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what age do amish get married

What Age Do the Amish Get Married?

The Amish are known for their strict adherence to rules and traditions that are based on faith, community, and family values. This includes their beliefs around marriage—which is taken very seriously in the Amish culture.

In the eyes of the Amish, marriage is a lifelong commitment and a cornerstone of the Amish faith. It’s regarded as a holy covenant, which is ordained by God. Therefore, it’s taken seriously and thoughtfully by the Amish community.

But at what age do the Amish get married? This article explores the Amish beliefs and traditions surrounding marriage, as well as the age at which an Amish person typically gets married.

What this article covers:

Amish Wedding Traditions

amish marriage age

Before we look at the age at which Amish people wed, it’s important to understand some of the traditions and customs that are involved in an Amish wedding.

First, it's worth noting that all the Amish marriage rules, Amish courtship customs, and even the Amish wedding ceremony itself are governed by strict guidelines prescribed by the Ordnung.

The Ordnung is an unwritten set of rules, beliefs, and values that govern all aspects of life in an Amish community—which includes marriage. These rules can vary slightly from one community to another, but they typically forbid displays of material wealth and limit the use of modern technology in an Amish wedding.

We can't talk about the Amish wedding traditions and fail to mention the Amish dating rules. Dating is an important part of marriage for the Amish, and it is typically kept to within the community.

Amish couples are allowed to spend time together in a supervised setting (known as 'bundling'), but they aren’t permitted to be alone—and certainly not in a romantic setting. This helps preserve the traditional values of modesty and chastity among the Amish.

During bundling, the couple is typically separated by a thin blanket. This limits physical contact, but it also allows the couple to talk and get to know each other better. The aim of Amish courtship is to get to know each other and decide if they are compatible for marriage.

Do Amish arranged marriages? Well, this is a question that’s often asked in relation to the Amish. The answer is no. The Amish believe that marriage is a divine covenant between two people, and therefore it should only happen when both individuals are in agreement.

Amish men and women are at liberty to choose their own partners. This means that Amish couples aren’t forced into marriage against their will, as is sometimes the case in other cultures.

What Age Does Amish Dating Begin?

at what age do amish get married

Now that you know dating is an integral part of Amish marriage, it is important to understand when the courting process begins.

In most cases, Amish couples begin courting (dating) by their late teens or early twenties. At this stage, they’re allowed to spend time together in a supervised setting—such as at church or family gatherings.

It’s worth noting that the Amish don’t follow a particular timeline when it comes to courtship. Every couple moves at their own pace, and there’s no set time frame for when they should decide to get married.

At around 16, young Amish men and women are allowed to find prospective dates. They socialize at church gatherings, home visits, and other events that are attended by their family and friends.

Sunday night singing is one of the most popular events for Amish couples to meet. At these gatherings, the young men and women get a chance to interact with each other in a supervised setting.

During song and dance, boys and girls face each other in two lines and take turns singing hymns. Afterwards, baked goods and light refreshments are served.

They sing and dance until ten o'clock, at which point the teens are expected to go home. If a boy is interested in a girl, he offers her a ride home in his buggy, and the courtship process begins.

As they mingle, the young Amish men and women are expected to observe certain codes of conduct. They aren’t allowed to touch each other, exchange gifts or letters, or flirt in any way that could be considered inappropriate. They should abide by the rules of modesty, respect for elders, and discipline.

While common dates involve movie nights and dinners, the Amish keep things a bit more conservative. Instead of going out for a night on the town, they typically spend their courtship time visiting each other's homes or attending church services together. Buggy rides form an important part of Amish courtship. You will find many Amish couples riding in their buggies around town, often on the way to visit family or friends.

Dates also involve going to family gatherings, attending church services, or taking a stroll in the park. There are no rules that dictate what an Amish date should look like, so it is up to the couple to decide what works best for them. However, they must always observe the traditional values of modesty and chastity.

At What Age do the Amish Get Married?

amish age of marriage

Now that we have explored the Amish courtship process let's look at when the Amish get married. As we have discussed, Amish couples are more than free to choose their own partners and marry whenever they feel it’s the right time.

That being said, most Amish couples tend to marry between the ages of 20 and 22. This age range is considered to be the most appropriate for marriage because it allows time for the couple to get to know each other and decide if they are compatible. However, some couples choose to marry sooner than this, while others may wait a bit longer.

In the end, it’s up to the couple to decide when they are ready to take the plunge and tie the knot. They also have to take into consideration their families and the expectations of their community.

In some cases, Amish couples may not get married until they are in their thirties or even older. This can happen if a couple decides to wait for personal reasons, or one of them is shunned by their community for some reason.

Does Maturity Have Anything to Do With it?

Maturity is an important factor when it comes to the Amish marriage process. Before a couple can get married, they must demonstrate that they are mature enough to handle the responsibilities of marriage.

The elders in the church usually evaluate the couple and determine if they’re ready to enter into such a commitment. This process usually takes some time, and couples must prove that they are able to support each other financially, physically, and emotionally.

If the couple can demonstrate that they’re mature enough to handle the responsibilities of marriage, then they’ll be allowed to get married.

