Best Premarital Counseling

Ours is our top pick for best premarital counseling

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Promising to spend the rest of your life with someone is significant. It can feel daunting sometimes. But couples who attend premarital counseling tend to feel much more confident and better equipped to embrace lifetime commitment. Unlike traditional couples therapy, which aims to help strengthen relationships—or even mend those that are fraying or broken—the best premarital counseling programs are designed to prepare a couple for the next step in their relationship. Premarital counseling can cover communication, finances, planning for a family, and beyond. 

Depending on a couple’s needs, the best online premarital counseling may come in the form of a self-guided course, one-on-one sessions with a professional, or possibly a hybrid of both. There is no shortage of options online, but that can make choosing the right one overwhelming. We created a list of the best premarital counseling services online by researching and reviewing 55 online teletherapy companies and 25 directories and surveying over 100 users of these services.

Best Online Premarital Counseling of 2023

Why Trust Us
Companies reviewed
Total users surveyed
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 105 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we tested the services ourselves, conducted comprehensive data collection research, and evaluated our results with the help of three licensed therapists.

Best Overall : Ours

  • Price: $400 upfront for 6 sessions
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy
Why We Chose It

Ours comes in a hybrid format with both in-person counseling and self-guided courses. We love that the course is tailored to each couple’s goals and not a one-size-fits-all approach.

Pros & Cons
  • Couples are matched with a real-life coach as their “guide”

  • Upfront costs

  • Hour-long sessions

  • Not ideal for couples who want to discuss deeper issues

  • Requires a significant financial investment

  • Not covered by insurance


We appreciate the unique blend of both in-person coaching and self-guided couples sessions that Ours offers. Founded in 2020 by Jessica Holton, Adam Putterman, and relationship therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT, CGT, the program is unlike any other premarital course online. After filling out some initial questionnaires about what they’re hoping to get out of premarital counseling, each couple is matched with a “guide,” an appropriately educated and/or licensed professional, who they will meet with before beginning the self-guided portion of the program. 

During this initial meeting, the guide will ask questions to really get to know the pair and develop a tailored road map that includes four videos (lasting around one hour each) for the couple to work through. The guide will continue to check in with the couple with messages, activities, and challenges, as they make their way through the plan. Once the pair have finished the sessions, they have a final meeting with their guide before completing the program.

Plans & Pricing 

Couples who are ready to go all in with Ours can sign up for the whole program up front for $400. Those who aren’t quite sure if it’s right for them can purchase a two-session trial for $50, then pay $450 if they want to continue. At this time Ours does not accept insurance.

User Satisfaction  

In our survey, 79% of users said they had a positive experience with Ours, and 78% said the program met all or most of their needs. Sixty-one percent said they were likely or very likely to recommend the service to a friend or loved one. Additionally, the majority of users found the program, as well as the website, easy to navigate, and 84% felt their guide was qualified. One of our reviewers really clicked with their guide, and would use the program again in the future.

Most Budget-Friendly : Wellnite

  • Price: $95 per month (charged bi-weekly) for medication management only; $450 per month for regular therapy sessions; $245 per month for medication management and 1-2 monthly therapy
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Individual Therapy, Medication Management
Why We Chose It 

While most insurance companies don’t cover premarital counseling, Wellnite has monthly membership plans at relatively affordable out-of-pocket rates compared to the other companies we reviewed. It also works with PPO insurance providers, in case you want to use it for other types of therapy as well, and offers sliding scale fees.

Pros & Cons
  • Several payment options available

  • All providers are licensed

  • Great for couples looking for deeper counseling

  • No specific timeline for counseling

  • Sliding scale fee estimates require a consultation call


While anyone can sign up to use Wellnite, the platform is best for engaged couples who are looking for premarital counseling that will touch on deeper issues, such as family planning. Wellnite was founded in 2019 as a way to make mental health care more affordable and accessible for all. Today, it provides services to patients across 40 states and offers therapy for multiple conditions including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and more, as well as the couples-focused therapy we find most noteworthy for this list

Wellnite happens to have some of the least expensive out-of-pocket costs of the companies we evaluated, so it’s great for couples on a budget. It also offers a sliding fee scale for those who qualify, and works with certain insurance companies to help make sessions more affordable. However, couples counseling often isn’t covered by insurance plans. 

