Getting married in the Amish community may seem entirely foreign if you are unfamiliar with how the Amish work and live in their day-to-day lives.
When an individual in the Amish community chooses to get married, there are a few guidelines to live and abide by in order to maintain the current standards set in place.
Most of the rules of an Amish marriage involve embracing tradition and religious philosophy with a lifelong partner.
What is an Amish wedding?
Amish weddings are quite similar to traditional weddings, with plenty of guests and delicious food to indulge in.
Amish weddings may take place in a home or in a designated area of worship that is favored by their local community.
With most Amish weddings, the event is an entire day long and includes the exchange of vows towards the end of the ceremony, rather than at the beginning.
Those in the Amish community do not exchange or wear rings, as jewelry is not typically worn by any women in the Amish community.
The Amish believe that the wearing and showing of jewelry demonstrates pride, which is a practice the Amish are vehemently against.
When do Amish weddings take place?
The dates and times for Amish weddings will vary based on the location of the Amish settlement.
In some areas, such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, most Amish weddings are typically held during autumn or harvest festivals.
If there is a larger settlement of Amish members, weddings may be hosted year-round.
Religious beliefs in Amish marriage
Most members of the Amish community find harmony in their religion, which is typical of the Christian faith.
Within the Amish community, the use of dedicated churches and gathering spaces is prohibited.
Instead, individuals host religious gatherings in their own homes on various occasions.
Typically, those in the Amish communities are known as Anabaptist Christian, although there are various denominations found throughout, depending on the type of Amish community you are in.
The Amish reject pride and arrogance and instead place their highest values and virtue on humility, calmness, and in some cases, submission.
They are known to be more docile and accepting, rather than confrontational and/or threatening.
The Amish believe in living peacefully and in harmony with nature and the world around them.
In a typical Amish marriage, the wife will often defer to her husband, which aligns with many of the Anabaptist Christian denominations.
While a wife in an Amish marriage will defer to her husband, this does not mean that she does not have a voice.
Similar to in the bible, a wife in the household has just as much of a voice as her husband, only they typically serve different roles.
Becoming one with nature
The Amish community is typically located in rural or remote areas that are surrounded by farmland.
Those in the community are intent on becoming one with nature and the world around them, providing for animals in exchange for the goods the animals produce.
In addition to a give and take approach when it comes to nature, the Amish also believe in caring for animals and the surrounding land they live on and inhabit.
They believe in giving back to nature as much as possible.
Once an Amish couple is married, the wife may remain at home, helping with farm work and childbearing, depending on the couple’s position and desires.
The wife of an Amish man may also be expected to help handle the foraging, preparation, and cooking of all food that has been gathered, harvested, and hunted on the land.
Embracing traditional roles
The Amish are known for embracing traditional roles and do not steer clear of any opportunity to do so in their work and personal lives.
Once an Amish couple is married, it is not uncommon for men to begin seeking work outside of the home or even venturing into new prospects and ventures while their wife maintains the homestead.
Once married, an Amish wife is more likely to find herself taking care of children, maintaining the home, and managing household chores such as cooking, cleaning, and hosting.
Even in Amish marriages, however, Amish women play a pivotal role in making community-wide decisions and helping to create the community they want their children to grow and thrive in.
The use of technology
Most Amish do not use any form of modern-day technology, especially if they are committed to their way of life.
However, there are some Amish, such as Mennonites, that are welcoming of some technology, depending on their personal beliefs and the beliefs of their surrounding community.
Most of the physical work and labor that is done in the Amish community is done by hand and by various pulley systems and solutions that are also built by hand.
Rather than using machinery, the Amish typically turn to one another, as well as any farm animals they have available.
Rules for dress, clothing, and appearance
The Amish sew and create almost all of their own clothing.
The women of the Amish communities are typically responsible for creating the clothing for not only other women but also men and children.
Men who are in the Amish community are expected to appear well-dressed with proper suits, black hats, and darker colors. Undershirts are common as well as suspenders.
