"What God has joined, let no man put asunder" ˜Mark 10:9
"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament. ˜Catechism of the Catholic Church"
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony unites one man and one woman into union bounded by love to be a reflection of God's love for the entire Church and a means of preserving the human race. Through Holy Matrimony, a bride and groom ( the ministers of the sacrament) give of themselves freely to each other before the Church in love and fidelity in the same way that Christ gave of Himself to His bride, the Church, emptying Himself and being faithful to her, as St. Paul tells us, to the point of death.
The bond of Marriage is rooted in the conjugal love between spouses and between them alone. This love serves the purposes of bringing children lovingly into this world as well as renewing the vows made before God through the Rite of Marriage. Through this love and commitment, the man and woman play a very integral role with God, Who is the Creator and Center fo this sacrament, and His plan for mankind through procreation and the raising of Christian children. This very vocation is the manifestation of Christ to the world in that this love is unitive between the spouses, shared with the children which come from the love of this marriage, and possess the loving cooperation of each member of the family which are essential to the building of the Kingdom of God.
The overall preparation for marriage is about a minimum of six months. This is to ensure that all necessary arrangements are complete.