At a wedding recently I saw that the grooms shoes were untied, someone explained to me that there is a custom to make sure there are no knots under the chuppah. Where does this come from?
According to this article:
Before the chuppah all the knots on the groom's garments are untied. This symbolizes that at the moment of marriage all other bonds are eliminated, except this intimate one made between the bride and groom.
Apparently, this may be a Hassidic custom? I haven't seen any weddings where I have seen this done. Then, again, I assume that the chattan has done this prior to walking down the aisle, and I'm not exactly looking at the chattan's pants or shoes. A number of chattanim, including myself, wore slip-ons. I think one wore crocks (a bit weird, I guess, but, there was probably a med reason for that.)
So, according to this view, the chattan, who often davens under the chuppah, can't wear a gartel???
According to this shuir(starting at 16:30) from Rav Shachter, quoting Rav Soleveitchik, this is not a minhag based on anything (minhag shtus).
As DanF cited, there appears to be a Hassidic custom about "no bonds are as strong as this one." I don't know the source on that, but here's a theory.
There's a slightly more prevalent custom for the chasan to remove any jewelry he's wearing before going under the chupa. This could easily be explained by the nuts-and-bolts halacha that the kiddushin would be voided if based on a false premise. If she thought "I'm only marrying him because he's rich [see, he's covered in bling]", or "wow, he's giving me that ring plus all that bling he's wearing!"], we could have halachic issues.
Thus my guess is the practice went from:
- "Make clear if you're wearing bling that she knows what you're really worth, and what you're actually giving her"
- Take off the bling.
- He and she should take off the bling. Or anything blingy. Eh, even cufflinks or chains.
- Just untie everything.
- Oh, what a beautiful custom! We do it to show that no bond is stronger than marriage!
(Someone who had the no-jewelry custom had asked the German-born Rabbi Shimon Schwab, proper gentleman that he was, about removing his cufflinks under the chupah. What, and look like a shlepper?! Of course not! [Then again, in that culture, the bride would never have a remote dream that he'd be caught removing his cufflinks in public to give her.])