Counselors at Wellnite offer couples counseling alongside individual therapy, meaning you each meet with the therapist on your own. It’s an especially great option for couples looking for targeted guidance, such as navigating finances when one person is bringing a lot of debt into the marriage, or doing the extra work to ensure a partner with divorced parents feels safe and confident in the relationship.

Plans & Pricing

Wellnite has several different membership plans and payment options, which means it’s accessible to more people. The Medical Care + Therapy plan includes two 30-minute sessions or one 60-minute session per month for as low as $159 per month. The Therapy plan includes six 30-minute sessions, four 45-minute sessions, or three 60-minute sessions per month for as low as $292 per month. 

Wellnite also works with PPO insurance companies to provide reimbursement for services covered, and offers sliding scale payment options for those who qualify (however, you’ll have to call the onboarding team to determine eligibility).

User Satisfaction

Of 105 users surveyed, 80% said their overall experience with Wellnite was positive, and 75% said the provider they were matched with met all of their needs. Seventy-three percent said the service was a good value for the money, and 47% said it was affordable or very affordable.

Best for Engaged Couples : E-Therapy Cafe

  • Price: $196-360 per month; $55 a session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It 

E-Therapy Cafe specifically offers wedding coaching to help couples prepare for the challenges of planning a wedding. It covers common pitfalls of weddings, including finances, family conflict, and the post-wedding crash.

Pros & Cons
  • Offers wedding coaching in addition to traditional counseling

  • Membership or pay-as-you-go option

  • Boutique practice with qualified providers

  • Sessions are only 30 minutes long

  • Sessions expire 30 days after purchase

  • Limited number of licensed therapists available


Founded in 2016, E-Therapy Cafe takes a personalized approach to couples counseling, coaching, and therapy. What makes E-Therapy Cafe especially great for engaged couples is that, in addition to offering traditional couples counseling (which is great for couples who have deeper issues to work through), it also has wedding coaching services. 

Each client's treatment plan is uniquely tailored to their circumstances—and that includes specific coaching around all the issues that can arise when you’re planning a wedding. Some of the common areas of wedding stress that E-Therapy Cafe coaches cover include budget concerns and conversations, how to navigate family conflict during the planning process as well as on the big day, challenging guest issues, the general anxiety and emotional ups and downs that come with planning a wedding, and the post-wedding crash many couples experience. 

Planning a wedding is extremely stressful, and this program is a fantastic tool that will help make the process feel a little more manageable.

Plans & Pricing

E-Therapy Cafe offers a one-time trial for $50 that includes one 30-minute therapy session (chat or video) and a 700-word e-journal entry that includes a response from your therapist. After the trial, you can choose from three plans: 

  • E-Therapy SHOT, a pay-as-you-go option for $55 (choose a live chat or video session or a journal entry)
  • E-Therapy FOUR, which includes four sessions (chat, video, or journal) for $196 per month
  • E-Therapy EIGHT, which includes eight sessions (chat, video, or journal) for $360 per month 

When choosing a plan, it’s important to know that each session is 30 minutes long (so if you want a one-hour appointment, you’ll need to stack two sessions together), and sessions don’t roll over—they expire 30 days from payment if you don't use them.

User Satisfaction

In our survey, 94% of users reported having a positive experience when using E-Therapy Cafe and 90% rated therapist qualifications as good, very good, or excellent. Eighty-two percent said they were likely or very likely to recommend E-Therapy Cafe to a friend. One of our reviewers had a generally good experience with their counselor, but felt the sessions could be longer to help get to the bottom of issues.

Best for Improving Communication : Growing Self

  • Price: $125 to $150 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It 

Growing Self offers three different forms of premarital counseling, all of which include tools for strengthening and improving communication as the relationship grows. We love that it even has a pre-engagement counseling option. 

Pros & Cons
  • Three premarital counseling formats to choose from

  • Programs are tailored to each couple’s needs

  • Online and in-person options

  • Wide range of pricing based on provider experience

  • Does not take insurance

  • Therapy only available in certain states


Growing Self is an online counseling service that specifically works with patients to find “love, happiness, and success.” While most premarital counseling services and programs put an emphasis on strengthening communication, we think Growing Self is the best at it because the counselors specialize in what helps make a relationship work, and good communication is a pilar of that

The Denver-based practice was founded in 2005 by Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, who still runs the practice today. It offers in-person counseling and therapy to local patients as well as online therapy to those outside the Denver area.

