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I have noticed a custom among wedding-goers to receive blessings from the bride and the groom at weddings, usually when they come over to the new couple's table for well-wishing during the meal. Why is this done specifically at weddings? I have never seen such a custom elsewhere.

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You will notice the same behavior at a Brit Mila - especially by Sefardim and sometimes by Chassidim - where the Sandek does not get off his chair until he has given an individual Bracha to all those lined up for one. –  Danny Schoemann Jun 1 at 8:01

2 Answers 2

I suspect (but have no source for claiming) that it may be a corruption of one of these traditions, cited in Nit'e Gavriel (Nisuin volume 1):

  • When the groom is beneath the wedding canopy is an es ratzon, time of willingness, when God grants his prayers. (Chapter 18, footnote 13.)
  • It was customary that, during the wedding meal, the master of ceremonies would recite a "mi sheberach" prayer, asking for God's blessings upon all those present. (Chapter 39, paragraph 21.)
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a corruption or an extension? Or am I misunderstanding the word here? –  Baby Seal May 20 at 2:27
    
"Extension" is a nicer way to think about it. :-) –  msh210 May 20 at 2:31

On their wedding night, God forgives the bride and groom for all their sins. Therefore, people go over to them to get a blessing, as you are getting a blessing from someone who has no sins (similar to someone going over to a Rabbi or Tzadik to ask for a blessing, and Tzadik Gozer V'Hakadosh Baruch Hu Mikayem (lit. A righteous man decrees and God fulfills)). Since the bride and groom (hopefully) have no sins yet (having just been forgiven), they fall under the category of Tzadik.

Similarly, the prayers of children are said to have the same effect, since children are pure and free of sin (until the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah).

Unfortunately, I don't know the sources off the top of my head and I don't have the time to look it up. If I happen to remember where it is (or someone else points it out), I'll edit it in later.

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thank you for this, looking forward to seeing sources when you have the time! –  Baby Seal May 28 at 3:38
    
ateret4u.com/online/f_01355_part_81.html[ומאחר שחתן מוחלין לו על כל עוונותיו, לכן נהגו בכמה מקומות לבקש ברכה מהחתן, אך יש ליזהר שהדבר לא יגרום להפרעת השמחה של החתן והכלה]. [חופה וקידושין עמוד צ] –  preferred May 28 at 8:16
    
leageva.co.il/…* סגולה נוספת למציאת זיווג הינה לשמח חתן וכלה , ועל הרווקה לבקש ברכה מהכלה , ועל הרווק לבקש ברכה מהחתן. טוב גם לשתות מהיין של החתן והכלה [מהקידוש] –  preferred May 28 at 8:19

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