What happens on a Marriage Encounter Experience?
Marriage Encounter Experiences are a special time for a married couple away from all distractions: work, kids, bills, and other pressures and concerns. When was the last time you had a special time together, like that?
Our weekend Experiences takes place at a local hotel or facility where presentations are given in the conference room and couples reside at the hotel/facility for the entire weekend.*
Virtual weekends take place in the comfort and safety of your own home and can be over the course of a weekend or over several weeks.
Our 3RE Experience can take place in a parish or also in the comfort and safety of your own home and takes place over several afternoons or evenings.
A series of presentations made by the Presenting Team, consisting of 3 married couples and 1 priest. Each presentation builds on the last as we examine ourselves, our behaviors and attitudes, our relationship with our spouse and God. Communication tools are taught on the Experience helping couples connect in healthy, constructive ways on areas that can deepen their intimacy and connectedness.
Marriage Encounter Experiences have been given in the US since 1967. Decades of research, planning and tried and true wisdom have gone into the content of the Experience and how it unfolds for couples and religious. We ask all participants to attend ALL talks and participate intently using the tools with their Spouse in order to maximize their Experience.
All sharing between spouses is PRIVATE, and this is NOT a time to solve problems! This Experience will help couples in good marriages communicate even better.
*In some areas "Non-residential" Experience (held Saturday and Sunday only), are available where participants return to their homes Saturday evening and resume the program early Sunday morning. Please contact your local Scheduling Couple for more information.
My Spouse does not attend Church (or is not Catholic), can we still get anything out of an Experience?
In short, YES! Experiences are for husband and wife couples of all denominations and mixed faiths. Among the diverse couples attending we've had a variety of Protestant faiths, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and no faith affiliation to name a few. All have successfully been able to fully participate and gain from the Experience.
All we ask is that all Spouses attend with an open heart, a respect for others, and others' beliefs as Experiences are predominantly Roman Catholic in expression, presented by a Catholic Priest and Catholic married couples. We believe God's loving presence has an integral role in us fully living our Sacrament.
We encourage all interested in attending to speak with their local Scheduling Couple listed on the "Find a Weekend" page to see if the Experience is a right fit for you.
I heard that Marriage Encounter is for "troubled" marriages. We've been married for (1 year, 10 years or 35 years) and we don't have "issues." Why should we attend?
On the contrary, Marriage Encounter Experiences are for ALL marriages! Think about it, employers may send you to a seminar to gain new skills on the job, why not dedicate a this time to gain new skills that can benefit your most important relationship-- your marriage!
An Experience gives busy couples, much needed time together to focus on each other and deepen their communication. After the Experience couples often return to their life and families, refreshed, with renewed commitment to each other.
Often we share that ideal Experience couples are those going through life transitions: recently married, expanding the family, job transitions, blended families, empty-nesters or couples facing retirement or illnesses. These are times when compassionate communication and listening matter the most!
For marriages that are deeply troubled, in crisis, or have deep hurts that need significant healing and forgiveness, please consider our sister program, Retrouvaille.
We have been on an Experience, where can I find more information?
After your Experience, you are welcome to join in with other couples and priests who have also attended an experience and who gather together for fellowship and friendship to support each other in our marriages. You can learn more on the below links:
Resources to deepen and continue to enrich your marriage after your Experience:
Resources to support you individually, as a couple, as a family and in your WWME Community during these COVID times:
When does the Experience start?
Weekends typically begin on a Friday evening around 7PM, continuing all day Saturday and Sunday, culminating in a special event Sunday afternoon.
We ask participants to have dinner on Friday prior to Registration, and arrange coverage for their family members and pets Friday afternoon through late Sunday afternoon.
Non Residential Experiences start Saturday morning, but are limited in some areas.*
3RE Experiences are typically in the evenings and start right after dinner.
Virtual Weekend Experiences typically begin on Saturday am.
How much does an Experience cost to attend?
Worldwide Marriage Encounter makes all hotel and food arrangements on behalf of confirmed Couples and Priests on the Experience. All that is needed to secure your spot on a Experience is a non-refundable Application Fee. Fees vary from area to area and usually range between $50-200 per couple/priest. This fee is transferrable if you are unable to attend a scheduled weekend due to an emergency.
At the end of the Experience, participating couples and religious are also asked to prayerfully consider contributing what they can to defray the costs of their Experience and to help make the Experience possible for other couples. Many participants contribute the full cost of the Experience, which includes 2 nights lodging and all meals, and this can range from $250-$600* depending on the facility, catering, time of year and location of the Experience.
All contributions are given as a confidential free will donation, and covering the cost can be done in a number of ways including cash, checks and credit cards and/or post-dated checks and credit card payments. Any contributions in excess of the stated Experience cost is considered a tax-deductible donation and statements will be sent at the beginning of the year for tax purposes. Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization with the Internal Revenue Service.
ALL are encouraged to attend an Experience regardless of financial means. NO couple or religious is turned away due to inability to contribute financially.
For specific Experience information in your area, please contact your local Scheduling Couple. See Find an Experience.
* Note: Non-residential Experience, where participants do not stay overnight at a hotel/facility may be available in your area. Please contact your local Scheduling Couple for specifics.
I hear Priests, Seminarians and Sisters can attend Experiences. Why?
Priests and religious are an important part of our faith community. Their relationship with the people they serve in their church communities is actually similar to the relationship husbands and wives, since open and honest communication is key to true understanding and empathy. In a helpful loving way, the Experience helps both married couples and religious better understand themselves, each other in their Sacrament (of Marriage or Holy Orders), and their relationship with God.
As a member of the Clergy, why should I attend an Experience focused on Marriage?
The best reason for you to make an Experience is to better know yourself and grow in closeness with the people you serve in your Parish communities.
Many priests and religious who experience an Experience, come away with stronger communication skills, coupled with better ability to relate to their parish family and greater understanding of Family Life Ministries within their parish.
I'd like to attend an Experience as a Priest participant, can you help me find someone to cover my Masses?
YES! We have been able to help find Mass coverage in the past and will do our best to help in any way. Please contact your local Scheduling couple for assistance.
We are looking to get married in the church, is Marriage Encounter the same as Marriage Prep?
No, the Marriage Encounter Experience is NOT the same as Marriage Preparation classes. Marriage Encounter Experiences are for couples who are either currently married in the church or civilly married only.
If you are currently in a civil marriage and are planning to marry in the Catholic Church (marriage convalidation) to receive the sacrament of Matrimony, YES! This is the Experience for you! A certificate can be provided for your church pastor as well.
If you are marrying for the first time and are not currently in a civil marriage, you should attend a Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend. The CEE Weekend provides the typical Pre-Cana Marriage Preparation subjects.
Click HERE to find a CEE Experience in your area. And congratulations! We are thrilled about your upcoming nuptials!
What does "marriage" mean to Worldwide Marriage Encounter?
Worldwide Marriage Encounter is faithful to the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching that marriage is a covenant that exists between one man and one woman. Any reference to marriage or couple made by WWME is in this context.
You DESERVE a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Experience! You attend seminars to learn new skills to improve your career and work opportunities, right? Why not dedicate some time to enhance your most important relationship... with your Spouse!
This time can truly
change your life!
WWME Experiences are for couples who are currently married civilly or in the church. If you require marriage preparation before your wedding, please look into Catholic Engaged Encounter.
It's the best decision you'll ever make for your marriage or for your parish ministry. We look forward to hearing from you today!
Worldwide Marriage Encounter is faithful to the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching that marriage is a covenant that exists between one man and one woman.
Still have questions? Call your Local Scheduling Couple or email us at email@example.com