Amish Engagement

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Amish engagement is a purely private affair. Unlike many other cultures, the couple does not have a lavish engagement ceremony or party. Instead, they share their intent to marry their families and peers.

However, an engaged couple must wait until July or August to announce the news to the family. The family then has to wait until October church services to announce the news publicly. Amish couples are not allowed to participate in pre-marriage counseling or any kind of wedding planning until after the wedding has been announced.

It’s worth noting that families of engaged couples plant large quantities of celery, which is used in a variety of Amish wedding dishes. It’s also used to decorate the church for the wedding day.

The Amish Wedding Ceremony

The Amish wedding ceremony is a very special and sacred event. It usually takes place Tuesdays or Thursdays in November and December. For communities using the Agrarian Calendar, weddings take place in Spring or Summer.

But why Tuesdays and Thursdays?

Well, planning a wedding is a lot of work and these days are seen as having the least amount of distractions. They’ll have Monday to prepare and Friday to clean up, which gives them more time to focus on the wedding. They avoid planning weddings on Saturdays because it would mean Sunday would be used as a cleanup day, which to them is sacrilegious.

The Amish bride is responsible for making her wedding dress and that of her bridesmaid, popularly known as newehockers. Wedding dresses must be made from solid colors; no pattern or lace are allowed. They are light blue and purple in color and usually long.

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Just like Amish under bed storage baskets or bicycle front baskets, wedding dresses must be handmade using materials readily available in the community such as linen, cotton, and wool.

what age do the amish get married

The groom’s attire is usually a white shirt and black pants. Modesty is also strongly emphasized. Therefore, the groom can't wear bright colors or flashy jewelry.

The ceremony in itself is a simple. It starts at around 8:30 and takes 3-4 hours. The Bishop calls the couple aside as the congregation sing songs. During the meeting with the bishop, they’re briefed about marriage, what it means to be married and the duties of a husband and wife. They’re given counsel and advice to help them in their marriage. The bishop speaks blessings on the couple and sometimes gives them a bible as a symbol of their union.

After that, they take their vows in front of the congregation. The woman vows to be faithful and to submit to the man, while the man vows to love, honor, and protect the woman.

There are no Amish wedding rings. Rings and any form of jewelry are considered too flashy and a sign of vanity. But how do you know if an Amish woman is married? Well, married women wear white bonnets that cover the front and sides of their head. They also wear their wedding dresses during Sunday services.

Are Amish Weddings Large?

The Amish wedding is huge, with 200-500 people attending. The groom's and bride's friends are responsible for ensuring the guests and their horses are well taken care of. Guests typically take two meals after the wedding: supper and dinner.

The Amish wedding food include a plethora of Pennsylvania Dutch recipes roast or “Amish Casserole”, creamed celery, mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken-pie, cole slaw, hot rolls with butter, applesauce and various kinds of pickles.

After the Wedding

After a wedding, most couples around the world would take a honeymoon. However, for the Amish, this is not an option as they believe in leading simple and humble lives; that’s why there are no special trips or holidays after the wedding.

Rather than going on a honeymoon, newlyweds spend time with family and close friends helping clean up. They will live in the bride's parent's house after the wedding. They can live there for several months until they can build their own house.

Amish marriage is a lifelong commitment and they take it very seriously. Newlyweds are expected to be hardworking, humble, and devoted to each other. They have to work hard together in order to raise a family and build a future for themselves.

how to tell if an amish girl is married

Gender roles are strictly followed, with the husband being the head of the house and responsible for making major decisions. The wife takes care of the household duties, including cooking and cleaning. Young women are also taught skills such as baking, weaving, and sewing in preparation for marriage. This is because they’re responsible for making crafts like garden harvest baskets, Amish faceless dolls, wicker Easter baskets, and more.

what age do amish marry

Can Amish Date Outsiders?

Can an Amish person marry an outsider? Well, the Amish don't forbid their children from dating outsiders, especially if they aren't baptized yet. However, they typically encourage them to marry someone within their faith. Most Amish children are taught self-control at a young age and the importance of marriage with the same religious beliefs.

The Amish believe that if their children marry outside of the church, it will weaken their community and its core values. They also don't want their children to be influenced by outside cultures and beliefs.

average age for amish marriage

Divorce in the Amish Community

Amish divorce is one of the rarest occurrences in their community. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and couples are expected to stay together despite any issues that may arise.

The Amish usually don't resort to divorce as they believe in resolving their conflicts without outside help. They also rely heavily on forgiveness, patience, understanding, and self-control to make their marriages work. In cases of extreme circumstances, such as physical abuse or adultery, couples may be allowed to separate but are still not granted a divorce.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Amish community is an interesting one. They have their own unique customs and beliefs that separate them from other religions and cultures. When you look at their wedding rituals and practice of marriage, it is clear that they take the institution very seriously. Amish couples are expected to be hardworking, humble, and devoted to each other for a lifetime.

It's important to look at their culture and customs with respect in order to understand their way of life. Don't be fooled by the simplistic nature of their lifestyle; they have much to offer and teach us about the true value of marriage.

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