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Frequently Asked Questions

wedding rings

What should we bring to the weekend?

Please be sure to bring the following items with you:
  • Comfortable casual clothing (with appropriate clothing for Mass on Sunday)
  • Medicines and other personal items
  • Snacks and drinks to place on the shared snack table
  • Change for vending machines
  • Umbrella or rain jacket (Cullman forecast). Retreat center buildings not currently connected by covered walkways.

What does EE provide for the weekend?

The following will be provided on the weekend:
  • All meals (Saturday breakfast thru Sunday lunch)
  • One set of linens (towels, sheets, pillows, blankets, etc.)
  • Notebook and pen

What time should we arrive?

Please arrive between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Friday. The weekend begins promptly at 8:00 p.m. Because we are on a tight schedule, we cannot wait for couples who arrive late. Sacred Heart Retreat Center is approximately 1 hour from either the Birmingham or Huntsville airport. Please plan your travel accordingly.

What time does the weekend end?

The weekend typically ends around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The weekend concludes with Mass.

Do we have to stay for the entire weekend?

It is very important that you stay for the entire weekend. If you arrive late or leave early you will miss important parts of the weekend experience, and we will not be able to give you your weekend certificate.

Can you accommodate my special diet needs?

There is a place on the registration form to specify dietary needs. Please confirm we received your dietary needs during check-in Friday night.

Will I have a roommate?

Yes, you will share a room with someone of the same gender. Civilly married couples are also subject to this arrangement. Each semi-private room has two twin beds, writing/make-up table, closet, and private bath. Each room is also individually lockable - keys will be issued at check-in Friday night. For more information on accomodations, please see this link.

What should we wear?

Dress for the entire weekend is casual (i.e. jeans). Please dress comfortably, but you may wish to bring a sweater or jacket if you tend to get cold. Please bring appropriate attire for Mass.
The Retreat Center and Guest Houses are separate buildings not currently connected by covered walkways. Please be mindful of the weather (Cullman forecast) and bring an umbrella or rain jacket.

Where may I smoke?

Smoking is prohibited inside any building; however, there are designated smoking areas outside.

Will we have much free time this weekend?

The weekend is designed to be intense so that you can spend as much concentrated time together as possible preparing for your sacramental marriage. You may find that we stay up later and get up earlier than you typically would on a weekend.

Do we have to be "officially" engaged to participate in Engaged Encounter?

No, we welcome all couples who want to take a serious look at their long term relationship and possible future marriage together.