Rehat Maryada

Why does the groom walk in front during the Anand Karaj?

Marriage is a union of equals in Gurmat and there’s no doubt about that. As per tradition, the husband walks in front during the laavan. If they were to walk side by side, then one would be farther away from Guru Sahib. If they alternated between front and back, then one of them would have to start at the front first and the so-called inequality would continue. Equality is in the understanding. If the couple understands that they are both equal before Guru Sahib, then these sort of things don’t matter. If they don’t understand, then they can take whatever physical positions they want but it also doesn’t matter.

In any case, the woman is the one holding the palla. She controls the speed and pace of the male.