My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Day Before the Wedding

Several months ago, one of my Amish friends was one of a group of women who were cooks for a wedding.  It takes a large team of cooks to get this done, since a typical all-day Amish wedding event involves serving around 1,000 meals over the course of the day!

The other cooks had arrived by buggy, but my friend lived too far away, so when I drove her there, I got a chance to look around.  One farm building and a large rented tent were used as the food preparation areas.  I wanted to stay out of their way (and I couldn’t have taken pictures of them anyway), so I headed over to the building being used for the post-wedding dinner.  Here the tables were already laid out:

Nearby were racks holding additional rented china—after the first seating, there would be two more later in the day.  Everything needed for such a large event can be rented.

An Amish bride and groom choose ten single young men and ten single young women to be “servers” for their wedding dinner.  This means a long day of work, but it is considered a great honor to be chosen to be a wedding server.  Each paired-up couple has specific assigned tasks.  I saw ten of these signs all over the room, at the different serving stations, helping the servers know what to do.  Notice the menu varies slightly for the first sitting (for those who attended the three-hour wedding ceremony) and the two later sittings (the first one for guests who didn’t attend the ceremony earlier in the day, and the last one for the young Amish singles).  The servers responsible for each station also change.

I stopped to look at the area where the wedding party would sit—bride, groom, and two pairs of witnesses (similar to our best man and maid of honor).  It had been done up beautifully in silver and white.

How is so much food cooked in a farmhouse kitchen?  It isn’t.  A wedding wagon (or two) is rented, which contains multiple stoves, refrigerators, and sinks.  The day of the wedding, the hot food can be prepared there.  I got a chance to take a peek inside the wagon while the women were doing the food prep in the other building.

The entire farm was a beehive of activity, as the men did their part to prepare for parking many dozens of buggies, bicycles, and probably a few cars, and finished other outdoor tasks, and the women prepared the food.  The bride circulated around, taking time to introduce herself to me before heading out to the lane to talk to her groom.

I was amazed at the organization, the teamwork, and most of all, the overall atmosphere of calm!

I wrote about attending an Amish wedding here.

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