Autumn is the heart of the traditional Amish wedding season in places like Lancaster County and other communities. Amish weddings draw large numbers of guests, and the Amish custom is to hold a day-long reception afterwards.
Amish wedding receptions are typically large, with hundreds of guests, and require a lot of food. In some Amish communities, the custom is to rent a “wedding wagon“, a mobile kitchen unit meant for bulk food prep, and also to set up wedding tents for accommodating large numbers of guests outdoors.
Like many other things, wedding preparations depend on shared knowledge taught by older generations. But there is also a guide, called Das Hochzeit Büchlein: A Wedding Preparation Booklet, which helps Amish families prepare for the big day. You may even have numbers exceeding 1,000 people, as Lovina Eicher described in her column, so being organized is essential.
Changing Amish Wedding Schedule
According to Steven Nolt, over 70% of Amish weddings take place in November in that settlement. This reflects the typical farmer’s schedule, with time opening up post-harvest. This is the “traditional Amish wedding season”.
In other places with a relatively greater decline in farming, like Holmes County, Ohio, the wedding schedule has become more flexible. In that community, warmer months hosting more weddings, in particular May.
Aerial Amish Wedding Reception
As this is still the peak “Amish wedding month” in some places, I wanted to share a few videos with you. This first one is an original to me. I’ve seen aerial videos of Amish events before, like auctions most commonly, but never a wedding reception. The person (from the Amish Dash Cam YouTube channel) who filmed this writes:
A friend asked me to get some aerial pictures of his brother’s wedding reception. I got there just as everyone was finishing dinner and heading outside to socialize, relax under a tree or play! This wedding took place today, June 21st 2023 several miles east of Topeka, Indiana in Lagrange County.
So this is an example of one of those non-autumn weddings. Northern Indiana, with its many RV factories, is no longer aligned with the typical farmer’s schedule as some other communities still are, so this is a first-day-of-summer wedding.
In the video you see people gathered outside the wedding tent, children playing, dozens of parked buggies (one or two have solar panels attached, see if you can spot them), and some boys “horsing around”. An altogether joyful feel on a beautiful day.
Autumn Amish Wedding Reception
This next video takes us down to ground level to a wedding reception in autumn. This is also Indiana, and from the same channel, as is the next. The concept of the channel is an interesting one, featuring videos by an Amish taxi driver.
In this phone clip we see much of what was going on in the above video, but on the ground – children playing and people visiting. The pumpkin stack tips us off that this is a fall wedding. At the end we get a look at an informal “Single Gals” gathering. Maybe next year it will be the turn of one or more of them.
Byler Amish Wedding
Unfortunately the quality on this third video isn’t as high, but I couldn’t pass up sharing it. The video is basically just a pan shot of the parking lot, but worth the 48 seconds it takes to watch it. Have you ever seen so many yellow buggies in one place?
The occasion is a Byler Amish wedding in Pennsylvania’s Big Valley region. The Byler group, the smallest of the three in the valley, has the most distinct buggies of any Amish clan. The lemon yellow tops are hard to miss. You’ll also see some of the black top buggies from this area, belonging to the Renno Amish.
Amish Wedding Reception Singing
Next is an example of singing taken from inside a wedding reception. This is from a community in northwest Pennsylvania. This is the traditional style of Amish church singing.
Finally, I can’t resist re-posting this clip of John Schmid singing “An Amish Wedding”. This humorous tune is one of many that is a hit among Amish people. Every time I hear it it brings a smile to my face if not outright laughter. Quite the contrast with the somber-sounding notes of the clip above, but many Amish love these songs as well.