Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you and your fiance know what to expect before embarking on this journey together.

* An asterisk next to an answer indicates Oahu weekends only!

Please be sure to bring the following items with you:

  • Sweater/jacket for cool evenings
  • Comfortable casual clothing for the weekend
  • Dress clothing for Mass on Sunday
  • Toiletries, medicines and other personal items/towels, face and washcloth*
  • Snacks and Drinks (e.g., soft drink, juice, water, chips, crackers, etc.)
  • Face mask, neck gaiter, etc to cover your nose and mouth and fit securely under your chin
  • Individual hand sanitizer

The following items will be provided on the weekend. You do NOT need to bring these items:

  • Notebook and pen
  • Linens (Sheets, pillows, blankets, towels and washcloths)*

Oahu couples, please arrive at 7:00 am on Saturday to check-in. The weekend will begin promptly with mass at 7:30 am.

Neighbor island couples, please give yourselves ample time to get to the retreat location before the Saturday morning start times listed below.

If there is an emergency and you must be late, please call the Island Contact for the location of the retreat.

YES, it is very important you stay for the entire weekend. If you arrive late or leave early you will miss important parts of the retreat experience, and we will not be able to give you your certificate of completion verifying your attendance.

Meals will be provided on Saturday (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and Sunday (breakfast and lunch). 

If you are a vegetarian or have other dietary concerns, please let us know at the time of your registration. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Each room will have a bed, dresser, writing table. Separate community bathrooms/showers are provided for men and women.  Each person will have a roommate of the same sex for the weekend.*

(While EE recognizes couples may already be living together, you will not be permitted to share a room with your fiancé on the weekend. Since the Catholic Church requires baptized Catholics get married in the Church, the same applies to couples who are civilly married.)

Weekends are held throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Select the location and date that suits you best when you register.  See our Locations page for more details.  Each couple receives specific instructions typically one to two weeks before the start of a weekend.

Please arrange care for your children prior to the weekend. Couples must be in attendance for the entire weekend and are not to leave the retreat, aside from genuine emergencies. (Please let a team member know if there is an emergency.)

Yes, we do ask that you observe a few basic rules.

  • Please refrain from the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Please stay in your assigned room.*
  • Please do not leave unless an emergency arises. (If you need to leave, speak to one of the team members.)
  • All of our facilities prohibit smoking and vaping. You may, however, smoke outside 20 feet from the building according to the laws of the State of Hawaii.

Catholic Engaged Encounter is designed to provide couples getting married the tools needed for a successful marriage. The retreat is open to any engaged couple wanting to prepare for a deeper, more meaningful life together and are marrying in accord with Catholic teaching and law.  We are happy to have couples, neither who are baptized Catholic, attend an Engaged Encounter retreat.

If the bride and/or groom are baptized in the Catholic Church but the couple is not getting married in a Catholic church, then the couple cannot attend a retreat since the marriage is not valid.  If they decide to marry in the Catholic Church in the future, then they are welcome and encouraged to attend at that time.

Since the Catholic Church requires Catholics to get married in the Catholic Church, we welcome those civilly married preparing for the sacrament of marriage to attend and share in the same benefits as other couples preparing for marriage.

Weekends end Sunday at 3:00pm.

Weekends costs vary by location. See registration for exact fees.

If you need financial assistance, please complete and submit your Application for Financial Assistance.

The retreat is not group therapy, instead, it provides private one-on-one time for the couple to learn about each other and marriage based on 5 major themes: The Family we Grew Up In, Sacramental Marriage, Communication, Intimacy – more than just sex, and Values. Couples learn about these 5 major themes through a series of presentations given by married couples. After each presentation, both fiancés are given time to individually reflect and write on the topic covered. Then couples are given time to privately reflect as a couple. Couples are never required to share with the group.

We ask that couples refrain from using electronic devices as much as possible on the weekends. The goal is to have a weekend-long retreat away from the hustle and bustle of life. Focus on each other, your relationship, and what it means to become a sacrament. There will be very little free time on the weekend.

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