When do Amish get married? (Typical age)

Amish people typically get married in their early 20s

amish marriage Compared to non-Amish Americans, the Amish marry young – typically at age 21 to 23. Amish females usually are about a year younger on average than males at marriage.

Amish youth date and find marriage partners during the youth period known as Rumspringa, or “running around”. Both people are required to be members of the Amish church to be married.

Marriage with outsiders?

If an Amish person falls in love with an outsider, a rare occurrence but one not unheard of, the couple face a dilemma. The Amish-raised individual must either opt out of Amish baptism, or, typically the harder choice, the non-Amish person may consider joining the Amish church.

Amish typically see joining purely for love as not the best reason, though it does happen. One Amish bishop quoted in Richard Stevick’s Growing Up Amish: The Rumspringa Years captured the essence of the matter when he explained:

“When seekers from the outside come to us wanting to be Amish…they are often attracted for the wrong reasons. They could have fallen in love with one of our Youngie. Or they may have fallen in love with what they think is a simpler way of life. What they fail to realize is that our faith in Christ is at the center. Horses, buggies, and kerosene lanterns will quickly grow stale without the faith foundation.” (Growing Up Amish, Stevick, page 38).

Amish people may remarry

Amish divorces are extremely rare. An Amish couple may separate, but divorce is nearly unheard of. One Amishman estimated that there are perhaps a half-dozen separated couples in the large Holmes County, Ohio community.

Remarriage after one partner has died is permitted among Amish, however, and occurs fairly frequently, even among Amish of advanced age.

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    35 Comments

    1. Lee Ann

      With so many of the Amish marrying cousin’s and having health issue’s with children, it would help to allow them to marry outside the faith. Bring in new blood and work with the couple to make the marriage work with two religons in the family.

      This would also help the older people to marry again. Being older your more open to different people and can allow more things.

      I would be willing to marry an Amish man, if I were a widow.

      1. Traci Banville

        @ Lee Ann- There are plenty of Amish so they do not “need” to add others. Do you not think that outsiders would bring along their own genetic history that could just add more trouble ?
        When did the Amish become the new members of the “dating pool” ?
        I think this entire thing is becoming ridiculous !

        1. sarah

          REALLY???

          You sound more disgusted by the idea then you are interested in offering a logical view point. I met a guy in passing who was a surprisingly good looking man from the Amish community. He created the interest I now have in Amish customs. And living in the country for a while helps me see the appeal of that kind of life. Not every Amish will marry a family member, or have exactly the same life style choices as the last one. If you met some one who spoke to your soul rather then your mind, I think you might be surprised by how you feel. There are enough amish in the world, but not enough decent people. Not to mention, the amish are very earth friendly. We could all take a few things from them. I personally would infuse my healthy eating with their beliefs if I could. Animal lard is not desirable for cooking, but saving money on electricity and gas is.

          1. Michael Y.

            Fantasy Life

            Would you be willing to give up your identity as an individual for that “simpler” life you think the Amish live? The reasoning behind so many peoples enchantment with the Amish never seems to amaze me. It takes more than love, organic living and a simple life to make it as Amish. Marrying an Amish man means the woman bows down to the husband and church, you have no voice.

        2. Beverly cheek

          Plenty of Amish yes but notice so many of the same last names. And they do marry cousins at times. Most are distantly related. Grew up Holmes county area.Husband grew up Plain city area. This is true. Mostly nice people but problems just like any community.certainly Alcohol and drugs as well as domestic violence. Not all the quint life of horses and buggies. And the women work from dawn to dusk. They also have very large families. 8 to 10 kids not unusual.

      2. James

        Eh??

        Is your husband aware of that? Should he be worried? Is that an attempt to solicit assistance?

        1. Mark -- Holmes Co.

          James, you made me laugh out loud. 🙂

      3. Hosanna

        I knew people too who married their cousins then the children have down syndrome.
        https://growingupamishmichigan.blogspot.com/2022/07/beastiality-in-amish-and-plain.html

    2. Mary

      Marriage and Divorce

      I know a widow can marry another widow and I know Amish frown greatly on divorce but can a divorce Amish man marry a divorced lady without being shunned? What if the divorced lady is not Amish but wants to become Amish, is it accepted then?