Couples who are looking for online premarital counseling have three options at Growing Self: traditional premarital counseling, pre-engagement counseling, or the Lifetime of Love premarital course. Each program is designed to help couples identify their strengths and areas of growth, share and manage expectations with each other, build healthy communication skills that will last throughout their relationship, develop ways to stay connected as the years go by, learn how to work as a team, and more. Additionally, for couples who are looking for more in-depth therapy, Growing Self also offers more traditional couples therapy, which really just means working on your relationship in a longer, potentially open-ended way.

Plans & Pricing

Growing Self’s mission is to make relationship counseling (marriage, couples, premarital, etc.) as accessible and affordable as possible. While it is not in-network with any insurance provider, for patients who do meet the qualifications to have relationship counseling covered by insurance, they will submit an out-of-network reimbursement claim on the patient’s behalf. 

Each new patient gets a free consultation with a counselor to determine if they are the right fit. From there, the cost of individual 45-minute counseling sessions can range anywhere from $65 to $160. Prices are based on each therapist’s experience, and there is a sliding scale available for patients who meet the practice’s requirements. A session with an early-career provider is $109 (as low as $65 on a sliding scale), $115 for a master’s level provider (as low as $75 on a sliding scale), advanced level provider sessions are priced at $135 (as low as $95 on a sliding scale), and doctoral level provider sessions are $160 each (no sliding scale option). Patients pay as they go and do not have to sign up for a membership. 

User Satisfaction

Growing Self received favorable feedback from respondents in our survey, with 90% saying their overall experience with the practice was positive. Additionally, 68% of users said their provider met all or most of their needs, and 89% felt their counselor’s qualifications were good, very good, or excellent. One of our reviewers had a positive experience with two different counselors on Growing Self, and would recommend it to others.

Best for Text Messaging : ReGain

  • Price: $240-$360+ per month
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It 

We chose ReGain as the best platform for text messaging because, in addition to live sessions, couples have the option to (and are encouraged to) regularly message their counselor between sessions. We love that the company also provides more traditional couples counseling so that nothing gets lost in translation.

Pros & Cons
  • Therapists responsive to patient messages

  • Easy-to-use scheduling feature

  • Worksheets and other tools to enhance experience

  • Does not accept insurance

  • Therapist response times can vary

  • No option for longer sessions


Couples preparing for marriage are often very busy, so texting with a therapist rather than attending weekly counseling sessions may be the only way they’re able to address their mental health before their wedding. As an offshoot of BetterHelp, ReGain is a therapy platform that is specifically focused on individual and couples counseling. Its providers are trained in all areas of couples counseling—including premarital. Couples who sign up for ReGain get to meet with their provider once a week and message them as much as they would like to between sessions, which is great for busy people.

Couples set up a shared account on ReGain that allows them both to access live sessions from wherever they are. Between sessions, each person can message the counselor separately, but the thread is visible to both of them. In general, therapists are very responsive, but there is no specific time frame in which they must respond, so response time can vary. 

In order to use ReGain for premarital counseling, couples will have to sign up for a membership, but it’s very straightforward. Couples are charged weekly for their session (and subsequent messaging) and billed every four weeks (though you can opt to pay quarterly instead). Once you’ve reached your goals as a couple, simply cancel your membership before your next billing cycle and you’re all set—quick and easy.

Plans & Pricing

Counseling through ReGain costs between $60 to $90 per week, but the exact cost depends on your location, preferences, and therapist availability (ReGain practices surge pricing in places where therapists are limited). Members can choose to pay every four weeks or quarterly and are able to cancel the membership at any time. At this time, ReGain does not partner with any insurance companies.

User Satisfaction

ReGain is another top performer in our user survey, with 77% of respondents saying their overall experience with the platform was positive. Additionally, 80% of users said their therapist at ReGain met all or most of their needs, and 71% said they’d recommend the platform to a friend. Eighty percent said ReGain was a good value for the money.

Best for LGBTQIA+ Counseling : Inclusive Therapists

Why We Chose It 

The mission of Inclusive Therapists is to make the process of finding a counselor simpler and safer for people of all backgrounds. Every therapist listed in this directory is vetted and aligned with the platform’s mission.

