Lovina’s Amish Kitchen: Wedding Prep For 1,000

How would you like to manage the shopping, food prep, and cleanup to feed 1,000+ people? Lovina Eicher is facing this task as she prepares for the upcoming wedding of her daugher Loretta, as she writes in her latest column. She will, of course, have some help:

Yesterday my three head cooks came, and we went through the recipes to see what all we need. It takes a lot of head work to come up with a grocery list for over 1,000 people. Now it’s time to go shopping. Do I ever have a list to get! I should’ve started sooner, but I’ll wait until after Saturday when the cooler will be here to get the groceries that have to stay cold.

She lays out some logistics as far as prep before the wedding:

The wedding cook wagon, cooler and dishes all come Friday afternoon. The tent will be set up next week. This is where the cooks can work to peel potatoes, mix dressing, etc. We have around 50 cooks, but I’m sure a few of them might not be able to come. There will be a lot of activity going on around here. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the cooks will each come for a day to help prepare whatever needs to be done such as bake bread, pies, etc.

Lovina also needs to sew her dress, apron and cape to be worn for the wedding. Another piece of the wedding puzzle is being completed by son-in-law-to-be Dustin, who is finishing up a pole barn which will serve as a venue for wedding-goers. “It looks like we will actually get done on time,” she writes.

Several years ago I wrote a post about a booklet I came across in an Amish bookstore: Das Hochzeit Büchlein: A Wedding Preparation Booklet.

This is produced by Lancaster County Amish to give advice and tips on prepping for a wedding of around 350 guests. So I guess Lovina would have to triple whatever is advised there, at least as far as food goes (I’m also not sure to what degree Amish in her Michigan community serve certain dishes such as celery at weddings; it’s traditional in Lancaster County but not so much in Holmes County). In that post I listed five of my favorite pieces of advice in that posts, including on crying babies, floor support, and English guests. There is a lot on food prep as well. Here is a sample page:

It seems to me a guide like this would come in especially handy, considering people don’t put on weddings every day. I’d imagine that the Amish grandmothers who have reached a certain age probably know a lot of this by heart. But for those first, or even second, or third, etc-timers, organizing an event like this for hundreds – not to mention one thousand as in Lovina’s case – is quite a row to hoe. Fortunately many hands make light or at least lighter work.

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    1. Amber Crawford


      What a wonderful endeavor this would be to participate in. I cant imagine the level of organization and skill this planning would take. Blessings to the ladies who can pull this together and make it happen.

    2. Jeffrey C Masters

      A lot of work

      We have been blessed to attend two weddings of the daughters of close friends. Their third daughter is marrying this November. Since we have a car, we stay quite busy the days leading up to the wedding, running errands, picking up guests, and always the last minute forgotten items! I love the organization of the day. So much symbolism in where everyone sits, what is served, what young people participate, and so on. Nothing is left to chance, and the couple always winds up married, so I think, the days are a success. I am already looking forward to November. It will be good to see our extended circle of friends from all over the US. If you ever get the chance, attend an Amish wedding. You will not forget the experience!!