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The sefer Pidyon HaBen KeHilchaso 8:37 brings two customs. One is as you described. The custom of starting the meal first and then performing the pidyon haben is brought by the Maharil, Shu"t Mahari Bruna § 121, Be'er HaGoleh 305:10, Migdal Oz 9:5, and Chochmas Adam 150:7, amongst others. The Mahari Bruna gives the following reason for the custom: If the ...

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