This web site lists a variety of high quality wedding services available for hire for brides and grooms planning their wedding. Each service listed has been thoroughly evaluated and only the best, most reliable and highly referenced companies are allowed to be listed on the web site and in the bestselling book Here Comes The Guide published by Hopscotch Press in Berkeley, California. We like them because they are strong supporters of Marriage Prep 101 and the concept of marriage preparation in general and they bring a consciousness to the wedding business that we feel is both needed and healthy. Visit their site for more information or purchase their wonderful magazine and book, updated every two years.
Smart Marriages is the name of a web site hosted by the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education which is a national advocacy organization dedicated to promoting marriage education and pro-family policy initiatives. This organization also hosts a national conference called Smart Marriages, Happy Families every year where professionals and paraprofessionals involved in the field come together to share ideas, present new research and advocate for government policies supportive of marriage and family life. They also provide a range of free, helpful services for the lay public including a national directory of marriage and family programs, information and downloadable print-outs of articles, research and other materials relating to marriage and families as well as a free newsletter, bookstore and advocacy opportunities. Visit their web site to get a complete overview of everthing that this dynamic organization is involved in.
The RELATE Relationship Inventory is the best self-assessment tool available to couples on the Internet and the one we use in our Marriage Prep 101 workshops. It is published by the Marriage Study Consortium located at Brigham Young University but has no religious orientation or affiliation with the Mormon Church. Confidentiality is strictly maintained through a secret username/password system that protects the identity of the user. The 261 item multiple choice questionnaire is easily completed in 30-45 minutes. Couples’ responses are “married” to allow for comparison in terms of individual partner’s similarities and differences across many aspects of the relationship including personality, family backgrounds, values, communication skills, conflict resolution styles, problems areas and relationship satisfaction and stability. A comprehensive 17 page report is given to the couple that graphically illustrates these similaries and differences and explains how to utilize the information in a workshop setting or in follow-up discussions between the couple. Click on the link above to visit their website.
Fort Mason Center is a non-profit cultural and event center located in the Golden Gate National Park on the site of an former military base on the beautiful San Francisco waterfront at the corner of Marina Blvd and Buchanan St., just east of the Golden Gate Bridge. Fort Mason is also the location of all Marriage Prep 101 workshops, most of them taking place in Building C on the second floor with views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. For more information including directions and other educational and arts programs, visit their web site by clicking on the link above.
Hitched is an online magazine focused exclusively on married life of all stages. Hitched aims to entertain, educate and inspire married couples through articles, podcasts, blogs, newsletters, a social network and much more. It also includes a directory of service providers and products, a bookstore, a message board, a calendar of events and more. Hitched is a growing go-to resource that tackles the compelling issues that arise in sharing a life with your spouse and provides guidance in the casual voice of a best friend. Dr Michelle Gannon is one of Hitched’s Relationship Experts.
Prepare-Enrich is another couples relationship inventory that will identify your strengths and challenges areas as well as provide illuminating information about your attitudes, beliefs and skills in marital and pre-marital relationships. Prepare/Enrich is for pre-marital couples while Enrich is for married couples. You can now take the full inventory online or with a certified counselor. Both Patrick and Michelle are certified Prepare/Enrich counselors.
This is the leading bridal and wedding web site on the Internet and offers a information and services located in your area. For information about regional service providers, you must click on their Local Resources page and pull down the Northern California region in order to access services and information specific to the San Francisco Bay Area. Marriage Prep 101 is mentioned on the Northern California home page under the question “Where do you take a marriage preparation course in San Francisco?”. At first glance, this is a very commercial site but they do offer a lot of information and articles about various aspects of the wedding planning process and the predicaments that engaged couples experience in planning for a wedding. You do have to “dig down” into this site to get the most useful information.
Are you looking for a very experienced, well-trained couples therapist who values marriage and life-long commitment? If so, check out The National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists founded by leading marriage experts Dr. Bill Doherty and Kathleen Wenger. They have a directory of couples therapists across the country who are enthusiastic about really helping couples create the best relationships possible. On their website, they also have some interesting articles about couples therapy. Check it out!
This site is the home of the Gottman Institute founded by Dr. John Gottman who is the leading marital researcher in the United States today. His site offers a variety of downloadable articles based on his latest research. Take a look at his article “Gottman’s Marriage Tips 101”. His research is one of many sources that underlie the approach we teach in Marriage Prep 101.
The First Dance is a father-daughter team (a family therapist/nationally-known marriage educator and a recent bride) with a mission to help engaged couples and their parents manage the people stress of wedding planning. Their website and book offers practical wisdom about what happens to couples and families during this exciting but stressful time. They show couples how to avoid the emotional minefields and misunderstandings that can crop up along the way. There is plenty of good advice out there for the logistical side of wedding planning, but very little guidance for the hardest part–the people, their personalities, and their complicated family relationships.
We met Rev. Ed Holt at a wedding of some friends and immediately liked him for his openness, gracious style and personal integrity. He seemed to us to be a natural wedding officient and someone who can offer both spiritual and personal guidance while sheparding couples through a wedding ceremony. He is a licensed, ordained, non-denominational minister who has served for 20 years as a pastor to college students, involved in teaching, counseling and coaching. He customizes every wedding ceremony to reflect the couple’s desires. The religious or non-religious backgrounds are reflected in the ceremony. He works with interfaith and interracial couples too, and offers complimentary interviews for any Marriage Prep 101 couples: 650-595-4225
If you are going to have children, you may be interested in Rick and Jan Hansen’s website and book about the importance of nurturing both the parents and the relationship after the transition to parenthood. Take a look at their website and sign up for their invaluable email newsletter.
Growthtrac is a Christian-oriented marriage education and support site that offers an abundance of marriage resources including their new Growthtracs radio. Check out the great content!
Dr.Scott Haltzman (Author, Smart Marriages Presenter and Online Relationship Advice)
Great Books about Relationships: “The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wife’s Heart Forever“, “The Secrets of Happily Married Women“, and “The Secrets of Happy Families“. Helpful, positive advice for relationships. Check out his books and website: www.DrScott.com.
Skill based marriage preparation program offered by our colleagues in New York City who liked what we were doing in San Francisco. Please mention Marriage Prep 101 if you contact them for an East Coast workshop.