Members of the Amish faith are concentrated primarily in the Northeastern and Midwest United States, especially Pennsylvania and Ohio. Membership in an Amish Church is essential if you plan on holding an Amish Wedding, as the entire church community gets involved in this happy occasion to help the new couple start their new life and family.
An Amish engagement is commemorated with the gift of china or a clock rather than the traditional engagement ring since Amish women don't wear jewelry. The announcement of your "wedding banns", or plans to be married, are made at the end of a Sunday church service near the date of the nuptials.
The month of November or early December is the most popular time of year for Amish weddings, since spending time and energy on a wedding prior to the end of the harvest would be impractical. Tuesdays and Thursdays during the week are the most popular days to set the ceremony itself. The home of the bride's family is typically chosen as the site of the wedding ceremony and the celebratory reception immediately following.
All members of the Amish church to which the wedding couple belong are invited to attend the ceremony. This is a smart idea since preparations for the meal as well as the clean-up duties take a whole day before the wedding for cooking and a day afterwards for clean-up, and more hands make light work.
Unlike regular weddings where the bride wears an elegant beaded white or cream gown and veil, Amish brides wear a newly sewn dress, usually in some shade of blue, that is also practical enough to wear again after the wedding day.
Family and friends can be asked to serve as attendants for the wedding, with four married couples put into service as ushers to greet arriving wedding guests. Guests will most likely bring a covered dish to the wedding to contribute to the wedding reception, which often serves hundreds of people and lasts long enough to serve both full midday as well as evening meals.
Popular Pennsylvania Dutch dishes served at Amish weddings include roast chicken with stuffing, stewed chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, cold cuts, tapioca pudding and fruit pies. Amish Wedding Cake, also called date-nut pudding, is served in place of the elaborately decorated traditional wedding cake common at most weddings.