      1. Glenda Yoder

        Re: Marriage & Divorce

        I was born Amish and, even though my parents left the Amish church when I was small, I’ve lived in Amish communities my whole life. I’ve never heard of any Amish couples that have divorced (even though some couples will just separate but never officially divorce). If an Amish couple would divorce they would be shunned or ex communicated and remarriage after divorce is considered even worse than divorce itself. The man would be shunned even if the lady would want to join the Amish. Hope this answered your question!

        1. Lj

          Family leaving the church.

          My family left the church( Webster County Iowa, moved to quincy mich ) I was very young (4) just wondering how many children of these families have struggled with there identity like my self for so many years! Always knowing that you were different ?

        2. Hosanna

          Yes!

          I grew up Amish/Plain and if a couple were divorced and remarried they would say they would have to split and end the marriage

          https://growingupamishmichigan.blogspot.com/2022/08/how-do-amish-and-plain-girls-get.html

        3. katielyn gindville

          Commitment Violations

          Please do not take my question as any type of disrespect, as I am just curious on this matter. What if the one party of the married Amish couple, cheats on their significant other? Or one party is being physically or mentally abusing their spouse? Are they just expected to go to an elder in the church and have them discuss and I would say “confess” in a way that is then in return free of your sin? Are you being “told” to accept it and/or forgive them and move on? Just curious how Amish culture/lifestyle handles this situation?

      2. stephanie

        An answer to the question on divorce. Absolutely no way a divorced person can marry! Even another divorced person. We are Beachy Amish Mennonite and we would not have that either. Most churches would not

        1. Peter Entz

          Devorcie remarry

          This is not allowed among the hutterites either I know Iam One

    3. Erin

      Are Amish able to marry another Amish person from another district? Do parents encourage their children to court one another?

      1. naomi

        there are a lot of Amish that end up finding their spouses in other states and communities.
        Not sure on that second ? if you mean as in brother/ sister courting!, which would not be considered or encouraged.

        1. Erin

          Thanks Naomi! I was thinking of a newer community and there are only 50 members so I was wondering how they would find someone to court when the nearest district is 2 hours away.
          The second question I was wondering if women perhaps in a circle of letters suggest their two children courting.

        2. Erin

          I recently met an 18 year old Amish man and he was starting to grow a beard. His Dad said he was not married but that he had been baptized so that was why he was growing a beard. My Mother-in-law always thought it was when you were married. Does this vary from district to district?

          1. Linda

            Erin, I too have seen some unmarried, baptized young men with trimmed beards. After they marry, the beards lengthen. It probably varies with different districts, but it may also vary from by-gone years with the newfangled generation.

            1. Erin

              I emailed an ex-Amish and he said that when men are baptized they are expected to have a trimmed beard and then they never cut it once they’re married. He said its easy for the single women to know which men are baptized and which are married without asking.

    4. Dennis Brayshaw

      Rigid Digit

      One thing I see in pictures regarding the Amish I find normal as the next persons lifestyle. It isn’t my place of course to condemn anyone for not wanting to have their pictures taken. However, the frequent use of the “high digit” or throwing the finger, as we call it, is found throughout pictures that I see on-line. I find it humorous mostly, though I don’t think the elders of the faith would agree with me. I see even the children doing it, even as young as six years old. I would think that folks who take an interest in your way of life should be granted the privelege of corresponding or sharing friendships with members of your community without feeling like outsiders. We are all headed toward the same end. I know that only Christ “has the words of eternal life” and that is where I place my trust, same as the Amish. The simplicity of your lifestyle is what interests folks and maybe the dull clothing catches their eyes. Christ would that we all come to the knowledge of the truth and not necessarily by tradition. Like my wife always tells me “we all meet at the light.” Peace

      1. Audra

        ...

