What do Amish weddings have to do with Celery?
Something unusual is going on at the Amish neighbors. Last year, like every other year in the past, they planted 100 stalks of celery. This year they planted 400 stalks! They didn’t plant all that celery because they developed a sudden craving for celery. That extra celery is a big clue that there’s going to be a wedding there this fall. Celery is such an important ingredient at an Amish wedding that your neighbors needed to plant hundreds of extra stalks just to make sure they had enough.
Some of that extra celery will be used in Amish casserole, the main meal at every wedding dinner. Amish casserole is a mixture of chicken and stuffing, with celery being one of the main ingredients in the stuffing. A lot more celery will be used to make creamed celery, one of the standard side dishes served at every Amish wedding dinner. The final use of celery is particularly unique. Instead of flowers, the Amish will use vases or jars filled with stalks of celery to decorate the dinner tables!
All these uses for celery require that a lot more celery be grown any time a wedding is being planned. Since most Amish couples tend to be very secretive about their wedding plans, (they usually won’t even admit that they’re getting married until it has been formally announced at church in mid October) all this extra celery being grown will probably be your first clue that an Amish wedding is on its way.
Wedding Day for the Amish
The first Tuesday in November is the big day. That’s the day Jonathan marries Ruth Ann. The wedding will be held at Ruth Ann’s home since all Amish weddings are traditionally held at the bride’s home. Like most weddings there are hundreds of details to be taken care of. First the house must be cleaned, painted and repaired if needed. It must be in A-1 condition by the day of the wedding since their entire church and all their friends and family will be there. Since there aren’t any caterers or other outside help at an Amish wedding, they will need a lot of help from the Amish community.
People will be needed to prepare the two meals served on the wedding day to over 200 guests. Other helpers will be needed to set and clear tables and wash dishes. They will also need ushers and people to care for all the horses that bought the guests. Fortunately Ruth Ann and Jonathan have an older Amish couple who are helping them with all these details.
Amish Wedding Ceremony
Since tradition dictates most of the day’s events, most of these helpers know what to do from past experience. As soon as the 3-½ hour service is over, the area where the wedding was held is quickly cleared and tables are set up and prepared for the noon meal which has been cooking through the service.
With over 200 guests, it will take several sittings to feed everyone so dinner is eaten quickly. As soon as one sitting is finished, the tables are cleared and the dishwashers go to work. They must quickly wash and dry the dishes so the table can be set for the next group. Then entire process will then be repeated later that evening for a second meal.
The helpers will continue to work together all day and into the night so that Jonathan and Ruth Ann can have a proper Amish wedding. Many of them will also return the next day to help finish the clean up and help put the house back in order.
Do the Amish go on honeymoons?
It was 10:30 on the night of Jonathan and Ruth Ann’s wedding, a Tuesday this past November. Like all Amish weddings, it had been an all day affair starting when the first guest arrived at 8:30 that morning and was only now ending as the last of the more than 200 guests left. At this point, most newlyweds would be eagerly anticipating the romantic honeymoon ahead. Unfortunately for Jonathan and Ruth Ann, romantic honeymoons are not part of the Amish way. Instead of hot tubbing in Cancun, Jonathan and Ruth Ann will spend their wedding night and most of the following days at her parents house. Since the wedding was also held there, the newlyweds will start the first day of their married life by getting up bright and early and helping her family clean up.
Amish Wedding Gifts
Following Amish tradition, Jonathan and Ruth Ann will not move to a home of their own until early spring. Until then they will most likely continue to live with her family.During this time they will visit each Amish family that came to their wedding. During these visits the newlyweds are traditionally given their wedding gifts although it is becoming common for many families to bring their gifts to the wedding. Whether they’ve received a gift already or not, Jonathan and Ruth Ann are still expected to make a visit. Since Amish weddings are huge, Jonathan and Ruth Ann will have over a hundred families to visit. These visits will occupy their weekends throughout the winter months.
When spring comes, the young couple will find a place to live, attend the local auctions and purchase any items they still need, and finally go into house keeping. Only then, months after their wedding, do Jonathan and Ruth Ann begin normal life as a married Amish couple.