Preparing to tie the knot is so much more than agreeing on what to serve at dinner, or what colour scheme to use throughout the ceremony. As many couples have told us after putting a ring on it: "it's not about the wedding, it's about the marriage". Before you plunge into planning a magnificent bash to mark your new chapter as husband and wife, it's worth putting in a bit of groundwork to help married life stay peachy – and figure out how to work through bumps together when life throws a curveball. If you'd like to seek expert guidance, here's a list of marriage preparation courses in Singapore where you can learn the ropes of lasting love...
What: Drawing from over 30 years of research on marriage, this two-session course will show couples how to prevent problems from brewing in their marriage. Topics include being emotionally supportive, friendship, commitment and sensuality.
Where: Care Corner Family Service Centre, various locations including Block 88 Tanglin Halt Road, #05-01, Singapore 141088.
What: To help you build your marriage on a strong base, the ‘Beyond “I Do”’course shows you how to cope with and bridge differences, communicate openly, plan for a family and more. It’s carried out over four sessions and can cater to groups or individual couples.
Where: EMCC, #05-19 Liang Court, 177 River Valley Road, Singapore 179030.
Focus on the Family
What: Held over two five-hour sessions, this extensive course will have couples reflecting on the meaning of their vows, learning about their different love languages and how to communicate effectively using them, master how to manage each other’s expectations, balancing work with life and more. There will be group discussions as well as activities for each couple.
Where: Focus on the Family, #08-03 Junction 8 Office Tower, 9 Bishan Place, Singapore 579837.
What: This group session will touch upon financial planning, effective communication, handling conflicts, sexuality and fertility, and having a healthy relationship with the in-laws. While presentations will be directed to the whole group, there will be time for discussions with each individual couple.
Where: aLife Prenancy Assistance & Counselling Centre, Blk 308 Shunfu Road, # 01-165, Singapore 570308.
Cornerstone Community Church
What: Consisting of five weekly night classes and a three-day, two-night retreat, this extensive course focuses on communication skills and maintaining a marriage centred around worship.
Where: Cornerstone Community Church, Level 3, The Odeon Katong, 11 East Coast Road, Singapore 428722.
What: Carried out over 10 sessions, their Marriage@Werkz course covers the various love languages, dealing with disagreements, financial management, sexual intimacy, family planning and more.
Where: FaithActs, Block 50 Commonwealth Drive, #01-506, Singapore 142050.
Pasir Ris Family Service Centre
What: The marriage preparation course here is conducted using Prepare/Enrich material, a programme that includes an online assessment, couple’s exercises and all you need to know about essential relationship skills.
Where: Pasir Ris Family Service Centre, Blk 256 Pasir Ris Street 21, #01-289, Singapore 510256
Sembawang Family Service Centre
What: Through engaging activities and open-hearted discussions, this four-session course – split into two group meetings and two individual meetings – will give couples insights into the ingredients needed to make a marriage work.
Where: Sembawang Family Service Centre, Block 326 Sembawang Crescent, #01-52, Singapore 750326.
What: Run by husband-and-wife teams who can speak from experience, TOUCH’s marriage preparation courses are held in instructor’s homes for a casual, no-pressure vibe. Couples will have to complete four weekly, three-hour sessions, available on weekends only.
Where: Various locations; find more info here.
Woodlands Social Centre
What: The individual couple sessions will cover the expectations of a marriage, building a family and more.
Where: Woodlands Social Centre, Block 830 Woodlands Street 83, #01-33, Singapore 730830.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore
What: This Catholic programme guides couples towards lasting commitment and honest loving communication through three Sunday morning sessions at Catholic Junior College (mass and breakfast included), and three sessions held at the homes of presenting couples.
Where: Catholic Junior College, 129 Whitley Road, Singapore 297822
St Andrew’s Mission Hospital
What: Lasting four sessions, this enrichment programme will help couples plot out and discuss their strengths and weaknesses, as well as equip them with communication and conflict management skills.
Where: St Andrew’s Lifestreams, 1 Francis Thomas Drive, #02-05, Singapore 359340.
Hearty Care Centre
What: Working in individual couples or groups of two to three pairs, Hearty Care Centre’s counsellors will guide couples in communication and problem-solving using PREPARE’s inventory.
Where: Hearty Care Centre, 19 Compassvale Walk, Level 4, Singapore 544644.
Hougang Sheng Hong Family Service Centre
What: Using a psychological inventory test, the sessions will have couples examine their similarities and differences, learn how to resolve disagreements, and figure out how their family of origin can affect their marriage. The centre also has a separate course for couples aged 18-21, which further touches on how to balance personal goals and family commitments.
Where: Hougang Sheng Hong Family Service Centre, Block 237 Hougang Street 21, #01-406, Singapore 530237.
Shan You Counselling Centre
What: This course, which includes an online test, will explore topics like parenting, handling expectations, navigating your partner’s habits and personality, spiritual beliefs and more. After the course ends, the couple will be given a generated report to help fuel future discussions and journey towards marital bliss. Both group and individual sessions, as well as English and Mandarin sessions, are available.
Where: Shan You Counselling Centre, Block 5 Upper Boon Keng Road, #02-15, Singapore 380005.