The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. (CCC 1661) Marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to find themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitely, in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love. (CCC 1662)
Catholic marriage ceremonies are always held in a sacred building in the presence of a priest or deacon and two witnesses (best man and maid of honor).
Engaged couples desiring to be married in the Catholic church are required to participate in a program of preparation (at least 9 months prior to the wedding) so as to learn of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage; explore the intentions of the couple; learn what the vocation of marriage means; to acquire the virtues and skills needed for a permanent and lifelong commitment.