I had the privilege of being invited to another Amish wedding this past summer, and better yet, to be invited to (a) the main event in the morning, with lunch following (as opposed to the 5:00 p.m. dinner event), and (b) the 7:00 p.m. youth gathering.
This happened because my dear husband Gary took my place doing a bus tour all day so that I could go to the wedding… so the bride and groom invited me to come back at 7 p.m. with Gary. The 7 p.m. youth seating has a different menu, and the added bonus of singing afterwards, so it was a treat! I wrote about the 7 p.m. wedding singings previously, and I’ll put the link below.
I didn’t know if I’d have a lot to write about, since I’ve written about Amish weddings a number of times before, but the bride had asked me to take some pictures of the reception venue beforehand, and that was different! So I thought I’d share those. The way it works these days is this: Often the actual wedding is held at a neighbor’s farm, and the reception (four meals over the course of the day) is held at the bride’s home farm, and that’s what happened at this one. So, I didn’t take any photos at the wedding venue (that would have been frowned upon), but I was able to get lots of pictures of the reception venue, which was beautiful.
The first thing I saw was the gift tent. There were more gifts on tables down the side that don’t show in the picture below. Notice that the gifts are often practical gifts, wrapped in practical ways, such as using a bath towel. The benches are set up for those who hang around after the noon meal to watch the couple open their gifts. Little kids, girls especially, tend to gather along the front, hoping to score a pretty bow.
It takes a team of about 40 cooks to prepare the 1,000 or so meals that are served at a typical Amish wedding. I managed to get this picture of some of them at work, below. They all wear matching dresses, in the usual Amish style.
This was an especially large wedding, so there were 15 pairs of table waiters. Each pair (a young man and a young woman) is responsible for serving one table. In the evening, there are a different set of table waiters (usually family members), so that the first set of table waiters can go to the 7:00 meal and singing with their young friends. Here is the “cheat sheet” for the table waiters at Table #5, below:
Here (below) is the main reception venue, which was set up in an outbuilding on the farm. Seen in the center is the table for the wedding party (bride, groom, two other couples who act as their “witnesses”). The next picture shows the wedding party table close-up.
This wedding was large enough to need a secondary reception venue, which was a large tent set up next to the main one, near where the cooks were doing their main work.
There is always a wedding cake, which these days, is typically made at a regular commercial wedding cake bakery. With hundreds of guests, it has to be a big one! I believe it is typically cut and served at the 5:00 p.m. meal.
This couple also had two small cakes, which were set in front of the seats of their two surviving grandmothers. I’d not seen grandmother cakes before!
An Amish bride doesn’t carry flowers, but there are often flowers at the reception. Typically, there are arrangements at each table, as well as other arrangements as the bride wants to have.
And lastly, on top of the five or six delicious desserts served at an Amish wedding feast, this one also had these cute cupcakes! I hope you enjoyed this rare peek at an Amish wedding reception venue. :-)
More posts about Amish weddings I’ve attended:
Wedding prep: https://myamishindiana.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-day-before-wedding.html
Evening singings: https://myamishindiana.blogspot.com/2021/06/a-spring-wedding-part-two.html