Have you been assigned the task of planning your community’s next couple’s retreat and don’t quite know where to begin? Don’t worry – we’ve got your back! As a top private event venue in Wautoma, WI, we get to see our share of amazing retreats. Today we’ll be sharing some of our favorite retreat planning tips from our many years of hosting incredible groups at our ranch and preserve.


Establish a “Why”

Whether you are just looking for an excuse to get away with your favorite people or you are working with your church or community group to offer local couples a great opportunity, you need to establish a “why.” The “why” is a strong, compelling reason that couples can identify with as something they want more of in their relationship. It’s similar to the idea of a theme but with more purpose and passion behind it.

Here’s some examples of great why’s to get your wheels turning:

  • Create More Peace Within Your Marriage
  • “Lifeproof” Your Relationship
  • Make Laughter a Priority in Your Marriage
  • Find Balance Between Raising Kids and Growing Your Relationship

Once you’ve established this it’s much easier to build out the rest of your event. You can use this idea to guide your breakout session topics and activity themes. If you find yourself struggling with identifying the best “why” for your specific group, we highly recommend sending out a survey with questions about specific relationship pain points. The most popular answers will likely be the best direction to begin your brainstorming.


Create an Engaging Schedule

Once you have a solid theme (or “why”), a good itinerary will support that with variety and creativity. Weaving together serious, thought-provoking moments and fun ice breakers can be challenging but don’t feel like you must re-invent the wheel. Pinterest has hundreds of ideas that range from hilarious, think-outside-the-box activities to DIY menu planning and more!

Be sure to embrace the resources that your retreat location offers, too. Edenwood’s private event venue in Wautoma, WI offers 500 acres of indoor and outdoor activities that your guests will love! Couples can enjoy fishing, swimming, ziplining, taking nature hikes, stargazing, campfires, cooking together and much, much more – see the full list on our dedicated activity page.


Build in Plenty of 1:1 Couple Time

Some of the most pivotal moments in a couple’s retreat often come from conversations held in quiet, 1:1 time. As you are planning, be sure to incorporate several of these throughout your retreat. You’ll want the time to offer just the right amount of structure and freedom so that couples have a sense of guidance without feeling restricted.

Try incorporating one or two of these ideas into 1:1 time:

  • A list of “Would You Rather” questions for couples to ask each other
  • Crafts or cooking activities
  • Quiet time together in nature
  • Discussion questions based on a breakout topic or keynote speaker’s talk
  • Couple’s yoga – offer a QR code for a YouTube tutorial or a printout of specific poses

Remember to be sure your suggestions are flexible enough to be done rain or shine so that couples can participate regardless of the day’s forecast. Don’t be afraid to encourage couples to pack outdoor gear that takes the time of year [and – if you’re staying with us – Wisconsin weather] into consideration. With the right equipment, a walk in the snow can be a truly romantic experience!


What NOT to Do

Finally, just a few words about what to avoid when you are planning (and executing) your couple’s retreat.

  • Don’t be afraid of conflict – couples will get into arguments while attending your retreat but that doesn’t mean your retreat has failed. It just means marriage takes work – give them time and space to embrace it.
  • Don’t over-book the itinerary. Leave room for couples to breathe and just be.
  • Don’t forget to incorporate music into your retreat somehow, even if it’s just a simple guitar during campfire time. Music can sometimes engage the soul beyond what words can do.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks – try a speaker who is new to the scene, plan an icebreaker that could prove to be awkward or encourage couples to ask the tough questions.


Wisconsin Meeting Resort

If you are looking for the perfect place to host your next retreat – whether it’s for couples, work or yoga (and anything in-between) – we are confident that you will find everything you need here at our gorgeous ranch and nature preserve. With 6 cabin styles, 32 beds, 16 private rooms and 13 bathrooms all nestled inside a gated private retreat, we’ve got the ideal space for your whole crew! Our staff is here to assist with property access, activity scheduling or any help needed. We aim to ensure your retreat goes smoothly from event setup to guest departures. Call today to learn more about how we can serve you.