Usually, the groom’s party (the Baraat) will arrive and gather outside the Gurdwara in the morning where they will be welcomed by the bride’s side. This ceremony is called the Milni. Milni celebrates the alliance between the bride and groom’s family. Groom’s family arrives and assembles outside the Gurdwara. The bride’s family welcomes them. A brief prayer is recited by the priest (the Granthi) to bless the joining of the two families. The dads of both the bride and the groom begin by exchanging garlands with each other, after which stage other important members of both the bride and groom’s families would do the same, including the females in the family. After the Milni the wedding guests have tea and breakfast together after which they enter the main hall inside the Gurdwara (the Darbaar Sahib). Inside a specific protocol must be followed by all guests:
- Be modestly attired.
- Cover your head.
- Remove your shoes.
- Wash your hands, and feet if needed.
- Offer money and bow respectfully before the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book.
- Sit quietly on the floor with your legs crossed, facing towards Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
- At the end of the ceremony accept Karah Prasad, a sanctified delicacy made from flour, semolina, butter and sugar.
Karmai is the Sikh engagement ceremony. The groom is given gifts by the brides male family members and fed Saggan in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.
Generally, the bride’s family will gift the groom the following:
- Gold kara (or whatever other gift they opt to give the boy)
- Large amount of ladoo, which could be displayed in a box, tray or basket
- Small box of ladoo – to feed the boy during the kurmai
- Baskets of fruit in an odd number (3 or 5)
- Dry fruit made of an odd number of ingredients (5, 7 or 9) including almonds, raisins, mishri (crystallised sugar lumps), cardamom, cashew nuts, coconut flakes or dates.