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.

COVID19 Coronavirus response for Marriage Preparation Courses – Archdiocese of Wellington

We understand that over the next few weeks there may be increasing anxiety regarding marriage preparations and wedding plans for couples in the Archdiocese of Wellington. The Marriage Ministries team want to reassure couples that it is our intention (where possible) to continue to provide support for those preparing for marriage during this uncertain time. We will adhere to all Ministry of Health and Archdiocese of Wellington restrictions regarding the advice for gatherings and contact between people. For the time-being the following will apply:

As of 20 March 2020 Cardinal John Dew has suspended all Marriage preparation programmes in the Archdiocese.
COMMIT – Home based Introductory course: Suspended until further notice. 
Love is a Decision – Group Course: Suspended until further notice.
Bookings for the June ‘Love is a Decision’ are still open, however should group gatherings still be restricted in June, the registrations for this course will be transferred to the next available course, (September). Participants are encouraged to contact Felicity Giltrap at should you have any concerns. Online courses through other providers are available, once again please contact Felicity for more details on (04) 496 1719 or at the email address above.

Stay connected via facebook: Marriage Ministries – Archdiocese of Wellington

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.

There are two parts to the Archdiocese’s marriage preparation programme, Commit and “Love is a Decision”. 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 enrol for “Love is a Decision” you will automatically be enrolled for COMMIT. Bookings for COMMIT are now open for 2020.

Felicity Giltrap, Marriage Programmes Coordinator 04 496 1719

Click to follow our ADW Marriage Ministries Facebook page here!

Marriage Preparation Archdiocese of Wellington

Love is a decision

Is 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. 

Bookings for the 2020 Marriage Preparation Courses called “Love is a Decision” are  open but currently have restrictions associated with the Covid-19 outbreak.

Please book via the online booking form for the course you wish to attend below. Dates for our 2020 “Love is a Decision” Marriage Preparation courses are below. Please click on the link to register.

‘Love is a Decision’ June 7 and 14

‘Love is a Decision’ September 13 and 20

‘Love is a Decision’ November 1 and 8

For more information please contact:    04 496 1719

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. The dates for Engaged Encounter in 2020 are:

14-15 March, 18-19 July, 14-15 November. 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 Marriage, Family and Young Church Ministries 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. I also look after the archive records of marriages in the Archdiocese. Perhaps my best formation for this role has been my own twenty-five years of marriage to Rob and the experience of raising our two children in a mixed faith home. Please contact me if I can help.

Marriage Preparation Archdiocese of Wellington

Felicity Giltrap, Consultant: Marriage Ministries, 04 496 1719