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Category Archives for "Marriage Preparation"

Why Take Marriage Preparation?

By Dustin | Marriage Preparation

Marriage Preparation

When couples get engaged and plan their wedding, they are often busy with the excitement, details and stress of wedding planning.

We spend a lot of time, money and energy on planning our weddings.

What About Planning Our Marriages?

Current research shows that the best way to build a lifelong marriage is to prepare for it.

In our Marriage Prep 101 Workshops, we apply the latest scientific research that shows what makes marriages succeed and fail.

Marriage preparation can help couples enhance their strengths, clarify expectations, identify areas needing change, learn and practice communication and conflict resolution skills, and develop more emotional and sexual intimacy. With attention and effort, most couples can create a strong relationship that will safeguard them against the inevitable strains of modern life.

Unfortunately, fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Half of those report being happily married, so only 25% of married couples consider themselves happily married.

Taking a marriage preparation workshop can help couples increase the likelihood of happy, successful marriages.

The Facts About Marriage Preparation

Research by four studies has found that taking a skill-based marriage preparation class can reduce the divorce rate by 30%. Also, research has found that couples who increase their positivity, learn how to resolve conflict, prioritize their marriage, and avoid relationship traps are indeed able to increase satisfaction and longevity.

In addition, according to the research, when couples have a baby, 2/3 report that their marital satisfaction goes down. However, if they know how to prioritize and work on their marriage, they will be better able to transition to parenthood, and reclaim their marriage after children to work well together as parents, friends and spouses.

Most of us take Driver’s Ed classes when we learn to drive, and childbirth classes when we are expecting a baby.

Why not take a marriage preparation class to prepare for your marriage? We invest in what is important to us- our education, career, hobbies and interests, parenting, golf game, yoga practice…what about our relationships?

Prepare for the Big Issues

The first five years of marriage are essential to figure out how to have a satisfying friendship, romantic life and partnership. The most popular issues during the first five years of marriage are time, sex and money.

Many couples continue to fight about domestic responsibilities and finances. Conflict is inevitable in a long-term relationship, so it is essential to learn healthy conflict resolution skills and emotional repair.

Couples need to learn how to communicate well, express love and caring, have fun together, appreciate each other, and create a relationship that is satisfying to both.

Imagine being the person you really want to be, and creating a long-term marriage that you can be proud of. I believe that we can be intentional, committed, proactive and positive, and even have fun along the way!

What level of marriage preparation did you have?  What should have been done better to prepare you for marriage?

Dr. Michelle Gannon is a Psychologist, Couples Therapist, Relationship Expert, Wife, Mother and Co-Founder of Marriage Prep 101, Award Winning Workshops for Engaged, Newlywed and Seriously Dating Couples. Dr. Gannon writes at Dr Michelle Gannon and Marriage Prep 101, and interacts on Twitter. Dr. Michelle Gannon has been featured on the CBS Early Show, The Kathleen Show, Evening Magazine TV, TIME, PEOPLE, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Gate, Hitched Magazine, and many other newspaper, magazine, radio and TV shows over the years.

She has been married for 14 years, and is a mother of 12 1/2 and 11 year-old sons, a cat and golden retriever. She has taught Marriage Prep 101 workshops with her husband, Dr. Patrick Gannon to over 1,200 couples for the past ten years in San Francisco, and loves helping couples prepare for life-long satisfying marriages.

Photo by michelle.hayes


A Wedding Prayer: What Special Memories Do You Hold From Your Wedding Day?

By Dustin | Marriage Preparation

Wedding Day PrayerEditor’s Note:  I often think back to all of those that helped make our wedding day special, and I remember all of the good wishes and blessings that were bestowed upon us on that crazy, incredible day. 

Looking back, I can really appreciate the Scripture readings, the Homily and all the many prayers for goodwill that have since been realized in our lives.

When Nadene Woelfel generously shared with me a special wedding prayer that she prepared several years ago, I was moved by the words and reminded once again of all the God-given blessings that marriage provides.  I asked Nadene if I could share her prayer here for your enjoyment, and she generously agreed and provided a bit of background about the honor of being asked to provide such a cool gift to a newly married couple.  Enjoy!

A few years ago I was asked to say the prayer for my Cousin’s wedding.  I thought, “Wow, what an honor and how wonderful to be asked.”

Then, I started to write and it was not easy. I wanted to portray to my cousin and her new husband my wishes for them in the future, and of course I wanted it to be perfect.

So, for all of you who may be struggling with a similar duty honor I want to share my prayer.

A Wedding Prayer

for Teresa and Shawn

Lord, we have gathered here today

To celebrate the love and commitment

That has united Terri and Shawn,

In a wonderful bond of marriage.

We ask that you bless this food that

We are about to receive with grateful hearts.

May your blessings descend also upon

These newly married spouses,

Their families and friends

Who join us here today.

We sincerely pray that you bless

Terri and Shawn

With a love to last forever.

In sickness and in health may they find your strength

In doubts and troubles may they see your light

May their love continue to grow with each new challenge

May they always find strength in each other

May they be blessed with children to keep their days and nights busy

And when the children sleep

And they look into each others eyes,

May they always feel what they feel today.

May they live each moment of each day for each other.

– Amen

When I finished saying this prayer at the Wedding Reception, my cousin was moved and asked me for a copy of it.

Not only did I give her a copy of it, but I framed it in a shadow box with flowers from the bouquet that I carried in her wedding.  She now has my prayer preserved as a keepsake for years to come.

What special memories or keepsakes do you hold sacred from your wedding day?  If you’re not yet married, what family traditions or cool plans do you look forward to on that special day?

Nadene is a Sales Representative for Krepe-Kraft Invitations & More, a division of Mod-Pac. Krepe-Kraft Invitations & More has provided personalized products for Weddings and other Party Events, such as invitations, boxes, bags, glassware and more for over 35 years.  For more information, please visit them at

Photo by michelle.hayes
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