Marriage Preparation

Congratulations on your engagement!  Be sure to begin your engagement in prayer and continue to pray to ask the Lord’s guidance as you plan your wedding day and your future life together.

Your first step to Catholic Marriage Prep is to contact your Parish Office to set up a Marriage Prep Program appointment!

The Diocese of Venice uses the Marriage Preparation Program Witness to Love.

As Pope Francis has said about love, “Love is a relationship”, and “Build a house together on the Rock of True Love, God !”(Pope Francis Dialogue on Valentine’s Day 2014 in full click here)

Witness to Love is a virtues-based model of marriage renewal and preparation that integrates modern principles of psychology and the virtues to help couples facilitate and talk about their relationship. All built on the rock of True Love, that comes from God.

What makes Witness to Love unique is that the engaged couple chooses their own mentor couple. This is a couple they both admire and see as a source of faith formation. This mentor couple gives them a connection and integration into the parish. Through the sharing of the mentor couple’s own marriage journey, the engaged couple inherits a “lifeline” of support in their commitment to Jesus and His Church. To learn more, visit the Witness to Love website.

Please note: If your parish does not offer Witness to Love at this time, you can still participate via the Witness to Love Virtual Pathway.

The Witness to Love Virtual Pathway offers you and your future spouse the same marriage preparation process as the parish-based program, except your initial steps and introduction to the process are completed with the help of Witness to Love coaches. To find out more and to get started, go to the Virtual Pathway webpage and fill out the intake form. A Witness to Love team member will reach out to you and get you everything you need to start your journey!

Diocese of Venice Marriage Preparation Guidelines

Couples ages 55 and under: Witness to Love Marriage Preparation Program

Couples over 55: One day Two Become One program

Couples over 75: 4 hours of personal instruction by Priest or Deacon

Military Couples and Geographically Separated Couples: Online Catholic Marriage Prep may be used with Diocesan approval

Marriage Preparation Retreats are required by the Diocese of Venice. See below for current 2024 Marriage Preparation Retreat offerings:

  • Day of Reflection Retreat, for all ages:  Click here. Offered April 20th, September 14th and November 9th in 2024.
  • Two Become One Retreat, for couples 55 and older:  Click here. Offered March 2nd and September 21st in 2024.

If none of these retreats are convenient for you, please contact Jim Gontis, Director of Evangelization,, (941) 486-4754.

Optional Resource for Engaged Women

Another excellent resource for engaged women is Navigating Engagement with Emily Wilson.  Check it out here, and, if you choose to participate, enjoy a 15 percent discount courtesy of the Diocese of Venice.

This 10-part video series on engagement created by Catholic speaker, YouTuber, and author, Emily Wilson Hussem (@emwilss) is specifically for women. The series offers practical guidance, prayerful encouragement, and valuable insight into rarely discussed topics that you will encounter during engagement (e.g. the trap of comparison, the wedding night, discerning a choice, bachelorette parties, etc.) and helps you to manage and prioritize your heart in the process.

This video series is optional but recommended!

Marriage Prep Questions, or for more information:

Contact Jim Gontis, Director of Evangelization

Phone: (941) 486-4754

Questions? Contact the Office of Marriage & Family Life