What if you spent as much time planning your marriage as you did planning your wedding day? An Engaged Encounter weekend is an all-inclusive weekend retreat spent with other engaged couples giving you plenty of time alone together to dialogue honestly and intensively about your prospective lives together. It is a private, in-depth, personal, marriage preparation experience.
Q. Who should attend?
A. Any man and woman, regardless of age, who want the best possible start to their marriage! Those considering marriage, engaged couples and those married less than one year are welcome. Divorced or widowed persons planning a new marriage will also find the weekend rewarding.
Q. What does the weekend cost?
A. In most areas, a $50 non-refundable application fee is required with your application. To see the site-specific cost of each weekend, please check the specific EE weekend. In most cases, the remainder of the cost is due before the beginning of the weekend. Some weekends offer a discount for early payments. Meals, lodging (if applicable) and the Weekend Journal are included in the cost.
Q. Is this like other seminars or Bible studies?
A. This is a couple-oriented experience. There are no group dynamic activities or intensive soul searching. Neither is the weekend a Bible study, lecture series or social weekend. This private and quiet weekend lets you and your fiancé concentrate on each other — deepening your awareness of each other and the importance of God in your marriage.
Q. Can couples of any denomination attend?
A. Couples from all faith expressions and those who have no formal church affiliation are welcome.
Q. What is the purpose of an Engaged Encounter?
A. Engaged Encounter United Methodist is a weekend experience designed to help couples prepare personally and as a couple for marriage. The focus is on the marriage, not on the wedding. "A wedding is a day ... a marriage is a lifetime."
Couples are shown communication and decision-making techniques they can use throughout their lifetime together. Engaged Encounter is specifically designed for quiet reflection and discussion by each couple. It is a positive, simple, common-sense experience between two people who are either seriously considering engagement, engaged or recently married. At no time will the couple be asked to share their private experiences with the group.
Q. When and where are Engaged Encounter Weekends held?
A. Engaged Encounter weekends are held several times during the year, at various locations throughout the country. The program usually begins on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and ends either late Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. You should plan on staying the entire weekend to experience the full benefit. Apply early to be assured a space.
Q. What happens on an Engaged Encounter Weekend?
A. The marriage-preparation weekend is presented by three married couples, including one clergy couple. The presentations are given to the group as a whole. After each presentation, each couple has private time for personal sharing with each other. A wide variety of subjects are presented to give each couple freedom to explore the areas important to them. The weekend unfolds differently for each couple, since each person brings a different perspective to the relationship. By communicating their own fears, values and expectations, couples gain deeper understanding of themselves as they prepare for the covenant of marriage.
Q. Why should we attend?
A. The weekend experience offers each couple the insights, tools and confidence to enrich their relationship and strengthen their love for one another. You will learn that good marriages don't just happen. They must be developed. For many couples, this weekend is one of the most significant experiences of their courtship.
Q. What should we pack and bring to the weekend?
A. Separate sleeping facilities are provided for men and women on the weekend. Pack separately and bring casual clothing that will be comfortable. Jeans, shorts and tennis shoes are acceptable. Variations in heating and cooling make it a good idea to dress in layers and bring sweaters. Depending on the weather, part of the time may be spent outdoors as well, so a jacket may be advisable. No formal gatherings require ties, coats or dresses.