'Amish' is a community of Anabaptist Christian denomination. The Amish people are known for simple living, plain dressing and resistance towards modern luxuries. The community began in Switzerland, among Swiss Brethren, in 1693. However, in the early 18th century, Amish people immigrated to Pennsylvania, owing to their intense persecution. The membership to Amish church begins with baptism, between the age of 18 and 21. Once the member has joined the church, they are required to 'marry' within the same community.
Amish weddings are completely different from the American church marriage and follow specific traditions. Such a wedding is kept a secret and announced only two weeks prior to its commencement. Marriage ceremonies usually take place during November and December, after the harvest is done. As celery forms an integral part of Amish wedding meal, it even serves the purpose of informing the people around about the marriage. The girl should confide in her parents that she plans to get married. This way the family will grow extra celery, sending clues of marriage throughout the community.
On the wedding day, all the friends and relatives are invited. Before the marriage ceremony, a long morning church service takes place. The couple then comes forward to takes vows. After the service, the benches are put together to form tables. The feast begins in the afternoon. The meal is prepared by the mother of the bride, with the help of friends and other family members. It includes 'roast,' a mixture of bread filling and chicken, mashed potatoes, cole saw, apple sauce and creamed celery. The desserts are pies, doughnuts, fruit, and pudding. Wedding cake is served later in the day.
The afternoon time is reserved for singing and merry making. For the evening meal, the bride makes a list of all the young people that are interested in each other. The married or soon to be married couples are seated beside the bride on the table, while the other couples are seated next to the groom. Meal is followed by hymn singing. The newly wed couple spends their wedding night at bride's house. After this, the couple spends forthcoming weekends visiting relatives. During this time, they receive wedding gifts. The couple settles down in their own household by springtime.