Amish Wedding Meal Logistics: 600 lbs of Chicken, 400 lbs of Potatoes, 64 Pies

What does it take to feed 1,000 wedding guests? Lovina Eicher shares just that in her recent column:

Neighbor Laura and I were head cooks, so our job was to make sure we had all the ingredients there to feed about 1,000 people. Six hundred pounds of chicken were grilled by Menno’s uncle. They started at 3:30 a.m. Four hundred pounds of potatoes were bought.

The wedding wagon came with plate settings for 360, but there was only room for 260 plate settings. We needed to save room in the building for heaters and a place to fill the serving bowls of food, which we would have done outside in warm weather.

Laura and I were there Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before the Friday wedding. Cooks came on Wednesday and Thursday to help prepare food and do jobs that could be done before the wedding day.

Sixty-four pies were baked, the chicken cut up and washed, 30 loaves of bread toasted for dressing, pudding prepared for peanut butter pie and dirt pudding, vegetables diced and shredded, plus so many more jobs completed.

The menu consisted of chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, noodles, mixed vegetables, lettuce salad, cheese, dinner rolls, fruit topped with Danish dessert, angel food cake, dirt pudding, cherry, pecan and peanut butter pies, and candy bars. Ice cream was added to the menu for the evening meal.

Lovina deserves a gold star or the Amish equivalent. But community efforts like this are the norm for the Amish. The wedding was for Lovina’s niece Emma, who married the Menno mentioned above. Lovina’s daughters and sons served as table waiters, cooks, and other roles. They will likely each have their turns on their own wedding days someday.

It’s been neat to read Lovina’s accounts of the ins and outs of Amish weddings in her columns this autumn. If you missed them, Lovina also shared a look at the Amish wedding wagon and Amish bridal clothing.

Photo: Ricardo Motti/flickr

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    9 Comments

    1. kim hansen

      Lovina's column

      I get it every week and enjoy it.

      1. It’s a nice window into an Amish family’s day-to-day lives. I do like when she goes into more depth about things like lately with the wedding or other Amish customs and events. In theory I like the recipes as well, but not much of a cook myself.

    2. Steve B

      Wedding Blessing

      I’ve said this before, but I know of no other community who could accomplish these logistics. This wonderful gathering for a wedding celebration and meal are simply beyond the capabilities of those of us outside of your community.
      What a wedding gift to have been blessed with so many caring family members and friends willing to dedicate their time and effort to prepare for such a happy occasion.

      Steve

      1. KimH

        they do

        Other communities in the South and out West do it all the time… My Grandparents community which is a country community do them all the time.

        The Amish arent the only ones who manage to host these sorts of events. Its just a matter of what you’ve been raised to learn/trained how to do.
        It always makes me shake my head when I read people saying how the Amish are the only communities to be able to do something..

        Have you ever heard of Event planners or caterers? They also do this sort of thing on an ongoing basis.

        1. Steve B

          Kim, I may have misspoken. But at what expense to the families? My niece’s family spend in excess of $12.000 for an after ceremony gathering and meal for less than 80 people. It was in a nice quaint resort area, but nothing extraordinary. Sure it can be done. If the families can afford it. I would much rather have give the newly weds, say, &10,000 towards the purchase of land or a down payment on a house. If your community still shares of kindness towards each other, you’re truly blessed. But I dare say most communities do not.

      2. Helen

        A Wedding to Rival an Amish One

        There is at least one other group to rival the Amish in throwing a wedding, and that is among Hasidic Jews.
        Last year or so a wedding took place between the grandchildren of two revered scholars and teachers. The event was so large that they took over an entire sports arena in metropolitan NYC. Flame throwers were used to clean the large ovens so that they would be considered Kosher and could be used to cook the food. Because food has to be certified as Kosher and unblemished, each article being cooked had to be inspected by a special Rabbi and then only Jewish people would be allowed to prepare the food. Several thousand people attended this event.

    3. Jeffrey C Masters

      I had never seen so many stoves set up in one place. I think there were at least ten or twelve. What a wonderful day with such wonderful friends. Memories to last a life time. Spent a lot of time catching up with old friends, and spent the rest making new ones. We were privileged to attend the wedding ceremony, and much of the church service, though I couldn’t tell which was which. I would have never known when they were married, except one of our braver friends leaned over and whispered, they are married now. I count my Amish friends as some of my best, and I look forward to attending the wedding of all the children. Good people for sure. Not perfect, but good people none the less.

      1. Sounds like a wonderful time Jeffrey. 10-12 stoves is a lot of cooking going on. Was this in one of the larger communities?

    4. Amish attending English Wedding

      I’ve so enjoyed this article and wanted to share a “reverse” Amish wedding story.
      When my son got married (we are English, not Amish) our dear friends, Ben and Esther and 2 sons, Alvin and Eli attended his wedding. My son was dressed in this very nice rented tux and looked sharp as a tack. After dinner and during the ‘apron dance’ after about half the guest had danced with the bride and groom, Alvin and Eli ran onto the dance floor, grabbed my son and carried him outside and threw him over a fence….in his rented tux. (chuckle) When I asked what in the world are they doing, Esther explained the Amish custom in Lancaster, PA was to throw the groom over the fence for good luck. My son was in stitches. He could not stop laughing. His bride was in shock but soon joined in on the fun. Tux made it thru as did our son but was told they had to visit Ben and Esther after the wedding to receive their gift, which is also an Amish custom.