        Very well said It is indeed a blessing to be seen by others as set apart and to know that this set “apartness” (i know thats not a word but still, lol) in many ways is what draws souls to desire the same in their lives…to shine the light of Jesus to others, we are all the family of God, if we believe and live His word daily…the bird flies, the fish swims, the flowers and trees grow and sway in the wind, all very different yet all live in harmony,as part of the same family, because all were created by the same God. Blessings to all, Audra-Northwest Florida (saved by grace, devoted to Christ, (divorced) mother of 5 (now) young adults

    5. tlc_501

      Marriage

      So lets say a guy has left the Amish community, and he meets a non amish girl and they decide to get married. Would the guys Amish parents be able to come to the wedding. How does that work?

      1. Short answer is it depends on the circumstances of his “leaving”…were he never baptized he is not going to be excommunicated so you could see his Amish parents at the wedding. If he is excommunicated may depend on the family as some Amish maintain closer ties than others with those in the Bann. Some would not attend, others might.

    6. Beckysue

      Tlc.. it would be highly unlikely for a family to attend an ex Amish sons wedding, especially if they had already joined church. We still don’t get the same Christmas cards, we get seperated ones. One for my husband and children and one for myself. They will not except we are a family, even years later. I am sometimes insulted but it’s their way.

      1. Mark - Holmes County

        Again this is something that can and does vary a lot. Having attended several weddings of nieces and nephews who were no longer Amish I can assure you it happens. In our setting NOT going would look like the family harsh or bitter.
        Because, I’m not doubting you, but I have never heard of anything so rude! That’s just sad….

        1. Mark - Holmes County

          Ooops!

          I have tried to respond numerous times today but keep getting “security check failed.” Is it because I’m traveling and not on the work computer I usually use? This one keeps auto correcting spelling and not always with what I meant. On my last comment the second paragraph was supposed to begin with Beckysue, not “because.” Sorry, Beckysue! Also I either wrote too quickly or deleted the idea it is very rude to exclude a family member from a Christmas greeting and that is what struck me as surprising and rude.
          With some people feeling they have been treated rudely on here, it was bothering me to feel my comment might have come across as rude to Beckysue, so I hope this will actually go through this time.

          1. Sorry Mark, was testing an anti-spam setting which is apparently too aggressive 🙂 I’ve turned it off now so you shouldn’t see that anymore. Apologies for any trouble.

    7. Valerie

      I'm confused

      I don’t understand some of the comments here. Some of you seem to believe that you can join an Amish community by marriage and take what you like and discard what you don’t like. I am not Amish, but it is my understanding that religion is so deeply an integral part of the culture that you can not be Amish unless you are willing to adhere to ALL of the traditions. To understand this, just look at the way the Amish regard the rest of the world. They do not look down on anyone nor do they try to convert anyone to their ways. They simply separate themselves into peaceful communities. If someone has an idea of what might work better for YOU, I suggest that you go ahead and do that, but leave the Amish people and their traditions alone. There are plenty of men and women in the world to date and/or marry without disrupting a community with the presumption that they even require change.

      1. Mark -- Holmes Co.

        Very well said, Valerie!

    8. Travis

      Amish girls seem nice, they look like they know how to cover up and actually respect themselves and God. Wish we had more people like that in today’s society 🙁

      1. Mary Ann Cooper
    9. Sumac

      Missing the point...

      Lee Ann, in advocating marriages between Amish and “outsiders”, said this:

      “This would also help the older people to marry again. Being older your (sic) more open to different people and can allow more things.”

      The point of Amish Ordnung (rules), Lee Ann, is that the Amish do not WANT to “allow more things”! Allowing customs from the outside threatens the cohesion, traditions, and way of life of the Amish community. That marriages with outsiders would dilute the Amish community’s way of life with outside influence, is the big reason to not marry an outsider. Even when an outsider studies life in the community and joins the Amish church through baptism, there would always be a tendency for elders and others to watch that person closely follows Ordnung, and keeps their Englisher ideas out of the community and out of their family life. This may sound harsh to the modern, free-thinking American/Canadian, but it is this – the Ordnung and adherence to it – that preserves the Amish as a strong community. It is absolutely necessary.

    10. Bertran Du Gasculan

      Let Outsiders Serve Apprenticships

      The Amish should have outsiders serve apprenticeships for a year with the prospective spouse’s family, or other community family, then allow baptism and marriage. That brings in new blood (both figuratively and literally) into a the Amish.