Family Life’s Weekend Getaway – A Couples Retreat

Does attending a marriage conference really make a difference? Why would a couple want to go to a marriage conference anyway? If our marriage is doing well, would we still benefit from going to a marriage conference? Those are the questions my wife and I asked ourselves when we first heard about the Weekend Getaway marriage conference put on by Family Life Canada.

According to Sharol Josephson, co-Director of Family Life Canada, only 20% of couples ever invest in building their marriages (i.e. reading a book, attending a seminar or conference, or taking a class). Perhaps it’s because many people think that if they are in love, then their marriage should just work. Most don’t realize that developing a good marriage takes time, intention, and hard work.

Sydney J. Harris insightfully says,

“Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he automatically deserves great success in any field of activity; yet almost everyone believes that he automatically deserves success in marriage.”

Family Life Marriage Conference (Weekend Getaway)

With our friends at the Family Life’s Weekend Getaway marriage conference

In the spring of 2010, Olive and I decided to attend Family Life’s Weekend Getaway Marriage Conference (formerly known at A Weekend To Remember). We invited some of our friends and three other couples ended up coming with us to Kelowna, BC to spend the weekend. My wife and I weren’t having any major problems in our marriage but we were open to learning and growing. After we arrived, we were amazed to find that some couples there were repeat attendees (for one couple, this was their ninth marriage conference!) while others were just engaged.

We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the speakers were Paul and Eleanor Henderson (yes, the same Paul Henderson who scored the winning goal in the classic Canada-Russia series in 1972). The other speakers were Bruce and Denise Gordon, who we knew and respected. Both couples took turns speaking and shared personal stories as well as insightful marriage advice. They were vulnerable and told us about their own personal struggles, which we appreciated. They were also funny – which was an added bonus!

This conference wasn’t all sitting and listening but included break-out times where you spent time with your spouse and digested the material. Also, on the Saturday evening, they slotted out time for the couples to go on a date, which was really nice.

All our friends were impressed with the weekend and the quality of the event, as were we. Going to the conference gave us insights into better communication and conflict resolution. It also improved our sex life. Most of all, we appreciated the perspective of the speakers who had been married for over 30 years and hearing how they’d built and developed their marriage over time.

Here’s a quick promo video about the weekend, with a few short testimonials from couples that have gone:


FamilyLife-Weekend-Getaway-(Tim-Chan-blog-image-300x232)The Weekend Getaway is time well invested. We’re excited because Family Life has offered readers of our blog a special deal where you can save $100/couple on a your registration fee. The regular price is $380 per couple (this does not include accommodation or food). If you register using the links on this page, you and your spouse can attend for the price of $280. As a special bonus gift from Olive and me, you will also get a $20 Starbucks gift card if you sign up using the links. Just email us with your registration confirmation and mailing address. (Note: This offer applies to Canadian conferences only.)

If you’re a pastor of a church, you and your spouse can get a specially reduced couple’s rate to attend the conference.

The Weekend Getaway schedule for the 2016-2017 season is below (click on the links to register):

Whistler, BC – November 4-6, 2016

Jasper, AB – November 18-20, 2016

Blue Mountain, ON – November 18-20, 2016

Victoria, BC – February 17-19, 2017

Kelowna, BC – March 3-5, 2017

Niagara Falls, ON – March 10-12, 2017

Banff, AB – April 7-9, 2017

Montebello, QC – April 21-23, 2017

For full details for the Weekend Getaway, go to the Family Life website. If you register, remember to use the registration links above and email us with your confirmation so we can send you your $20 Starbucks card!

Details: This deal is only valid for couples registration. The regular cost of the Weekend Getaway is $380/couple and becomes $280/couple with the coupon code. Every couple that registers using the links on this page and emails with their registration confirmation and mailing address is eligible to receive one $20 Starbucks card as a gift from

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  • yes. this is awesome. I’m sharing it with a bunch of friends. We had a great time last year when we went. It was a turning point for us (even though we had only been married for a year and it was a great year as it was!)

    • Thanks Jess! Yes, we’re excited to partner with FamilyLife this year – their Weekend Getaways have been a great help to so many couples (including many of our friends)

  • miriam

    awesome review, thank you!
    my husband and i are considering the banff conference in april as we live in calgary. :)

    • Thanks Miriam! We’ve heard the Banff conference is amazing, especially with being at the Banff Springs Hotel. Out of all the conferences, this one is the most popular. Last year they sold out by March, so if you are going, make sure you go early.

      FYI, if you can get another couple to go with you, then the BOGO deal is the best (2 couples register for $350). This expires Feb 10th. After that, the deal from our blog is the best you can get.