October 25, 2019

There are two goals on the journey to wedding day. There is the preparation for the ceremony and there is the preparation for marriage.  These are two separate activities that depend heavily on each other.  And truthfully you need to succeed in both.

I love Wedding Day. There is energy and excitement.  It has always been a highlight to step into people’s lives on the happiest day of their lives.  But wedding day aside, I enjoy talking with couples about their lives and relationships.  There is always a beautiful journey (sometimes a broken road as well) that is leading the couple together.  Every love story is beautiful.

But after all the years I have spent working with couples, there is a harsh reality.  And that is the day after.  Once the wedding is over, there is a coming down off the mountain. And that coming down process means going back to work and getting on with this new chapter.  The high of wedding day cannot be maintained.  It is the process of premarital counseling that makes sure the day and days after are fruitful and meaningful.

The race has just begun.

Sometimes, I will hear couples whisper (or shout) on wedding day, “We did it!”  And there is a sense of crossing the finish line on wedding day. Coordinating this massive event is no small feat and every year it seems like weddings just get bigger and crazier. And while I cannot say it on wedding day, I want to pull them to the side and remind them, this isn’t the finish line. You are just getting started.  The clap of the starting gun has just shocked us from behind.  The race has just begun.

I have used a number of counseling tools in my years as a pastor and wedding minister.  And I still will use many of these tools, but the go to assessment tool for me has become the SYMBIS assessment.  SYMBIS stands for Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. Even the title speaks to me in a powerful way.

SYMBIS is as assessment tool developed by Les and Leslie Parrott. It is a comprehensive marriage program. SYMBIS covers everything: Finances, Personalities, Conflict Styles, Communication preferences and your Love Life.  It begins with looking at the motivations for why you two are together and what your attitudes for marriage really are. And the process takes you all the way to answering some of the deepest questions about what you really want in this relationship.  All of this helps couples dive deep and develop a soul to soul connections.

For our present clients, we do not require you to take the SYMBIS assessment, but we do recommend it. To take the SYMBIS assessment and to have us facilitate the process, the cost is $100. We will just incorporate SYMBIS into our process.  If this is something you would like to explore, please let us know.  Typically, It would be two additional meetings above the meetings we usually do with our engaged couples.

What if we are already married?  

We would still be more than happy to take you through the SYMBIS program.  In the course of answering questions, once the assessment knows you are married it tailors the experience to you. Whether you are newlyweds or have 20 years in, it can be an incredible reboot for the relationship. For couples that are already married the cost is $175 which covers 2-3 meetings and the assessment. Most couples can complete the process in two meetings.

We would love to revisit our officiant, but we don’t live in Ohio or PA anymore.  

No worries, we can do meetings over the phone or on a Zoom call.

We would send you an email to invite you to the assessment and once it is finished the report comes to us. The report is forwarded it to you and we begin the discussion there. To learn more about SYMBIS, please visit their website If you would like to get started with SYMBIS, please give us a call today, 412-628-7213 or send us an email at

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