Pros & Cons
  • Large directory of providers

  • Free to use

  • Find your own therapist or get matched with one

  • Must research therapists individually for pricing and availability

  • Platform does not host therapy sessions

  • Search navigation can be tricky


For LGBTQIA+ couples looking for online premarital counseling options, we love Inclusive Therapists. The directory helps users connect with providers from all over the country who celebrate diversity and offer a safe space for any person, no matter their background or identity, to get the support they need—including relationship support. 

The directory was founded by Melody Li, LMFT, who identifies as a queer migrant of color. They personally struggled to find a therapist who understood them, and realized this was a problem that stretched into all marginalized communities, so they wanted to make it easier for people to find safe providers. 

Couples who are seeking premarital counseling can use Inclusive Therapists to search for qualified providers in their area, or they can ask the organization to match them with one of its vetted providers instead. There are over 3,800 therapists on the directory, all of whom must agree to the inclusivity message to join, so odds are high you’ll find someone that works for you and your partner.

Plans & Pricing

Inclusive Therapists does not charge people seeking counseling to use the platform, and counselor rates vary based on location and expertise (some offer sliding scale rates). Some counselors accept insurance, but not all, and couples counselors who see partners together typically don’t.

User Satisfaction

When asked about their overall experience using Inclusive Therapists, 89% of survey respondents said it was either very good or excellent. Additionally, 84% found the website itself either easy or very easy to navigate, and 67% said they were able to find a therapist that met their needs through the platform. One of our reviewers said Inclusive Therapists has the most inclusive search filters they’d ever come across.

Best Self-Guided Course : Happily Ever After

  • Price: $97
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
Why We Chose It 

Happily Ever After is an affordable self-guided course that’s accessible on any device and offers couples flexibility in their journey. We also love that couples are able to revisit the course for refreshers at any point in the future.

Pros & Cons
  • Complete at your own pace

  • Affordable pricing

  • Access to the course never expires

  • Not tailored to the needs of each individual couple

  • Limited number of relationship coaches available for live sessions


Not every couple feels like they’d benefit from premarital counseling with a coach, counselor, or therapist, and Happily Ever After was made for them. It’s a self-guided premarital course that consists of several videos couples can work through together to help strengthen their bond, build communication skills, and prepare for some of the challenges that are likely to come up over the years. 

The online course was created by Casey and Meygan Caston, founders of the non-profit organization Marriage 365. After working through the difficult first few years of their marriage, the couple wanted to help others feel better equipped to face marital challenges as a team. 

Upon purchasing the course, couples decide the order in which they watch the various videos; there is no timeline they need to stick to as they make their way through each video. Many of the video sessions also come with a worksheet for partners to fill out together to enhance the experience. Everything can be accessed on the website or via an app that’s available on iOS and Android devices. Happily Ever After does have live relationship coaching available as well, though providers are limited and these sessions come at an additional cost that’s separate from the course.

Plans & Pricing

The Happily Ever After course is a flat rate of $97. Couples who purchase the course have lifetime access, allowing them to revisit the videos at any point in the future when they feel like their relationship could use a refresher. There are a limited number of relationship coaches available, and each one charges a different amount for a counseling session of counseling, ranging from $95 to $360 depending on the length of the session (30 or 60 minutes) and the experience of the provider.

User Satisfaction

Happily Ever After users were not included in our survey, but testimonials on the website are  favorable, and the course has been featured on numerous “best of” lists. “Self-guided resources like this can be helpful for practicing and strengthening skills that might benefit your relationship, such as problem-solving and active listening,” says Hannah Owens, LMSW, a subject matter expert. “But a course like this is best used in conjunction with couples or relationship therapy with a licensed mental health professional, where you can examine your relationship and those skills together in a guided and safe space. This is especially true,” she adds, “if there are more serious issues in your relationship, such as infidelity or abuse.”

Best for Parents : Amwell

  • Price: $109 to $279
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It 

Amwell offers couples, family and individual counseling, which may be especially useful for parents who are about to blend their families together.

Pros & Cons
  • In-network with numerous insurance providers

  • Affordable rates for uninsured couples

  • Available to anyone in the U.S.

