicar General, Monsignor Gerard Burns in the Wellington Archdiocese. He will then provide any further documentation required.

The marriage papers are then sent to the bishop’s representative (Vicar General or Vicar for Marriages) in the diocese where you are being married.  They are then forwarded to the priest who will officiate at your wedding. Please allow at least 6 months for this process.

Felicity Giltrap, Marriage Ministries

My role with the Church Mission Team is to coordinate marriage preparation programmes in the Archdiocese of Wellington. These include the Commit and Love Is A Decision programmes. I oversee a team of volunteers involved in this marriage education. My role also extends to working in the Marriage Vicariate for the Vicar General, Msgr Gerard Burns. I am available to answer requests for assistance with baptismal records for the purposes of marriage and assist with sending marriage documentation overseas for weddings. I also oversee the marriage records in the Archdiocese. I hold a qualification in pastoral ministry and have a love of music and liturgy. I have been married to Rob in a mixed-faith marriage for twenty-seven years and we have two adult children. Please contact me if I can help.

Marriage Ministries Archdiocese of Wellington
Felicity Giltrap Consultant – Marriage Ministries

Felicity Giltrap, Consultant: Marriage Ministries, 04 496 1719