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12 Surprising Traditions That Set Amish Weddings Apart

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Hyperactivz / Amish Reader

I can't say exactly why, but I've always been fascinated by the Amish and their unique culture.

It's so interesting to think that in our age of smartphones and computers, some people still do things the old fashioned way.

In fact, Amish culture is very unique. And they do just about everything differently from outsiders - or "English" - like us.

Nothing demonstrates that better than Amish wedding traditions. They're not what you would expect:

1. Timing is everything

Amish harvest.
Amish weddings usually follow the harvest season.Remembering Letters and Postcards

Many Amish communities are still farming communities, and the changing of the season plays a big role in the daily lives of Amish folk.

Traditionally, Amish weddings take place in autumn - after the harvest - but with so many marriages some communities now hold them year-round.

Wedding days are "published" at church just a few weeks before the ceremony, so couples rush to plan and prepare.

And the favorite day to hold a wedding is Thursday - which is a day off for the community.

2. Secret engagements

Married couples are usually in their early 20s - because Amish are baptized as adults after finishing Rumspringa as teenagers.

Instead of rings, young Amish men propose to their brides with something more practical - a musical clock, or dishware.

Then, the engagement is kept a secret until it's published at church.

During that time, the couple have a limited number of "dates" each month, and usually communicate mainly by letter.

But there are ways to spot an engaged Amish couple if you know how: women start preparing their wedding dresses, and families grow a lot of celery for the reception dinner.

3. The bride

The bride does sport a new dress on her wedding day, but don't expect it to be white.

While this is wedding tradition to us, it's an extravagance to the Amish.

So are frills, lace, buttons, and other details.

Amish clothing.
The Amish dress the same on their wedding day as they normally do.Erik Painter

Instead, the bride makes a plain (but beautiful) dress of a single color and fabric, following Amish custom.

In some communities, new brides exchange their white bonnets for black ones - to signal they're married.

Her husband and their families sometimes wear shirts or dresses that match the fabric and color of her wedding dress.

And this dress isn't stashed in the attic after - the bride will wear it to church each week, and sometimes save it for her own funeral.

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