  • Price of therapy depends on provider experience level

  • No option for text therapy

  • Website isn’t the most user-friendly


Amwell is a large platform that offers online therapy to individuals and couples across the United States. We think it’s great for anyone, particularly parents who are blending their families and seeking premarital counseling, because it offers couples as well as family counseling. Family counseling may be key to address conflicts that might crop up when lives converge as a unit, rather than letting them fester and create rifts down the road. 

Amwell it an all-encompassing telehealth company founded in 2006. It has a huge directory of providers across a variety of specialties including urgent care, women’s health, breastfeeding, psychiatry, mental health, and more. 

Some of the areas of practice listed in Amwell’s online therapy section include stress management, life transitions, LGBTQ+ counseling, trauma, and more. Couples who are coming into their partnership with children from previous relationships have different challenges to consider in premarital counseling than couples who don’t already have children. Since Amwell’s providers are specialized in a variety of areas, and the platform has such a wide spectrum of available providers, couples are more likely to find a counselor or therapist that can meet their family’s unique needs.

Plans & Pricing

Unlike a lot of therapy platforms, Amwell does not require a membership or subscription in order to see a provider. It offer pay-as-you-go pricing where patients pay $109 for a 45-minute session with a master’s level provider or $129 for a 45-minute session with a doctoral-level therapist. If you have insurance with counseling or therapy benefits, Amwell is in-network with 126 plans.

User Satisfaction

In our survey, 88% of users reported having a positive experience with Amwell and 86% said their therapist met all or most of their needs. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said it was either likely or very likely they’d refer Amwell to a friend, and 91% rated their counselor’s qualifications positively.

Best Coaching : Relationship Hero

  • Price: $60-$357 a week
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
Why We Chose It 

Relationship Hero focuses on coaching services rather than therapy, which makes it an excellent choice for couples looking for premarital coaching. We also love that couples have the choice between video, phone, or live messaging coaching sessions.

Pros & Cons
  • Multiple communication formats

  • Couples are matched with coaches

  • Canceling a subscription is quick and easy

  • Prices can vary widely based on the coach you’re matched with

  • Not ideal for couples seeking traditional therapy


Many couples about to get married are looking for less structured therapy because therapy can be time-consuming. That’s where Relationship Hero comes in—it’s a platform full of relationship coaches who are trained and certified to help couples navigate their partnerships and strengthen their bonds all without the added formality of traditional therapy. 

Relationship Hero was founded in 2017 in order to provide clients with actionable advice to help them improve their partnership, as opposed to therapy where providers often refrain from giving advice. 

We love that every couple is matched with a coach based on their unique needs and goals. Once matched, couples can opt to meet their coach via video, phone, or live chat. Coaches at Relationship Hero develop tailored plans to help each couple reach their goals and find success in their relationship, either before or after they say “I do.” Additionally, unlike a lot of therapy platforms, coaches are available 24/7, so clients can message their coach with questions at any time as needed (though response time may vary).

Plans & Pricing

Relationship Hero requires a subscription, but it can be canceled at any time for any reason. Coaches charge clients an hourly rate, which can range from $80 to $250 (the exact cost varies by coach). At this time, the platform is not in-network with any insurance providers, but it will provide receipts for clients to submit to their insurance carrier for reimbursement.

User Satisfaction

Relationship Hero users were not included in our survey, but prospective clients can read real-life reviews online. “If you or your partner are looking for practical solutions to problems like communication, rather than deeper issues from your past or in the relationship, then a relationship coach might be a good solution,” says Owens. “A coach will be able to address skills and techniques to strengthen aspects of your relationship. However, if there are more serious underlying problems to address, such as mental illness or abuse, it is better to seek the help of a licensed mental health professional.”

Best Directory : Good Therapy

  • Price: Free
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: N/A
Why We Chose It 

We picked Good Therapy as the best directory for couples looking for premarital counseling because it provides users with a huge listing of couples counselors who are licensed to practice in their area. We also love how easy this platform is to navigate.

Pros & Cons
  • Easy to use

  • Large provider listings based on location

  • Free for anyone seeking a provider

  • It takes a few steps before you can refine your search 

  • Pricing isn’t always listed in provider profiles


Couples who want to find a good premarital therapist or counselor quickly and efficiently will benefit from the online directory Good Therapy. Good Therapy was founded in 2007 with a mission to create a network of mental health providers who put their clients' needs first. The directory is free for therapy seekers to use and offers comprehensive provider profiles as well as contact information to help patients match with a therapist that meets their needs. 

