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Preparing For Marriage

Book Your Marriage Preparation course today.


“One of the greatest gifts of relationship and marriage – and these are many – is the ability to see the world through the eyes of another person, intimately, deeply, profoundly, in a way we’re almost never able to do with another human being...”

(Gottman et al, 2018, 11)

Gottman, J., Schwartz-Gottman, J., Abrams, D. & Carlton-Abrams, R. (2018) Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. New York: Workman Publishing Co

ACCORD NI provides Marriage Preparation Courses for couples choosing the Sacrament of Marriage*.

The programme, which consists of eight carefully-considered Units, combines a Catholic understanding of Marriage with practical insights gained from rigorous research in the social sciences carried out over more than forty years.

The values underpinning the programme include:

  • Encouraging the self-awareness and wellbeing of the participants as individuals;
  • Focusing on the central importance of the couple relationship;
  • Developing the skills needed to strengthen the intimate connection between the couple;
  • Raising awareness of and developing the spiritual life of the couple;
  • Highlighting what the couple can gain from/bring to their local Christian community.

Sessions are carefully managed by ACCORD facilitators to allow opportunities for Personal Noting, Couple Time, Time to Reflect and the noting of Actions for Later. 

Courses are delivered by professionally trained facilitator teams based in ACCORD Centres in Ballymena, Belfast, Derry, Downpatrick, Enniskillen, Maghera, Newry, Omagh and Portadown.  Couples may choose to attend an ACCORD Marriage Preparation Course elsewhere on the island of Ireland. 

The course content is challenging and some aspects can take time to talk through and examine in the weeks following the course.  If there is very little time remaining before the wedding day, there can be few opportunities to find quiet time together to work through important issues.  Experienced ACCORD facilitators advise that couples book a course which is taking place at least six months before their wedding date.

While bookings and payments are completed online, you may want to check on something before making that commitment. 

If so, please contact us:

*Inter-church courses

We also offer an inter-church programme adapted to meet the needs of couples of mixed faiths who have chosen to marry in the Catholic Church.

Each course is presented by a priest, another faith minister, and two ACCORD facilitators.

Please contact us:


Quotes from Evaluation Sheets completed recently by those attending ACCORD Marriage Preparation courses in NI
  • The course was educational, and good to have the time to spend together before our wedding to discuss topics important to us.
  • Well-run course and allowed plenty of time to work together and discuss personal things as a couple.
  • Thank you for making the course enjoyable and fun. You definitely have helped me and I hope to bring the information into my marriage.
  • Really helpful and insightful. Apprehensive at first but the facilitators were great. Really good practical examples blended with theory. Enjoyable overall.
  • Very worthwhile course, so glad we attended.
  • Found the course even better than I imagined. Getting out to lunch with new people was a lovely experience. Nice to have a small group & different  perspectives. Great facilitators & great to have the chance to speak with the clergy form 3 denominations.
  • Great course, not what I anticipated. Lovely people who shared their personal experiences
  • Very informative, well presented and delivered in a respectful manner
  • The course was extremely informative, helpful and got us thinking about  many of the important themes around marriage & a successful married life.
  • We believe that this will have a very positive effect and strengthen our relationship.
  • Excellent course, and good to have this quality time together.
  • We really enjoyed this course and have taken a lot from it, both now, and in years to come, thank you so much.

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