What Does an Amish Bride Wear on Her Wedding Day?

UPDATE: This contest is now closed! Thank you to everyone who participated. I used Random.org to select a winner, and that winner is Tori. Congratulations! Please check your email for an email from my assistant explaining what to do next. Thank you!


I’ve received some great questions, and today I want to address a couple of them.

What does an Amish bride wear on her wedding day?

In a comment on a previous post about what the Amish wear and why they choose to dress the way they do, Vivian asked what Amish brides wear on their wedding day. What a wonderful question, Vivian!

The image above is of a book written by Beverly Lewis. It’s a good depiction of the wedding day attire for an Old Order Amish bride and her attendants.

Old Order Amish women in Pennsylvania wear the same type/style/pattern of dress and the same type of material for their wedding as they do for everything else. They wear a white organdy apron on their wedding day, which is what the prayer Kapp is made from. They don’t wear a veil.

The dress is made new and worn for the first time on their wedding day, but it will become one of bride’s best dresses to wear for church after that. The women carefully pack the apron away because they will be buried in that apron.

A few other facts about an Amish wedding:

  • The groom wears a black suit and a white shirt–usually made by his mother or bride-to-be.
  • The bride will choose a favorite Amish color she wants herself and her attendants to wear. The attendants will also wear the white apron and Prayer Kapp. Either the young women or their mothers will make the clothing.
  • The wedding season usually runs from late October to December, but in recent years, weddings have been held as late as March.
  • The spring before the wedding, the bride-to-be and her family plant extra food for the wedding day–especially celery. It’s hardy, easily canned, and makes a great dish for guests.
  • The day before the wedding, the family begins cooking a large meal for everyone who will attend.
  • The wedding ceremony, like an Amish church service, happens in a family home and consists of at least one sermon in addition to the vows.
  • After the ceremony, a large meal is served to all of the guests.
  • Most guests stay until late in the day and have a second, lighter meal before leaving.
  • The couple usually doesn’t go on a honeymoon, although going somewhere special a day or two after the wedding is a little more accepted these days.
  • The bride and groom usually stay at the bride’s house the first night, so they can help the family clean up the mess from the wedding. It will take most of the next day to finish cleaning up.
  •  After the first night, the couple spends a few weeks visiting and staying with the families in the community. During this time they receive wedding gifts.
Click here to read more facts about the Amish!


Why do the Amish speak German?

I received an email from Dee Dee in which she asked a great question: if the Amish came from Switzerland, why do they speak German?

There is actually a very simple answer to this question: German is the most widely spoken language in Switzerland. About 60% of the population of Switzerland speaks German, with Italian and French as the other most commonly spoken languages.

The Old Order Amish speak a dialect called Pennsylvania Dutch. This is a bit misleading, however, because it is a dialect of German, not Dutch. The word “Dutch” comes from the English pronunciation of the word Deutsch, which means: German. So the saying Pennsylvania Dutch means Pennsylvania German. My Amish friends feel that the Pennsylvania Dutch language is simply a slang version of the original German language.

If you would like to find out more about the history of the Amish, click here to read a series of blog posts on the topic!

I hope this answers your questions, Vivian and Dee Dee!

A Season for Tending
, coming September 18!

In A Season for Tending, Rhoda is neither a bride nor a bride’s attendant. Rhoda can speak, read, and write English, High German, and Pennsylvania Dutch. Still, despite her desire to connect with others, she has a gift that isolates her. Even those who love her struggle to embrace who she is.

 In a community where conformity flourishes, seeds of Rhoda’s odd behavior were planted long ago. Can she cultivate her relationships with the same care and tenderness that she gives her beloved garden?

If you would like to enter for a chance to win an autographed advanced reader copy of A Season for Tending AND a Plant Love, Grow a Miracle embroidered hand towel, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post on my website.

If you are reading this anywhere other than my website, such as on Facebook, in an email, or on Goodreads, please hop on over to my website and leave a comment at the bottom of my post to enter the giveaway. Only comments left on my website will be entered into the giveaway. (It’s just too hard to track down all the comments left in various places, and that means it’s too easy to miss some of the comments.)

The deadline for this contest is Friday, July 27, 2012, at noon. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted privately, as well as announced on next Monday’s post.


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