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I'd seen a book on wedding practices and customs that said if desired in appropriate cases, a memorial prayer ("El/Kel Malei Rachamim") could be said under the chuppah, e.g. a bride/groom who lost a parent fairly young, and would like to have their memory honored (assuming it's not too painful).

This book tended towards Hassidic customs, so I don't know if this custom is limited to the Hassidic world; I haven't seen it at any weddings, but that doesn't prove anything. Has anyone else heard of or seen this practice? (Or a Sefardi Azkara for that matter, I suppose?)

2

It is a custom among German jews when the Chatan or kalla have lost a parent when they were single. I have officiated at at least two weddings where such was the case. It can be quite jarring if you aren't expecting it, so we explained the Minhag and the circumstances, and it was found to quite appropriate and moving. After all, we break a glass to temper the joy in the absence of the beit hamikdash, so this is not too dissimilar

  • Welcome to MY! Around here we try to add sources to our posts. Hope to see you around! – DonielF Apr 23 '17 at 21:39
  • @DonielF While more sources wouldn't hurt, firsthand observation of a the practice among German Jews makes for a fine source. – mevaqesh Apr 23 '17 at 21:40
  • I too wish to welcome you to the site Shmuel and thank you for your answer. Consider registering your account to best utilise the site's features. Hopefully you will continue to contribute in the future. – mevaqesh Apr 23 '17 at 21:41
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Never seen it done at any wedding.

3

Since the question presupposes sources and asks for anecdotal evidence, I can bring that from my father & master ZLLHH. He came home from a wedding once, and was shocked and mystified that Kel Male Rachamim was said aloud under the chuppah. He had never heard of the custom's existence, even though he had lost a parent while young and presumably someone could have brought it to his attention.

2

At the weddings I've been to, I see the chatan and kallah moving their lips, davening silently to Hashem, under the chuppah before they start making the berachot. Perhaps the sefer you saw was recommending that the chatan or kallah say the El Malei Rachamim silently at this time.

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