How Do You Know if an Amish Woman is Married?
The Amish are known for their modesty, simplicity, and discouragement of fancy accessories, so how do you know if an Amish woman is married?
An excellent question that has an intriguing answer.
Because the Amish do not wear personal jewelry, you can’t simply look to see if an Amish woman is wearing a wedding ring.
But, there are some obvious giveaways so you know how to tell if an Amish woman is married.
So let’s delve into some of the ways you can answer the question “how do you know if an Amish woman is married?”
What this article covers:
- Amish Marriage Rules
- What Do Amish Bonnets Signify?
- Amish Wedding Traditions
- So How Do You Know if an Amish Woman Is Married?
Amish Marriage Rules
Marriage is of utmost importance to the Amish. They have strong family values and will have have many children.
With that in mind, just like the rest of us, both Amish men and women want to make sure they find the perfect partner. On top of wanting a great relationship, this is also because Amish divorce isn’t an option if things don't pan out.
So what makes Amish marriages successful and how do you know if an Amish woman is married?
Roles of Women
Once a couple ties the knot, there are certain duties and responsibilities that each person takes on. Because the Amish have traditional gender roles, each task is clearly defined.
Amish boys begin dating around age 16 and girls at age 14-15 years old. The usual Amish age of marriage is around 20-22 years.
Courtship is an important part of Amish culture. Although there's not a specific length of time that a couple will court for, couples date much like couples in the 1940s and 1950s.
They go on several dates where they talk and get to know each other well.
Amish people meet at social events, such as church lunches and Sunday night singing. These Amish dating practices make sure that young people have plenty of time to get to know each other.
How Many Wives Can an Amish Man Have?
The Amish are monogamous so will only have one spouse.
Can Amish Date Outsiders?
No, Amish only ever marry other Amish people.
The strictest communities permit marriage within their community, while the more progressive communities sometimes allow marriage between communities. But only if they are both parts of the same denomination.
One exception may be during rumspringa. This time in a youth's life is when dating begins, and the usual rules of the community (known as Ordnung) are relaxed.
A teen may date someone from outside of the community during this time. However, it's a rare occurrence.
At the end of rumspringa, the teen chooses to get baptized and join the church or leave the community. If they leave, they are at risk of being shunned by the community. Most often, they join the church because shunning is a painful and unpleasant process.
Are Amish Marriages Arranged?
Nope, Amish marriages are not arranged. Although it may be obvious when a couple gets serious, their engagement is usually kept a secret for a few months.
Both parties have an equal say in the marriage. The goal is to only get married once. Don’t believe any myths you may hear about Amish polygamy.
How Can You Tell if an Amish Woman Is Married?
You can tell if an Amish woman is married by looking at her bonnet. But before we dive into the different types of bonnets, let’s first understand what they mean.
What Do Amish Bonnets Signify?
The Amish are renowned for their simple approach to living and plain dress. They don’t encourage vanity and don't bring attention to the body in any way.
They value practicality and modesty over material possessions. High fashion is unheard of.
With that in mind, you might be able to spot an Amish woman if she’s wearing a long plain dress that covers her arms and legs and a white apron on top of it.
Plus, she'll be wearing a bonnet made from silk, which is also referred to as a head covering or prayer covering.
So why do they wear these bonnets, and what do the different styles and colors mean?
Let’s have a look in closer detail.
Symbol of Modesty
The Amish way of life centres around the bible and its teachings. Their bonnets are no exception.
The bonnets are written into the passages of the bible and show submission to the creator and separation from the rest of society.
A woman must cover her head at all times, especially during prayers. Even at home, she'll wear a bandana to cover her head, replacing her bonnet to avoid spoiling it.
Interestingly, the opposite applies to men. According to the Amish culture, men represent the image and glory of God which is why their heads remain uncovered.
Know Who Is “Off-the-Market”
You can never underestimate the importance of knowing whether or not someone is in a committed relationship.
In English communities, we’re accustomed to taking a glance at someone’s finger to check for a ring. But, because Amish wedding rings don’t exist, you can simply look at a person's head covering to see.
