Hosting a wedding banquet is simply the start of your lives as a married couple. For a marriage to last, there must be a strong foundation of commitment and mutual understanding. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for couples to realise their differences a short time into their marriage, which can result in unresolved arguments and resentment.
To help couples prepare for their new life together, soon-to-wed and newly-wed couples can attend marriage preparation programmes. In each session, the couple will get to interact with marriage professionals as a pair and individually, going through topics such as conflict resolution, love languages, financial planning, and more.
Marriage preparation programmes are not compulsory but highly encouraged. The only exception is for civil marriages where minors are concerned — where at least one party is below 18 years old or if at least one party is aged 18 years and above but below 21 years old, the couple has to undergo a mandatory marriage preparation programme together.
For Muslim Couples
For the case of Muslim couples, if either one or both parties are below 21 years old, the couple will have to complete a marriage preparation programme organised by INSPIRASI HUBs before they file for an application for marriage.
There is also a separate programme for young couples — if either one of you is below 21 years old, both of you can attend this Marriage Preparation Programme for Young Couple by INSPIRASI HUBs. Young grooms aged 21 to 24 are also highly encouraged to attend the programme with their partners.
For first-time grooms aged 25 years old and above, start your marital journey with the Cinta Abadi Marriage Preparation Programme. This programme sets the stage for a strong marriage as couples will learn about each other’s strengths and aspirations, how to resolve conflicts and strengthen ties with family, and learn how to nurture intimacy. More than 7000 participants have benefitted from this programme since 2014.
Upon completing any of the programmes, you will receive a certificate of attendance/completion, which you can produce during the marriage registration process at the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM).
For Singapore Citizen-Foreigner Couples
The MSF offers pre and post marriage programmes to support cross-cultural marriages and the foreign spouses to adjust to Singapore. Some couples are required to attend these programmes as part of the foreign spouse’s long-term visit pass application approval conditions.
The marriage preparation programme is attended before marriage and covers roles and expectations of the couple, communication, managing conflicts and in-law relationships within a cross-cultural context.
Read Also: Marrying A Foreign Spouse in Singapore: This Is What You Need To Plan For
Cost of Marriage Preparation Programmes
#1 Offered by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF): Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Programme (PREP)
The PREP is an interactive workshop conducted over two days (12 hours, one weekend). Couples will learn how to improve their communication and problem-solving skills, resolve conflicts, and attain higher relationship satisfaction.
The MSF offers a $140 rebate to all soon-to-wed and newly-wed couples attending a marriage preparation programme for the first time. Couples may sign up for PREP with the following agencies:
|Cornerstone Community Services
(Call 6344 8063 to book)
|$350 per couple (before rebate)|
|Careworks Community Services
(Call 6293 4394 to book)
|$350 per couple (before rebate)|
|Family Central – A Service by Fei Yue Community Service
(Call 6734 1401 to book)
|$374.50 per couple (before rebate)|
|Couples’ Corner – A Service by Care Corner Counselling Centre
(Call 6353 1180 to book)
|$420 per couple (before rebate)|
|Touch Community Services Ltd
(Call 6709 8400 to book)
|$420 per couple (before rebate)|
If you would like to know more about PREP before committing to the workshop, the MSF has a free 2-hour ‘Introduction to PREP’ talk held at the Registry of Marriages from Mondays to Fridays, 12.15pm to 2.15pm. Interested couples may sign up for this talk during the process of e-filing for their marriage.
#2 Offered by MSF-approved Voluntary Welfare Organisations
The MSF will offer a $70 rebate for couples who sign up for a marriage preparation programme. Take note that not all programmes cover topics for to-be or newly remarried and transnational couples.
We have shortlisted the most comprehensive programmes that will not burn a hole in your wallet:
|Organisation||Duration||Any topics covered for remarried and transnational couples?||Cost (Individual)||Cost (Group)|
|aLife Ltd -Marriage Preparation Programme||8 hours||No||$100|
|Alive Community Network – Alive Marriage Preparation||9 hours||Yes||$350|
|Careworks Community Services -Prepare Enrich||Individual & Group: 8 hours each||Yes||$320||$280|
|Hearty Care Centre – “It takes more than 2” (HCC is a subsidiary of Singapore Buddhist Welfare Services)||Individual & Group: 8 hours each||Yes||$299.60||$246.10|
|REACH Counselling – One, Two, Three, or Six?||Individual: 8 hours
Group: 10 hours
|Family Life Society – Couple’s Builder’s Programme (This is a Catholic-rooted/ Christ-centered programme)||6 hours||No||$300|
For programmes held in group settings, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other new couples and acquire marriage and parenting knowledge through discussions, exercises, and role-plays.
If you are still unsure which organisation you and your partner would like to sign up with, you can view the detailed course descriptions. You may review the differences in the programmes offered and decide the most suitable one for you and your partner.
Read Also: Getting Married? Here Are 6 Critical Things You Need To Do – But Probably Not Realise
Walking Through Married Life Hand In Hand
In 2018, 59.9% of the resident population aged 15 years and over are married. 5.0% of the same population are divorced or separated.
Connection and intimacy are delightful, but a good marriage still takes a lot of work. This means doing things for each other that keeps the spark going and working together to create the best relationship both of you can.
Attending a marriage preparation programme is a useful way to get to know your spouse — the person you will be living together with for the years ahead. With the help of a marriage professional or counsellor, you’ll be able to identify any underlying issues you and your partner might have and take steps to rectify them
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