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About Marriage Encounter

Central Coast Marriage Encounter is an affiliate of National Marriage Encounter,

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Marriage Encounter is designed to give married couples the opportunity to examine their lives together – their weaknesses and strengths; their attitudes towards their families; their hurts, desires, ambitions, joys and frustrations – and to do so openly and honestly in a private, face-to-face, heart-to-heart “encounter” with the person whom they have chosen to spend the rest of their life.

Marriage Encounter is for married couples, consisting of one man and one woman, who desire to better their marriage. For those with a good relationship, the Marriage Encounter will improve it. For those with a cold relationship, but who are willing to be open and learn, Marriage Encounter can be the beginning of relighting the flame to warm both your hearts towards each other.

The idea is for husband and wife to spend a weekend away from distractions and tensions of everyday life, to be able to concentrate on talking deeply with each other, re-establishing couple COMMUNICATION.

The Central Coast Marriage Encounter deals with marriage in it’s Christian dimension, and the experience is open to couples of all faiths. Our approach is one of inter-denominational exploration of what marriage means to us, as individuals and as a couple. The emphasis is on renewal of relationships. Even couples approaching their 50th anniversaries have made Marriage Encounter weekends and come away saying they have learned a lot about their spouse. Everyone agrees they wish they had the opportunity to experience a weekend early in their marriage!


NO. This is not an “encounter session” with group sharing or group dialogue. Sharing only occurs between husband and wife in private. There is NO group discussion.


The weekend is presented by a “team” of two or three married couples, who have gone through an Encounter Weekend themselves. They found the Marriage Encounter weekend so beneficial to their marriage and family life that they have volunteered to help you two share the same experience of renewed love and growth. The “team” shares experiences from their own lives on various topics of relationships and life. They will then offer you some questions that will lead you to think about and share your views with your spouse on these topics.


Why does Marriage Encounter work so well? Here are just three of many reasons that couples have shared in discussing the experience:

  1. Couples see other couples also striving to reach deeper understanding. Many couples comment that so many of their friends don’t seem to value their relationship. You will realize that you are not alone in wanting to make your marriage something special.
  2. The Marriage Encounter “team” sets an atmosphere of open and loving dialogue between husband and wife. They provide a model and the opportunity for truly deep communication. The sharing of life experiences by the team couples makes it easier for couples making the weekend to find trust, confidence and understanding within their own relationship.
  3. This weekend provides you with a gift of time – free from pressures at home. In such an atmosphere, open exchange can take root.


The cost of the Marriage Encounter weekend, including lodging and meals is $295 per couple. A non-refundable deposit of $75 is required upon registration and the balance of $220 is due at the beginning of your weekend. No fees are paid to presenting team couples.

You will also have the opportunity to make a free-will donation to enable other couples to attend a Marriage Encounter. No couple is ever refused the opportunity to make a Marriage Encounter because of lack of funds. Marriage Encounter is a non-profit organization and your contributions are fully deductible.


The Marriage Encounter weekend is held at the Inn at the Work Family Guest Ranch east of San Miguel, California, owned by the Work family. This is a 12,000 acre working ranch opened to Marriage Encounter as a gift of love to other couples from the Work family.

On occasion we will hold a Marriage Encounter at New Life Community Church In Pismo Beach. Please check our calendar for details on specific weekend location.