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.

How much does premarital counseling cost?

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 $50 to $150 for a 45 to 60-minute counseling session, though some counselors do offer a sliding scale based on income. 

CHECK OUT: 12-month wedding planning checklist

Church-affiliated sessions

Premarital counseling at a church ranges from $25 to $125 per session. However, many churches offer free pre-wedding counseling for active members. 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.

Group seminars

This is a less personal option, but may be ideal for busy couples, as several topics are usually covered in one session. It can also be helpful to learn from other couples' experiences, and you might walk away from the counseling with friends who understand what you are going through. A group session for engaged couples ranges from $100 to $300 on average.

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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