Three Steps

Congratulations on wanting to be married in the Catholic Church! We know that there is so much to plan and get ready for and it can be confusing as to what needs to be done! Before any steps are taken, always contact the church and speak to your pastor. The church will need to have certain forms completed and documents on file. Some churches do their own marriage prep, but some will want you to complete what our diocese offers.

To make it simple, The Office of Family Life requires three steps for marriage preparation and each is explained in more detail below:

Step 1: Complete an Inventory.

Step 2: Attend a Natural Family Planning (NFP) intro course or full course.

Step 3: Complete a Marriage Preparation Course

1. Inventory

There are several Inventories available, but only ONE of these is needed to be completed. Your facilitator will select the Inventory for you. After completed, a trained facilitator will go over your results in person or via ZOOM.

Prepare/Enrich Inventory: Cost is $35 and can help identify the areas of agreement or disagreement in your relationship. It includes options for Catholic and non-Catholic couples, Spanish-speaking couples, and those with or without children. Please contact Natalie Burt, coordinator of Family Ministries if you are interested in doing this Inventory. Click here to learn more:

Fully Engaged Inventory is a Catholic catechetical premarital inventory designed to help engaged couples solidify the foundation upon which they, together with Christ, will build their Sacrament of Marriage. Grounded in Church teaching and loaded with catechetical content, this dynamic premarital inventory is a trustworthy guide that meets the real challenges today’s couples face. Visit the website for information on

The FOCCUS© Pre-Marriage Inventory is a comprehensive, user-friendly tool for use by lay individuals, couples or professionals who are helping couples prepare for marriage, and who become trained as FOCCUS Facilitators.The FOCCUS© Inventory is designed to help engaged couples appreciate their unique relationship, learn more about themselves, and discuss topics important to their lifelong marriage. Visit the website for information on

2. Natural Family Planning

Plan to attend at least an Introduction Class for NFP.

Couple to Couple League: New Introduction to NFP methods called Natural Plan. Current introductory cost is $15:

Diocesan Intro Classes: Multiple classes are offered each month in-person and ZOOM. Please click on the Natural Family Planning & Infertility tab for the most up-to-date class offerings and explanations of the different models.

Full classes are HIGHLY beneficial, but not required.

3. Marriage Prep Courses

This is often an area of confusion for engaged couples.  Which marriage prep course is best suited for your relationship?  Every couple is different and you have multiple options.  Mentorship is the most comprehensive and many find it so helpful and life-giving.  One-day or Weekend courses are condensed and provide necessary talking points for the couple to review on their own.  Online options allow a couple to go at their own pace and are best suited for engaged couples who live in different areas of the country.

Printable PDF available here:  Marriage Prep Classes May – Nov 2024

One-Day or Weekend Options

Mentorship Option

In-Home Marriage Prep is a mentorship program where the engaged couple meets with the mentor couple 6 times.  It is the most comprehensive marriage prep course that we offer and is totally customizable.  It enables the couples to focus on the areas of their relationship that need more attention and fosters a relationship with the mentor couple.  This is a newer marriage prep course in our diocese.  Please contact Natalie Burt for more information.  Cost is $100.

Online Options


For couples either needing or preferring an online marriage prep option, please look into Engaged by Paul and Gretchen George. By registering for their series, you and your fiancé will watch a set of online videos at your pace. Once you have completed the videos, you will schedule a ZOOM meeting with Paul and Gretchen.Click here to learn more:

Smart Loving:

SmartLoving provides quality marriage preparation online. The resources are grounded in the wisdom of the Church and provide practical skills to heal, enrich and protect marriages so that couples can become the effective agents of evangelization to which they are called. Visit SmartLoving: for more information.’s program is featured as a valid marriage preparation resource on For Your Marriage, an initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Visit

Resources for Brides

For engaged women only! Really invest in yourself with this 10-part video series on engagement created by Catholic speaker, YouTuber, and author, Emily Wilson Hussem (@emwilss)! This 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. Go to: Navigating Engagement with Emily Wilson and enjoy a 15% discount courtesy of your friends here at the Office of Family Life, Catholic Diocese of Charleston!