The platform has a massive listing of providers in cities across the United States who specialize in all different types of therapy and areas of focus, including couples counseling. To find a provider, you simply need to enter your zip code in the search bar on the home page. Once initial results show up, you can then refine your search based on specialty, availability, proximity, and more. 

Plans & Pricing 

Good Therapy does not charge prospective clients to use its directory. Providers who are listed in the directory are independent and have their own pricing structure (which may or may not be available to review in their Good Therapy profile).

User Satisfaction  

Good Therapy received high marks from users in our survey, with 98% saying they were able to find a provider who met most or all of their needs. Similarly, 95% of users rated the directory as either good or very good overall, and 86% said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the counselor options they found in this directory.

Compare the Best Online Premarital Counseling of 2023

Best For
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Ours Best Overall $400 upfront for 6 sessions No No Couples Therapy Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Wellnite Most Budget-Friendly $95 per month (charged bi-weekly) for medication management only; $450 per month for regular therapy sessions; $245 per month for medication management and 1-2 monthly therapy Yes No Individual Therapy, Medication Management Live Chat, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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E-Therapy Cafe Best for Engaged Couples $196-360 per month; $55 a session No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Growing Self Best for Improving Communication $125 to $150 per session No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Video Chat Learn More
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ReGain Best for Text Messaging $240-$360+ per month No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Inclusive Therapists Best for LGBTQIA+ Counseling N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Happily Ever After Best Self-Guided Course $97 No No N/A N/A Learn More
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Amwell Best for Parents $109 to $279 Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Video Chat Learn More
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Relationship Hero Best Coaching $60-$357 a week No No N/A Live Chat, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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Good Therapy Best Directory Free N/A No N/A N/A Learn More
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Final Verdict

While we highly recommend every platform on this list for premarital counseling, Ours is our top pick. We love the hybrid approach the program offers—it is structured with a clear start and end and is tailored to individual couples. It also meets the needs of couples who aren't in search of specialized therapy, but want a premarital counseling course that touches on all of the basics and includes live sessions with a qualified counselor or coach. 

For couples who are looking for a provider who can offer text messaging alongside video counseling sessions, ReGain is an excellent choice.

Guide to Choosing the Best Premarital Counseling

What Is Premarital Counseling? 

Premarital counseling is designed to help couples prepare for a lifetime romantic partnership, oftentimes marriage. Unlike traditional couples therapy, its targeted approach teaches couples communication skills and usually has them talk through their expectations of each other and their partnership. While premarital counseling is not a requirement, studies have found that those who participate in this type of therapy report higher satisfaction levels in their marriage later on. 

What Are the Benefits of Premarital Counseling?  

In the short term, premarital counseling helps guide a couple through difficult, but extremely important conversations prior to getting married, such as opinions on managing finances, feelings about becoming parents and/or parenting styles, and even divvying up household responsibilities. In the long term, couples who go through premarital counseling have usually practiced the communication skills needed to resolve a conflict in a healthy way. Similarly, studies have found that couples who participated in premarital counseling were more likely to consider and seek professional help, and more likely to seek it earlier, for marital problems later on than those who did not.

Who Is Premarital Counseling Right For? 

Anyone who is entering into a long-term commitment with a romantic partner is a good candidate for premarital counseling. This type of counseling is an investment that pays out throughout a marriage—in fact, in a classic 2003 study, couples who partook in premarital counseling had a 30% increase in marital satisfaction than those who do not. So if you’re someone who values your relationship and wants to set you and your partner up for long-term success, then premarital counseling is right for you. 

Compare Online Premarital Counseling 

When considering your options for premarital counseling, it’s important to keep some key factors in mind to help you make the best choice.

