Preparing for Marriage - taking the first steps

Getting Married?

Do we want to spend the rest of our lives together?            Marriage education
Deciding to get married is one of the biggest decisions a couple will face together - the decision to make a lifetime commitment to each other.

Good communication between your partner and yourself is vital for a healthy and happy relationship. Communication is also important when making the decision to get married.

There are several issues you need to consider individually and as a couple before making the decision to get married. Most importantly, what do commitment and marriage mean to you both. Other issues to consider and discuss with your partner may include: *

  • What are our expectations of marriage?
  • What will be different once we get married?
  • What do we each bring to the relationship?
  • Where will we live?
  • How will we work out our finances?
  • Do we want to have children?
  • If you do want children, how many do you want and when do you want to have them?
  • Do we have similar values and beliefs?
  • If we have differences, are we able to work through them together?

Relationships can be a fulfilling and exciting experience. Our relationships are an important part of life, whether they are relationships with our family, friends or partner. But relationships don't just happen - healthy relationships require time and energy from both partners. Many people aren't aware that there are practical skills we can learn to develop and further strengthen our relationships.

 Relationships grow and change over time, so it's important that we have the skills to be able to keep our relationships happy and healthy.

 What makes a healthy relationship?

 According to research one of the most important things in a relationship is friendship

  • A willingness to talk through things, to share openly with each other to have a safe way to share positive and negative feelings with each other
  • Showing interest in how your partner is feeling, what they are concerned about and their dreams for the future
  • Taking responsibility for your own actions and feelings and encouraging your partner to do the same
  • People need to be able to have fun in a relationship
  • Understanding each other's expectations of the relationship - where do each of you want the relationship to go?
  • Knowing and understanding yourself and what you can bring to the relationship - what can I offer?
  • What does your partner bring to the relationship? Good and not so good baggage
  • Knowing that you are not responsible for your partner's happiness and that you are responsible for your own happiness

* Source: Australian Government 'Information on relationships'

As your Marriage Celebrant, I am obliged by law to give you information about how to access Marriage Education.  I will give you the government pamphlet "Happily Ever Before and After" and information about other relationship education.


  • A list of agencies can be found at: Family Relationship Advice Line Ph: 1800 050 321
  • There are a number of private providers. Get Ready for Marriage is one and can be contacted at
  • Your local council's webpage will usually list Marriage Education providers in your area.


INTERNET LINKS FOR RELATIONSHIP ADVICE - use these links to find pre-marriage education and counselling in your area.


  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage WorkThis is a best-seller and is useful for couples who want to enhance a good relationship. John Gottman has studied and researched couples for many years. What you will get out of this book: successful relationships are about emotional intelligence, not only about communication Understand and recognize the 4 horsemen; and why they are trouble. Learn techniques through the self-quizzes.Learn from his research what makes a good relationship.
  • Passionate Marriage David Schnarch
  • The Dance of IntimacyThis is an excellent book on understanding the difficulties in close relationships and looks at how women can change them in positive ways. It explores family-of-origin issues. No quick-fix strategies, but Lerner shows that change is possible Harriet Goldhor Lerner
  • Dance of Connection Harriet Goldhor Lerner  




Resources prepared for you by: Elaine Searle B.A. Dip. Ed. J.P. C.M.C.
5 Streamdale Grove, Warriewood, 2102
02 9979 2315, 0402810062 

 elaine searle celebrant