We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

A still from Then Comes Marriage. RTE/Youtube.

RTÉ is running a televised pre-marriage course (without the priests) and want you to apply

The series is billed as a pre-marriage course without the priests, although it is open to couples of all types, including those who are not engaged.

RTÉ IS LOOKING for couples, including widows and divorcées, to take part in a new televised relationship course.

A new series called Then Comes Marriage will send three couples off on a luxury retreat under the watchful eye of relationship expert Dr Ray O’Neill and psychologist Allison Keating.

The series is billed as a pre-marriage course without the priests, although it is open to couples of all types, including long-term couples considering marriage – as well as divorcees, widows and widowers.

The producers say they have been inundated with hundreds of applications from couples in their early 20s, but want a spread of ages.

“We’d love more people a little older,” producer Stuart Smith told

shutterstock_335467865 Shutterstock Shutterstock

Maybe people who have been together longer, maybe people taking the plunge a second or third time around, widows or widowers.

The producers have also had “surprisingly few applications from same-sex couples” as well.

Three couples thinking of lifelong commitment will spend what is billed as an “eye-opening three days together”, and attempt various challenges designed to help them become better acquainted with their partner.

RTÉ2 / YouTube


“The reason this show came about is people spend all this time planning for their wedding day,” Smith adds.

The women will have the dress planned, the wedding planned – sometimes even before they’ve met their man.
“But they seemed to have neglected to prepare for the actual marriage.
They haven’t discussed their finances properly, discussed whether they wanted kids, how many kids, and how to communicate and resolve problems – and this goes even for really chatty couples sometimes.


Six episodes, featuring 18 couples, will air in mid-October.

The show had a successful pilot two years ago, and its makers say the three couples who took part found it beneficial in terms of communication and resolving difficulties.

“We’re looking for couples of all ages people at home can relate to and, with our relationships experts, give them the tools to have a long and happy life together,” Smith adds.

People are doing things the untraditional way these days, sometimes having the kids first, and maybe having a wedding further down the line.
“And people can’t really say what changes when you’re married, although they tend to agree that something does indeed change – there’s a finality to it,” adds Smith, who is married himself.

Couples looking to part can apply at or send an email to the producers at

Read: One in 40 people living in Dublin is a millionaire, according to a new survey 

Read: ‘It’s like a death’: Divorced people are at higher risk of psychiatric illness in Ireland

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.