Starting Marriage Strong

The Marriage Prep Course

Starting Marriage Strong is a fun, interactive marriage prep course that equips couples to explore marriage with wisdom, hope and helpful communication tools.

Get ready for surprising insights and for intimate conversations, just between the two of you, to strengthen your relationship even more!

“Absolutely loved the workshop, and you guys especially! We have learned so much, more than I expected! Thanks for everything guys, you have given us so many new tools!”
– Kayla and Reid

“We really enjoyed the course! We learnt a lot and got to know each other better… to be more patient and open with each other and it improved our communication… Thank you for all the transferred knowledge and experience shared!”

David and Susan

“The course opened our minds to different perspectives, our values and the issues [faced in] marriage! This course was more beneficial to our relationship than we originally thought it would be. Thanks so much!”

Christian and Dorothy

“The course kept us accountable — to sit down in a quiet space and be able to learn a lesson and connect. It also helped us learn what we as individuals value most in a relationship so that we can better discuss our values.”

Jaylen and Dylan

“This course helped improve our communication and bring us closer together and to better understand each other… We loved every week and are sad it’s ending.”

Natasha and Adria

“Starting Marriage Strong’ has brought us closer forsure! We feel our relationship has grown stronger since starting the course and we are excited to apply some of the techniques to our relationship in the future!”

Kaleb and Marissa

What’s the Format and Content?

Over the eight online (Zoom) sessions, you’ll learn foundational relationship principles, effective communication skills and be guided in having essential conversations every couple should have before getting married.

This course utilizes several great resources, including Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Alpha Pre-Marriage and original FamilyLife Canada content. You’ll also be given exercises to help you apply what you’re learning along the way.

Not only will you hear entertaining and insightful teaching from FamilyLife Canada staff, you’ll hear a variety of couples share their own wisdom and experiences.

And don’t worry, the conversations between the two of you will always be private, with everyone muted during those times. You will never be asked to share anything private with the group about your relationship.

What are the Topics?

  • Communication
  • Conflict
  • Intimacy
  • Love Styles
  • Differences
  • Money values and more!

A Note To Pastors

Starting Marriage Strong, which is offered twice a year (fall and spring), is designed to supplement and complement your current pre-marriage initiatives (not to replace them). Our desire is to come alongside your church, offering this course as an additional resource to further help prepare couples in your community for a great marriage before the pressure of the big day.

“As a pastor, I have found that the course is such a helpful tool as our staff prepare couples for marriage… Our team can coach couples through the 10,000 foot view aspects of marriage knowing that in the course, the couples will dive deeper into these topics…” – Ken McIntyre (Assistant Pastor at Hope City Church)


What’s the Cost?

Registration Rates




Per Couple
Sign Up Early to Save $45




Per Couple

Note: $6 processing fee will be applied to each couple’s registration.

Registration Includes: 

Eight learning sessions
1 workbook for her, 1 workbook for him
Additional workshop material
Prayer cards
$5 USD discount for SYMBIS Assessment
A huge scholarship to register for a future Weekend Getaway Marriage Conference

Who is it For?

If you’re already engaged, heading in that direction or considering making that commitment, then this course is for you! You will have a safe space to explore your questions and have essential conversations about your future together.

While the course is taught from a Christian framework, it never gets preachy and all couples are welcome, wherever they are at on their spiritual journeys.

Who Are the Instructors?

Your main instructors and hosts will be Kristen and Braden Hafner. They will invite some guest couples to share relationship tips and stories as well, but the Hafners will be your main coaches through your eight-session Starting Marriage Strong journey.

Meet Braden and Kristen Hafner!

Braden and Kristen Hafner are the FamilyLife Representatives for Edmonton and Northern Alberta. They’ve been married since 2008 and are passionate about helping couples start marriage strong!

Fun Facts: They have a dog named Milo. Braden is a glutton for punishment: He’s an Oilers fan. Kristen is a health nut, and she loves to eat her favourite vegetable: chocolate!!

When’s the Next Course?

The Starting Marriage Strong course happens on eight Sunday afternoons, from 2-4pm (MST). The next course starts Sept 29th, 2024.

Any Questions?

We’d love to help you decide if Starting Marriage Strong is the right fit for your relationship. Please feel free to send any of your questions to Kristen at kristen@familylifecanada.com.