Marriage Preparation Process

If you would like to get married at Our Lady of Good Counsel, please contact the parish before contacting other venues.

Couples seeking the Sacrament of Marriage are invited to call Deacon Dave Carignan, Director of Marriage and Family Life, at the Parish Office.

Deacon Dave Carignan:
Director of Marriage and Family Life
(734) 453-0326, ext. 249

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

A sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible reality that gives grace. In marriage, the visible sign is the love that a husband and wife have for each other. The invisible reality to which they point is the love that Jesus has for his bride, the Church. In the Sacrament of Marriage, God gives grace, that is to say, supernatural power, to make His own love, mercy, generosity, kindness, and compassion tangible.

The task of marriage is to make the invisible God visible by the love a husband and wife have for each other. They do this first for one another, then for their children if God should bless them with children, and then for all those who know them. Knowing how hard real love is, we pray daily for those of you who are married, so that you might be beautiful witnesses of God’s love.

Two become One

The Gospel of John gives us an account of how Jesus was invited to a wedding in Cana. It was at the celebration of marriage that Jesus performed His first miracle. This is no coincidence, but a deliberate honoring of marriage as a union of love between a man and a woman as a symbol of Christ’s own love for His church.

Marriage Preparation Guidebook & Podcasts

The Four Goods of Marriage
(Fr. John Riccardo)

Sexuality and Christian Hope
(YouTube Audio)

Marriage Preparation Steps

Initial Meeting:

Schedule meeting with Director of Marriage and Family Life

Please contact Deacon Dave Carignan at (745) 453-0326 ext. 249. The parish office is located at 1062 Church St., Plymouth, MI 48170.

  • Determine Freedom to Marry
  • Discuss Marriage Preparation Process
  • Complete “A” Form
  • Schedule Wedding Date
  • Discuss Preparation Fee
  • Receive books used in preparation

$300 deposit is required to secure your chosen wedding date at OLGC.
$100 deposit is required for those who are only attending marriage preparation at OLGC.

Step 1:

Complete Pre-Marriage Inventory

You will receive the inventory link via email by Catholic Counselor after initial meeting is complete.

  • The inventory is a valuable tool for identifying strengths and weaknesses within a couple’s relationship.
  • Review of inventory will be arranged by a Catholic Counselor for meeting times that are mutually convenient.

Step 2:

Attend Alpha Course

Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith that typically runs over eleven weeks. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. We believe that Alpha is an essential ingredient in preparing engaged couples to enter more deeply into the entire marriage preparation process. 

  • All couples are highly encouraged to attend an Alpha Course. Please prayerfully consider attending.
  • The Alpha Course is scheduled on a regular basis at different times of the year.
  • For more information about Alpha, learn more here or email Mary Guilfoyle at alpha@olgcparish.net, or call (734) 453-0326 ext. 222.

Step 3:

Meet with Married Mentor Couple

All engaged couples will have a married mentor couple assigned to them. Mentor couples walk with the engaged couple to be a source of support and guidance through the whole preparation process.

  • Each engaged couple will meet with their mentors over a period of seven sessions to explore the many aspects of Preparing to Live in Love©.
  • The mentoring couple will try to arrange meeting times that are mutually convenient.

Step 4:

Contact (Priest or Deacon) who will preside at your Celebration of Marriage

If the Marriage celebration will occur at OLGC, call (734) 453-0326. If the celebration is at another location or will be presided by someone outside of OLGC, then the couple must arrange for a meeting directly.

  • There is typically a series of meetings with the presider who will witness your wedding.
  • First meeting occurs near the end of the Alpha course, if not attending Alpha, after review of the pre-marriage inventory.
  • Additional meetings are determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • The planning of the liturgy will be completed within the last two months of marriage preparation.

Step 5:

Attend the Theology of the Body Half-Day Seminar

All couples attend a Theology of the Body seminar at OLGC. The Theology of the Body seminar is a half-day presentation on the essential meaning and understanding of how man and woman are created for love and for each other within the context of marriage.

Step 6:

Attend the Financial Harmony Workshop

Financial harmony is a critical element of a healthy and happy marriage, and so it is an important component of marriage preparation.  Financial Harmony helps couples to realize the tremendous impact money has on their relationship and walks you through the seven steps to financial harmony.

  • Financial Harmony workshop is offered quarterly at Our Lady of Good Counsel.
  • Registration is necessary and can be accessed by the following link:
  • Begins at 9 a.m. on scheduled dates at the Parish House, located at 1160 Penniman Ave., Plymouth, MI 

Step 7:

Attend a Natural Family Planning Course

Every engaged couple is required to attend a course on Natural Family Planning (NFP).

  • The course is conducted by certified NFP instructors.
  • Couples will be instructed on the Creighton Model of Natural Family Planning.
  • This course immediately follows the Financial Harmony workshop at the Parish House, located at 1160 Penniman Ave., Plymouth, MI 
  • Upcoming Dates for NFP Workshops are: October 21, 2017, February 24, 2018, and June 23, 2018.

Step 8:

Sacrament of Reconciliation

As the marriage date approaches, couples are highly encouraged to prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available on first Thursdays at noon and every Saturday at 2 p.m.
  • It is recommended the couples individually receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation from the priest who will preside at the wedding.

Final Meeting:


Couples will be contacted by the Wedding Coordinator when they are within 6 months of their wedding date. Arrangements will be made to schedule a date to meet at the church to prepare and rehearse for the wedding.