Practically Married : Paula Holt

"I want to help you build the foundation for a great marriage!"

Choosing to get married is one of the biggest decisions we can make. With a walk down the aisle, we commit ourselves to being a roommate, a financial partner, a caretaker, and for many, a co-parent of current or future children. So why do most of us do less to prepare for this momentous life event than we do for taking the SAT or buying a car?

I think many of us believe that dating (and particularly living together) counts as marriage preparation. Although taking time to get to know your partner may be helpful, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll address some of the important issues you're likely to encounter after getting married. Additionally, studies have shown that couples who participate in premarital programs report improved communication, greater emphasis on the positive aspects of a relationship, and improved overall relationship quality.

Knowing this, as well as experiencing my own marital conflict after not attending premarital counseling or any other preparation, inspired me to provide couples with easier access to planning tools that focus on practical marital issues.

When I started developing my programs, I already had a degree in sociology from Stanford and an MBA from Northwestern, so taking out more student loans was out of the question. I decided to create my own course of study by training in some of the premier marriage education programs including The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Bringing Baby Home, and Prepare/Enrich®, and I joined the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy as a non-therapist member. I also read books, met with therapists and interviewed numerous engaged and married partners to determine the optimal content to help couples thrive.

I want to share all of the information I've learned with the goal of strengthening and enriching your relationship!

As featured on


Paula’s training and research has provided her with a collective understanding of how to best help couples address the important questions before marriage so they can begin with a solid supportive foundation from which to grow.
— Jocelyn Elderkin, MA, LMFTA, Soleil Counseling
Practically Married : Paula Holt family caricature

MOre About Paula Holt

I was born and raised in Chicago. After my college years in California and a short stay in NYC, I returned to my hometown with my husband, son and daughter. Currently, I don’t have a dog because I can’t figure out how to handle a new addition to our family, but I will happily pet yours if it’s friendly.