The Marriage Preparation Process at Living Word

Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

“Couples who received premarital education had a 31% lower chance of divorce.” (USA Today)

In order to participate in the Living Word marriage preparation process and request a Living Word pastor to officiate at your wedding:

  • At least one of you is required to be a member or regular attendee of Living Word.
  • Your wedding is required to be at least 4 months from your Marriage Prep Workshop or counseling start date.
  • If this is your first marriage, we require that you and your fiancé attend both weeks of a Marriage Prep Workshop at Living Word.
  • If this will be your second marriage or if either of you has children, we require that you and your fiance attend all five professional premarital counseling sessions with The Counseling Center at Living Word. Because of the many dynamics facing second marriages and stepfamilies, we want to ensure a successful marriage preparation period.

NOTE: Our pastors are unable to commit to performing wedding ceremonies on holidays and are limited in performing ceremonies on Sundays.


Contact Lisa Long at 717-755-0089 x 122


1. Fill out the Pastoral Consultation form online.

Each person must fill out a separate form. After both forms are received, you will be scheduled for an initial pastoral consultation.


2. Take the SYMBIS Assessment online.

Call or email Lisa Long (contact information at top of page). She will set you up to take the Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts (SYMBIS) Assessment online. Cost: $35.00.

3. Come in for an initial pastoral consultation appointment with your fiance.

Attend this 1.5-hour consultation to discuss Living Word’s marriage requirements and the results of your SYMBIS Assessment. You will be guided to register for a Marriage Prep Workshop OR to schedule professional counseling through The Counseling Center at Living Word.

4. Attend the Marriage Prep Workshop or professional counseling with your fiance.

Marriage Prep Workshop: Held twice per year: fall and spring. Cost: $20.00. After attending the workshop, you will need to schedule a 1-hour follow-up pastoral consultation.

NOTE: Workshops must have a minimum of three couples each time to run.

Learn more about the next Marriage Prep Workshop on the Married Life page »

The Counseling Center at Living Word: The Counseling Center is staffed with professional counselors who will provide premarital counseling. The cost is $40.00 per session (five sessions required). The Counseling Center’s premarital counseling process is detailed HERE.

5. Meet with the officiating pastor to discuss your ceremony/ wedding details.

After the workshop follow-up consultation or the completion of counseling, you will be able to request a pastor and meet with that pastor to discuss your wedding details.

NOTE: The men and women who officiate weddings are licensed or ordained pastors from the Living Word staff or community. An honorarium of at least $250.00 should be given to the officiating pastor. In addition to this honorarium, please consider all extra costs incurred by the pastor, such as round-trip gas mileage, food, and possibly overnight accommodations.