Posted: 06/10/2024

All About Amish Weddings

Amish weddings have many differences and similarities compared to the type of wedding most people know! Read all about Amish weddings in Lancaster, PA below.

A horse and buggy ride down a gorgeous Amish country back road. Photo Credit: / Brian Evans

Information on Amish weddings has been sourced from Amish Farm & House.

Marriage is extremely important to the Amish community—it's the catalyst for becoming an adult. To be married within the Amish community you must be baptized in the church, and non-Amish are therefore not able to marry within this unique community.

The Amish wedding season in Lancaster County, PA begins in October and ends in March, since farm work is scarce during these months. Weddings are typically held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and take place at the bride's family's house. Anywhere from 400-600 guests can be expected to be in attendance, and often a temporary structure is built to accommodate everyone. The weddings often last the whole day, starting at 8am and concluding late at night.

Amish weddings consist of two elements: the church service and the ceremony. The church service is meant for church members only. The ceremony is open to non-Amish; this is when the couple says their vows, which are similar to standard English (non-Amish) wedding vows.

Amish brides wear long-sleeved dresses with a white apron, which are very similar in style to the dresses worn during their teenage years. Traditionally, dresses are purple or blue, but today's brides may choose to wear any color. The bride's attendants and sisters all wear the same color. Men wear their Sunday best: black pants and jackets with a white dress shirt. Once married, the Amish man will start to grow his beard, which stays for his whole life.

Food is a large component of the wedding day. A traditional Amish wedding meal consists of a chicken and stuffing casserole, mashed potatoes, creamed celery, and more. There is the big meal at noon, and a dinner is served at the end of the day. Typically guests eat in shifts, with the newlyweds and their families eating first.

There are several key differences to note between Amish and English weddings. There is no dancing at an Amish wedding, but the afternoon is full of socializing, singing, and games. Volleyball is very popular among the Amish, and nets are set up in the large yards for all to play. There is also no kiss at the altar, which is standard in English weddings, nor is there any photography of the wedding.

Similarities include a large dinner, which we know as the reception, as well as the vows the couple says to one another at the ceremony.