Welcome, Nau mai, Haere Mai!

Welcome, Nau mai, Haere Mai!

Marriage Preparation

Congratulations on your decision to marry!

The Marriage Ministries office supports engaged couples as they prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage. We have prepared a booklet with guidelines and information to help you as you begin your Wedding preparation which can be downloaded here.

Our aim is to offer the skills and insights to support your relationship for a lifetime of married love. As such we offer courses to facilitate you as a couple to prepare for a marriage that thrives.

While our courses are open to anyone of any faith or mixed faith traditions, it is a necessary step to be completed before undertaking the Sacrament of Marriage in a Catholic Church or officiated by a Catholic Priest.

The Marriage Ministries office is open to take your registration for marriage preparation courses in the Archdiocese of Wellington. Please read the information on our courses. Bookings can be made now via the online forms below and will be fully confirmed by the Marriage Ministries Coordinator by email within a few days.

For Marriage Ministry enquiries please email marriage@wn.catholic.org.nz.

For urgent enquiries about pre-nuptial marriage papers and/or overseas dossier transfers please contact the Vicar General – Archdiocese of Wellington, Monsignor Gerard Burns at g.burns@wn.catholic.org.nz. Ngā mihi nui. Guidance on this is available in the Wedding Planning Information Booklet on the link above.

Marriage Preparation Courses

‘Love is a Decision’ & the Commit programme

The Commit and Love is a Decision programme is designed to be completed one after the other and are held in person in Wellington. By doing both of these courses, couples are involved in a comprehensive package in order to prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage.

This course is open to couples of any or mixed faith, not only for Catholics.

Married couples present the in-person course and facilitate the Commit Questionnaire with you.

The focus of each step is about discussions between the couple, spending time without distractions and in a relaxed neutral setting, prompting useful discussions between you and your partner, on important topics, things like your unique differences as individuals, your family of origin and early learning about relationships, continuing to build a life together and your shared values, maintaining healthy communications and ways of managing conflict, and continuing to grow your already thriving relationship.  

The Commit Questionnaire simply identifies areas that could use more discussion between you. The in-person course delves into useful topics. The couples facilitating the course will share and discuss insights of the realities, challenges and joys of marriage in each of the areas.

When you register for the “Love is a Decision” face to face course, you are automatically registered for the Commit Questionnaire introductory programmeAn Archdiocesan Marriage Educator will contact you directly to complete the Commit course before you attend the face to face group course “Love is a Decision”. The total cost is $130.00 per couple.

Love is a Decision Face to Face course:
Dates for 2024:

  • 3 & 10 March 2024. 10am – 4pm, location to be arranged in Wellington region. Registrations have closed.
  • 9 & 16 June 2024. To register your interest in future course dates please send us an email at marriage@wn.catholic.org.nz.
  • 8 & 15 September 2024.
  • 3 & 10 November 2024.

A certificate of completion is issued following the completion of the course.

The Marriage preparation course COMMIT runs from 1 February to 30 November each year. Commit can also be booked separately.

If you are unable to attend a Love is a Decision Course or you have any questions, please contact the Marriage Ministries Coordinator at marriage@wn.catholic.org.nz or (04) 496 1719 to discuss.

  • For more information about Commit click here.
  • For more information about Love is a Decision click here.

Engaged Encounter weekend

Catholic Engaged Encounter is a worldwide marriage preparation course for couples contemplating marriage, whether already engaged or just thinking about a future together. It strengthens commitment by providing the opportunity for couples to think about many different aspects of married life, asking themselves (and their partner) the hard questions or the very obvious but unspoken ones. The weekend “away from it all” helps iron out many issues that could be major hurdles or challenges to compatibilityIt gives couples an unparalleled opportunity to form a closer bond to each other and create a proven and solid foundation for a happy future.

The weekend in Wellington is open to any engaged couple wanting to prepare for a deeper, more meaningful life together in a marriage recognised by the Catholic Church. It is open to couples of other faiths, or couples with no particular church experience. We do not seek to convert anyone who attends. The weekend is focused on your relationship. The cost is $180.00. The course going ahead is subject to numbers. A minimum of three couples is required for the course to go ahead.

Engaged Encounter weekend dates for 2024 are:

16-17 March 2024

27-28 July 2024

19-20 October 2024

These are held in Karori and run from Saturday 8am to Sunday 4pm.

For more information and to register for the Engaged Encounter courses please visit: http://www.cee-wellington.co.nz/

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.

If you have questions and would like to talk about any aspect of the courses, please contact your officiating priest or the Marriage Ministries Coordinator at marriage@wn.catholic.org.nz 04 496 1719