Most Amish weddings take place from late October through December, after the autumn harvest. Traditionally, the days for weddings are Tuesdays and Thursdays, so there is time in between to prepare for and clean up after each ceremony.
A wedding is a particularly joyous occasion, for two baptized members of the church are joining in marriage, continuing the faith, and starting a new family together. While parents do not select who their children will marry, approval must be given, and the deacon usually acts as the go-between. At a church service after fall communion, the couples planning to marry are “published,” announced in front of the congregation. But much preparation, mainly by the bride’s parents has already begun, including the planting in early summer of several hundred stalks of celery, an important part of any Lancaster Amish wedding feast.
The church service itself, held in home of the bride’s parents, is similar to the regular Sunday service. But the focus is on the serious step of marriage, for in the Amish church, there is no divorce.