“It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and 
taking up their crosses that spouses 
will be able to receive the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ. This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s cross, the source of all Christian life.” --Catechism of the Catholic Church 1615 

Congratulations to you as you announce your engagement to marry.  Your marriage within the context of the Catholic Church is much more than a civil ceremony that happens to take place in a church building.  Your marriage is a very specific vocation through which you live out your baptismal commitment to love as the Lord loves you.  The Church understands your vocation as one of the seven sacraments of the Church, the Sacrament of Christian Marriage.  As husband and wife in the Lord you reveal the Lord’s love to the Church and to the world by the way you love each other.  Of course, this does not happen all at once.  For many couples it can take fifty years, and for others that is just a starting point.  Your preparation for marriage is not just something you do in the few short months before your wedding day.  Hopefully, what happens during your engagement will continue throughout your marriage, namely, learning how to love each other more day after day.

Marriage Preparation must begin a minimum of 6 months before the wedding. 

pdf Wedding Guidelines (194 KB)