How Much Does Premarital Counseling Cost?

Premarital counseling helps couples start their marriage off on a healthy note.

Premarital counseling helps couples start their marriage off on a healthy note.

Many couples agree that premarital counseling is a good idea, and with divorce rates higher than ever, it's never a bad idea to sit down and have some serious conversations with your partner. Premarital counseling will focus on the major foundations of a marital relationship including, but not limited to: finances, religious beliefs, children, communication and conflict management. A trained marriage counseling professional can help a couple plan for their future and ensure they agree on major life goals before the wedding takes place, in an effort to eliminate any major surprises down the road.

Licensed professional counselor

Some couples elect to have premarital services administered by a professional counselor. A licensed, marriage and family counselor has a background specific to couples counseling. Expect to pay between $60 to $150 for a 45 to 60-minute counseling session, though some counselors do offer a sliding scale based on income. In these cases, therapists may offer sessions for as little as $5 to $25 a session, so it literally pays to ask about payment options.

CHECK OUT: 12-month wedding planning checklist

Free counseling services

Many churches offer free pre-wedding counseling for members of their church. Some churches also offer free counseling to nonmembers, or include the counseling fee in an honorarium for the pastor conducting the wedding services or a church rental fee. If you're interested in this option, be sure to set an appointment well in advance as some churches require the counseling be done several months before the wedding service.

Premarital counseling packages

Another option is to seek out a counseling service or organization that specializes in premarital counseling. They may offer a package deal in which participants who enroll receive a set curriculum over a certain number of sessions for a predetermined fee.

MORE: Angie's List guide to marriage and relationship counseling

Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on July 19, 2013.

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