The open and affectionate atmosphere of a marriage retreat is a powerful way to discuss, share and reinvigorate the spirit of marriage. The re-experience of old memories, along with the creation of new ones provides couples an everlasting platform to affirm their commitment. Activities will promote closeness between partners as well as individual guidance and community values. Consider the following ideas to ensure a meaningful and fulfilling marriage enrichment retreat.
One of the first activities should be an icebreaker, as it’s important for couples to introduce themselves to one another. Though the primary focus may be within the relationship, friendly communication between couples will encourage insightful discussion and promote a positive, open atmosphere.
Have couples mingle and join with another pair. Prepare a set of questions for them to ask: How long have you been married? How many kids do you have? Where did you go on your honeymoon? What activity do you enjoy doing together that didn’t expect? Once all the questions have been exchanged, have the opposite couple introduce them to the group.
Overnight Marriage Retreat Activities
For overnight marriage retreats, furnish the guests’ rooms with roses and bottles of champagne or sparkling grape juice. Place a pair of “For Him” and “For Her” letters on the bed. In “His” envelope, include a plastic engagement ring with instructions to “propose again” at his time of choosing. In “Her” envelope, include parchment with instructions to write a playful love letter. Recalling past experiences of love is a way to intensify current feelings of passion and affection.
When it comes to the activities, you should aim to bring partners closer while also encouraging friendships between couples and promoting values of love and commitment. Some activities should be aimed towards fun while others should be insightful. For the Matching Questions game, print a questionnaire for each guest about his or her relationship: Where and when was your first kiss? First date? What’s his and her favorite food? Favorite song? Favorite movie? Have men and women separate to write down their answers. Then have them reconvene and compare responses. The couple with the most matches wins a prize.
While the men and women are separated, consider propagating a discussion. Surrounded by peers, men and women can share stories, advice, and lessons learned about marriage. Designate a discussion leader to keep the conversation lively. For religious retreats, this is a great opportunity to relate the spiritual tenants to one’s married life.
Bring the men and women back together for the discussion conclusion. It may be a good idea to prepare a speaker who can share insight and/or anecdotes about the importance of love and commitment. Follow it up with a delicious dinner where guests are encouraged to continue meeting new couples.
Wrapping Up Your Marriage Retreat
Passing out goodie bags is a great way to wrap up the activities. It provides a positive conclusion while encouraging guests to act on reaffirmations or realizations made on the retreat. For example, decorated notepads and pens can inspire couples to write loving messages at home. Travel soap and shampoo are a gesture to plan a romantic trip in the future. Other ideas for goodies include chocolates, body lotion, candles and bath minerals. For Christian marriage retreats, pair the gifts with relevant scriptures. Couples will be encouraged to indulge in loving affection long after the retreat is over.
Do you have additional ideas on how to make marriage retreats more thoughful and fun? Please post a comment to share them with us.
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