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I have been to many weddings where the chassan and kallah hold hands after the chupah on their way to the yichud room. It seems like a widespread (minhag?) thing that everyone does, even by couples that would never be seen touching in public afterwards. This lead me to my question if his is a minhag? Is this discussed anywhere?

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I know of a custom not to, so as not to embarrass a bride who is a Niddah. – Seth J Jan 15 '13 at 22:19
These days anything at a wedding becomes an official minhag. – Double AA Jan 16 '13 at 1:05

Nitei Gavriel Nisuin1 37 mentions this in the name of Shaalos U'Teshuvos Pri Haadama 3:10, Shaar Hamifakaid Kidushin 16b 12, Klilas Chasanim 10:4, Shulchan HaEzer 67:3. However he mentions that many Gedolim oppose this Minhag based on the Biur Hagra 25:1.

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Just FTR, that Biur Hagra is just one quoting older midrashim about the importance of being extra tzanua in general, not anything explicit about this custom. Invoking his name here is a little disingenuous IMHO. – Double AA Jan 16 '13 at 17:58
@DoubleAA, invoking his name here is fine if that's what the Nit'e Gavriel says. – msh210 Jan 18 '13 at 2:58
@msh210 It wasn't a complaint against our trusty green-gravatared transcriber, nor have I downvoted this post. – Double AA Jan 18 '13 at 3:00
@DoubleAA, the Nit'e Gavriel's invoking his name is fine if that's what the "many Gedolim" say. – msh210 Jan 18 '13 at 3:12
@msh210 Absolutely! If the "many Gedolim" base their entirely stated claim (אכן דעת כמה גדולי דורנו עקב פרצת הדורות להנהיג שהחתן רק ילך עם הכלה וא״צ לאחזה ידו, שעיקר הקנין הוא ע״י שהולך עמה, וכמ״ש בביאור הגר״א סי׳ כ״ה סק״א.) on solely that Beiur HaGra, then there is absolutely nothing disingenuous about the Nit'ei Gavriel's ascribing that to them. – Double AA Jan 18 '13 at 5:58

The work Edus L'Avraham Sherusa DeTzelusa (which collects customs on weddings, brises, and the like) says "the proper custom is arm-in-arm. Holding hands is for those too meek." Note that this volume leans towards Hassidic customs.

(Personally I certainly understand those concerned about making it clear whether or not the bride is a nidah.)

I'd asked Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz about holding hands, he didn't sound crazy about it and said "eh it's a Chassidish custom." Though, may I note, his own son and his bride did hold hands at their wedding a few years later.

Update: Rabbi Hershel Schachter also notes it was common practice in Eastern Europe to hold hands or arms, and some invoked a creatively-literal reading of the verse "should a man take a woman ..." (H/t).

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I've heard that it is in large due to this custom that many Chassidish communities uses hormonal drugs to prevents "chupas niddah". – Michoel Jan 16 '13 at 2:52
@Michoel I imagine there are other stronger reasons to avoid chupas niddah than this. – Double AA Jan 16 '13 at 4:22
@DoubleAA Perhaps, but reason and incentive are not the same and not holding hands would be very noticeable and embarrassing (as opposed to slipping on the ring without touching her, not handing her the Kesuba, Yichud room etc.) and the Halachic reasons not necessarily require such measures. – Michoel Jan 16 '13 at 4:26
By now, this minhag has become so essential that some will do it even by a chuppas niddah! My Rov has seen it by chassidishe weddings. – Adám Dec 25 '13 at 15:43
@NBZ That is ridiculous. If your Rov approved that you should get a new Rov. – Double AA Mar 24 '14 at 16:44

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