The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between
themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its
nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of
offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament
between the baptized.
[from the Catechism of the Catholic Church]
Marriage is both a vocation (calling by God) and a sacrament, which makes it doubly blessed and imparts special graces to aid couples.
Because of its covenantal nature, marriage is the only sacrament in which the participants confer it upon each other. In other words, the couple’s exchange of marital vows bestows the sacrament. The priest or deacon is still essential. He is the official witness who represents Christ and the Church.
Please consult Fr. James at least six months prior to your proposed wedding date.