  • Price: Insurance often won’t cover couples counseling unless it’s deemed medically necessary, so cost is important. Work together to determine how much you’re able to spend per session (or on a course) and narrow down your options from there. 
  • Modality: The best premarital counseling program for one couple may not be a good fit for another. Talk to your partner about different options, including self-guided courses, coaching, traditional couples therapy, or religious-based programs. 
  • Scheduling: Finding time for counseling isn’t always easy—especially if both partners work full-time (and are planning a wedding too). If stepping out during normal business hours isn’t an option, then you’ll want to find a provider who offers appointments in the evenings and/or on weekends. 
  • Ease of switching therapists: Some platforms make switching providers easier than others, so if you’re worried about finding the perfect fit, consider opting for a platform that gives you more freedom in selecting a provider or making a change. 
  • Communication platform: What works best for the two of you as a couple: texting, phone sessions, video sessions, self-guided courses, or a hybrid format? To set yourselves up for success, opt for a program that offers counseling in a format you’re both comfortable with.

What If I'm Having Thoughts of Harming Myself? 

If you’re having thoughts of harming yourself or experiencing a mental health crisis, dial 911 for emergency services or 988 to reach the suicide and crisis lifeline. Both are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are the Common Types of Premarital Counseling?

    Premarital counseling is delivered through various modalities (aka therapy styles) including: 

    • The Gottman Method - an evidence-based approach specifically for couples focused on improving communication and fostering empathy
    • Emotionally focused therapy - short-term couples therapy focused on improving bonding and attachment
    • Psychodynamic couples therapy - focused on exploring each partner's fears and hopes in order to foster understanding

    You can sign up for premarital counseling online, in person, or take a self-led course.

  • How Can You Find a Premarital Counselor That You Both Like?

    Finding a therapist that’s a good fit can be difficult for individuals, so when you add in another person it can make the search all the more challenging. Couples can start the search together by looking at providers who are covered by insurance or using an online directory to help narrow down some of their options. From there, depending on how much you plan to interact with the counselor, finding the right fit may require a bit of trial and error.

  • When Should You Sign Up for Premarital Counseling Before Your Wedding?

    Timing for premarital counseling depends on your goals and timeline as well as the program itself. If it’s a structured program with a clear start and end, you’ll want to sign up for it early enough that you’re able to complete it before the big day. For open-ended counseling, couples should consider what they hope to achieve—standard premarital sessions or more in-depth counseling—and work backward. The more goals you’re hoping to accomplish (or the bigger the issues you need to work through), the more time you’ll need to complete your counseling before the wedding.

  • Can Premarital Counseling Be With a Faith-Based Therapist?

    Absolutely. Many couples opt for faith-based premarital counseling—and some officiants even require couples to go through it before they agree to officiate. To find a provider who meets your needs, connect with a leader wherever you worship and they can likely help point you in the right direction.


We surveyed 105 users at 55 of the most popular online therapy platforms and 180 users at 25 directories to create this list of the best premarital counseling services. We also tested many of these platforms ourselves, consulted three industry experts, and sent questionnaires to the companies themselves. We favored platforms designed specifically for relationships or those that had a strong relationship focus. Services that were affordable and/or accepted insurance also ranked highly, as did those with therapists who used a variety of treatment approaches. We also assessed for convenience, flexible scheduling, and of course, user satisfaction in all of these areas.

We looked at dozens of platforms that didn’t make the list, including BrightSide, MDLive, Talkspace, and Teladoc. While all of these platforms offer some fantastic benefits, the companies on this list beat them out because they offer specific premarital services, received high scores in our user survey, and are accessible to a wide range of people across the country.

Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Carlson, R. G., Daire, A. P., Munyon, M. D., & Young, M. E. (2012). A Comparison of Cohabiting and Noncohabiting Couples Who Participated in Premarital Counseling Using the PREPARE Model. The Family Journal, 20(2), 123–130.

  2. Carlson, R. G., Daire, A. P., Munyon, M. D., & Young, M. E. (2012). A Comparison of Cohabiting and Noncohabiting Couples Who Participated in Premarital Counseling Using the PREPARE Model. The Family Journal, 20(2), 123–130.

  3. Williamson HC, Hammett JF, Ross JM, Karney BR, Bradbury TN. Premarital education and later relationship help-seeking. J Fam Psychol. 2018;32(2):276-281. doi:10.1037/fam0000383

  4. DeAngelis, T. (2017, April). Premarital counseling: A vital, untapped niche. Monitor on Psychology. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from

By Ashley Ziegler
​Ashley Ziegler is a lifestyle writer specializing in motherhood, family health, and consumer products. She has written for Romper,, and more. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Purdue University and her Master of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Edited by Ally Hirschlag
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