Common Questions on Amish Weddings and Marriage

married-couple

  1. At what age do Amish marry?
  2. Can Amish men have more than one wife?
  3. What’s an Amish wedding like?
  4. When are Amish weddings held?
  5. Do Amish wear wedding rings?
  6. Do Amish couples separate or divorce?
  7. Can Amish remarry after a spouse dies?
  8. Do all Amish marry?
  9. Do Amish husbands control their wives?

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At what age do Amish get married?

Compared to non-Amish Americans, Amish get married at a young age – usually in the early 20s, though some may marry later. As baptism is required to marry within the Amish church, joining the church may shortly precede marriage. Read more on typical Amish marriage age.

Can Amish men have more than one wife?

No. Polygamy has never been accepted by Amish or a part of Amish practice.

What’s an Amish wedding like?

older-husband-and-wife

Amish marry at a relatively young age, and do not sanction divorce.

Amish weddings involve a lot of people and a lot of food. The church service is nearly the same as the traditional Sunday service, with vows occurring at the end. Amish weddings are generally all-day affairs.

When do Amish weddings occur?

This varies across different communities. In Lancaster County, they are traditionally in autumn, when farmers have concluded the harvest (from October to December). In other large settlements such as Holmes County, Ohio, weddings are more likely to happen at different times of the year (year-round).

If premarital pregnancy is involved, a wedding may be move up or held out of season. More about Amish wedding season.

Do Amish wear wedding rings?

No. Amish do not wear jewelry, which they feel encourages pride and individualism.

Do Amish couples separate? What about divorce?

Separations can and do occur among Amish, though divorce is considered highly taboo, and would be grounds for excommunication from the church. Amish consider wedding vows to be binding for life, however they realize that marriages may need help to succeed.

amish-couple-in-carriage

For the Amish, marriage is a commitment for life

Can Amish remarry after a spouse dies?

Yes. In fact, this is fairly common. Amish re-marriages can result in some very large blended families. Read more on Amish remarriage, or about the family of John and Caroline Troyer, perhaps the largest Amish family ever.

Do all Amish marry?

No. Every Amish community of significant size contains a fair number of male and female singles. Single Amish people may live at home with parents or in a separate small home built on the home property. Single siblings of both sexes in some cases live together.

Do Amish husbands control their wives?

Amish women have varying degrees of autonomy. While the male is officially considered the head of household, in healthy Amish marriages the Amish wife’s voice is recognized as valued and essential to the functioning of the relationship and the home.

Amish women do often defer to or consult with their husbands on larger financial decisions. Amish men may ostensibly be the public head of the home, but in numerous Amish homes, women wield a lot of influence. Read more about Amish women’s rights.

More questions on the Amish? Get answers to 300+ questions in 41 categories at the FAQ main page.

References:

  • Scott, Stephen. The Amish Wedding: And Other Special Occasions Of The Old Order Communities. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1988.
  • Stevick, Richard A. Growing Up Amish: The Rumspringa Years. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.
  • Cong, Dachang. “Single Women in Amish Society.” Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: A Sociological Analysis. Zellner, William and Mark Petrowsky, eds. Praeger: Westport, CT, 1998.
  • 1001 Questions and Answers on the Christian Life. Aylmer, ON: Pathway Publishers, 1992.

To Cite this Page: Wesner, Erik J. “Marriage.” Amish America. Erik Wesner, 17 Feb. 2015. Web. [Date Accessed]. <http://amishamerica.com/marriage/>.

Image credits: Married Couple- cindy47452/flickr; couple in buggy- ShipshewanaIndiana