But everyone wears bonnets! How is it possible to know who is taken and who isn't?
The secret is in the color.
Black and White Bonnets
An unmarried woman may be in the process of an Amish courtship, but until she gets hitched, she wears a black bonnet.
Once married, a woman will swap out her old black bonnet for a fresh white one.
Different Styles Of Bonnets
Each group of Amish has slightly different bonnet styles. Here are a few examples.
- The Old Order Amish are by far the largest group of Amish people, so make up most of the Amish population. For that reason, their bonnets are the most common.
- Bonnets worn by the New Order Amish have a different appearance and shape and are made from a different material.
- The Dan Amish/Andy Weaver Amish sport simpler bonnets that fit snugly on the head.
- Amongst some of the New Amish settlements, the pleats are less defined in comparison to the standard bonnets.
- The Swartzentruber Amish are usually referred to as one of the strictest groups of Amish. They wear the plainest clothes and therefore the plainest bonnets, too.
Bonnets for Church
If constantly wearing a bonnet isn't enough, married women have a second bonnet that they wear on top of the first one for church.
This is a larger black bonnet that fits neatly over her smaller bonnet.
In the summer, this isn’t strictly observed by all Amish communities, to prevent any over-heated casualties.
How Can You Tell if an Amish Man Is Married?
After getting married, an Amish man grows his beard.
Being married is considered a symbol of masculinity and the beard helps to represent this.
Amish Wedding Traditions
Just like the rest of their lifestyles, Amish weddings are filled with unique traditions and customs. Let’s delve into some of the most important wedding traditions as well as reveal how you know if an Amish woman is married after the big day.
An Amish Engagement
An Amish couple may get engaged at any time of the year but remains a secret until July or August.
The man presents his bride-to-be with a practical gift. The official announcement is made by the bishop during a Sunday church service.
The couple doesn't attend this particular service and instead has an intimate family meal in the bride’s home.
Preparing for the Wedding
The bride's family immediately gets busy with preparations for the special day.
The groom busies himself by making personal invitations to the wedding. Don't underestimate this task; wedding guest lists can reach up to 600 people!
The Big Day
With anywhere up to 600 guests attending, an Amish wedding is no small event.
From early in the morning, the bride's family will be hard at work preparing food and last-minute decorations.
Starting around 9 am, the guests will gather in the bride's home where the wedding will take place.
Similar to a typical church service, the bishop begins his sermon. At the end, he'll ask the couples to join him and exchange their vows. After he gives his blessing, the happy couple is officially married.
Following the wedding ceremony comes the wedding reception. Guests will stay to enjoy two meals - lunch and dinner.
Traditional Amish wedding food includes chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and creamed celery, followed by an array of sweet treats.
After the Wedding
In line with Amish values, the newlyweds don't rush away to spend 2 weeks in the south of Italy away from their families.
They remain true to their family-oriented lifestyle and stay to help clear up the following day.
They spend the first few months living with the bride's parents.
How do you know if an Amish woman is married? As mentioned, it's easy to know how to tell by the color of her bonnet.
So How Do You Know if an Amish Woman Is Married?
Although married Amish women don’t wear diamond engagement rings or gold wedding rings, there are simple ways you can tell if she is married.
How do you know if an Amish woman is married?
The answer is simple: she changes the color of her bonnet.
We can all learn something from the Amish dedication to their families and their simple approach to life.
Items such as under bed baskets and bicycle baskets can help keep your home and life organized, adding an Amish feel to your home. Even this large wicker dog bed will bring simplicity to your dog’s life!
Did You Find Our Blog Helpful? Then Consider Checking:
- Amish Marriage Rules
- Amish Dating Rules
- Traditional Amish Wedding Dress
- Are Amish Marriages Arranged
- Amish Wedding Dinner
- How to Tell If an Amish Man Is Married
- Amish Rules for Women
- Amish Bedroom Ritual
- Amish Ordnung
- Amish Bedroom Rules
- Amish Rituals
- Amish Shunning Rules
- Amish Sunday Rules
- Amish Traditions
- Amish Rules