The families, with the agreement of the bride and groom, usually arrange a Sikh wedding, or Anand Karaj, or the couple choose each other and then seek the approval of their families.
The Official Sikh Code of Conduct forbids any dowry arrangement; two Sikhs may be joined in matrimony regardless of caste, race or lineage. The Kurmai, the traditional Sikh engagement ceremony, is sometimes performed a week before the wedding.
- The wedding ceremony can be performed in any Gurdwara (temple) or in a home where the Sikh Holy Scripture has been respectfully installed; it may not take place in a hotel or banqueting hall.
- Anand Karaj is usually conducted in the mornings and takes several hours at most; variations in the ceremony tend to be minimal.
- In the West, weddings are usually a one- or two-day affair; the wedding either occurs in the morning followed by a dinner and dance, or the religious ceremony and banquet take place on consecutive days.
- On the day, the bride's family wait in the venue and the groom arrives with his family in procession, traditionally on horseback.
- There may be a light meal before the ceremony, and garlands are exchanged.
- Male and female guests are normally seated separately, though non-Sikh men and women may be seated together.
- Guests should never wear white (it is deemed unlucky) to a Sikh wedding, but instead should wear deep, vibrant colours such as reds and purples; men and women must wear a head covering. Shoes are removed at the venue's entrance.
- Every time the bride or groom stand or sit during the ceremony, they bow down to the Sikh Holy Scripture to show respect, with their foreheads touching the ground.
- The father of the bride makes a symbolic gesture that his daughter is leaving his care for that of her husband by placing one end of a sash worn by the groom in his daughter's hand.