Women in Amish communities are required to wear floor-length dresses, aprons, as well as other garments such as capes.
Bonnets are also required of Amish women in traditional Amish communities.
The wearing of bonnets among Amish women signifies submission to both their husbands as well as God, which is why you will not see an Amish woman in public without one.
Once an Amish couple is married, their dress code remains the same, both in and outside of the home.
Education in the Amish community
If you are Amish, your education will be quite different from that outside of the Amish community.
Most education taught and acquired within the Amish communities is done via homeschooling and is self-taught.
Many women who marry men in the Amish communities not only become homemakers but often become teachers, helping to teach their own children as well as other children in the community.
Work and crafting
After getting married in the Amish community, the husband in the relationship will likely remain at his workplace or begin seeking work outside of the home and, in some cases, even away from the community itself.
This typically happens in hopes of generating a larger income in preparation for having children and expanding one’s family.
Once married, the wife in an Amish marriage will likely become the home’s main caretaker.
She will be responsible for cooking, cleaning, and maintaining the home as well as other areas of her and her partner’s new life together.
From planning gatherings to helping her husband make major life decisions, the Amish wife is not entirely subservient.
A wife in the Amish community can become a dressmaker, a homemaker, a teacher, a voting church member, and in some cases, even a business partner.
Wives in Amish communities may help to craft toys, dolls, clothing, foods, and gifts for others that can be exchanged or sold to help contribute to the household.
Childbearing and childrearing
After getting married and finalizing nuptials, Amish couples may begin to immediately try to conceive children, as long as both parties are ready for the commitment and are on the same page.
While women do have a say in their marriage and are not required to do anything against their will, most Amish women will defer to their husbands when it comes to major life and financial decisions, including the possibility of starting a family.
Most Amish couples will know where they stand about starting a family prior to getting married, as many Amish couples today do not participate in arranged marriages and are provided more freedom and flexibility when choosing a potential partner.
Financial contributions and limitations
In Amish marriages, the husband is more often than not the sole provider and breadwinner, generating the household’s majority income.
Although it is possible for a wife of an Amish man to work and generate an income of her own, this is not the standard unless the wife is already a business owner or has an income of her own prior to the marriage.
Once the husband and wife are married, the couple will begin living the married life as the woman assumes the household duties and roles at home, while the husband becomes the sole provider.
In the past, it was much more difficult for a woman to contribute in a financial way other than assisting with farm work.
Today, more Amish communities are open to the prospect of women business owners, business partners, and entrepreneurs.
Depending on the couple, the husband in an Amish marriage may prefer that his wife work at home and that he provides everything for her.
This is typically discussed before a couple gets married and decides to commit to one another for the rest of their lives.
Community decision-making limits
In today’s Amish world, women are granted many more rights and freedoms.
Not only can women start their own business ventures or partner up with other members of Amish communities, but they can also have voting rights in their local community.
Unfortunately, however, there are often still limitations when it comes to becoming a leader of any church or religious organization for women in the Amish communities, as these positions and roles are reserved strictly for men.
Currently, it is not possible for most Amish women to become preachers, deacons, or bishops in any large Amish settlement known in modern times today.
Seeking the husband’s approval
Throughout the Amish community, it is known that most couples assume traditional roles that align with their own religious and philosophical beliefs.
Many of the traditional roles that make up the Amish community require wives to seek the approval of their husbands before making household or life decisions.
Today, this rule has become much more relaxed, as women are not required to ask permission for basic necessities and rights.
However, many women of the Amish community prefer taking on a subservient role and do so as it is part of their very own religious belief systems.
In a modern Amish home, it is still common to see the wife of an Amish husband ask for advice or ask for permission before spending a large amount of money.
The wives of Amish men typically understand their positions in the home (if they choose to remain at home) and enjoy the balance of having another voice in their decision-making.
Understanding how Amish marriages work and how Amish couples live can provide valuable insight into the rules and expectations of Amish marriages today.