Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wedding ~ Part One

Almost every thing about my cousins wedding was different from what I was used to.

 In the morning before services started I was amused at how all the girls crowded around the mirrors and slicked their hair back with water and in some cases vegetable oil to ensure their would be no stray wisps of hair anywhere. One of my cousins surveyed my hair and announced I needed to slick mine back as well. I declined being quite content to have my hair just the way they were.

After all the women had found their seats it was time for the girls to file in to their benches. I was glad that I got to sit at a spot where I had a good view of the bridal party. I felt sorry for the bridesmaids that they weren't allowed to be escorted by their boyfriends and would have to spend the entire day with some other boy instead.

The singing was done in true Lancaster style, I thought it was nice but didn't mind that we were used to something different.

I thought it was very nice that Fannie's grandpa got to preach the first sermon. After the bishop preached the main sermon it was time for them to get married. I was surprised that they had only two vows before the bishop pronounced them man and wife.

The last song was sung and then everything erupted. All the benches were rearranged and made into tables. Women and men both hurried to set them with ugly church dishes. The bridal corner looked a little nicer but I was really glad that my wedding wouldn't have to be like that. The young folks got to eat first while married couples served the food. The wedding meal was also different from what we were used to. The most disturbing part was the bowls of steaming cooked, creamed, and yet stringy celery. There were vases of carrots and celery sticks set along the middle of the table. I had never heard so much crunching in my life as they ate them cheerfully.

Once we were done eating the young folks all headed outside to visit until the married folks had eaten their meal. The groom distributed beef jerky to all the boys instead of cigars like they normally did in that community. The bride handed out candy bars to all the girls. I felt lucky to be a girl, chocolate is better than beef or cigars!

Before long it was time to go back inside to sing. The girls all lined up outside the house and the boys came walking by. When they saw who they wanted to escort to the table they held out their hand. If the girl wanted to be escorted by that boy she would take his hand and they would walk into the house and find a seat. I kept my hands firmly behind my back until LV came along. Once we got inside the house we were instructed to sit at the bridal table.

Once every one had found a seat they started singing. As they were singing someone started bringing in beautifully decorated cakes and plates arranged most artistically with special foods. All the guests had brought something special like that and it seemed almost as if there had been a contest to see who could make the most exquisite piece. They would present it to the newlyweds and after they admired it they sent it around the bridal table so that every one else could see it as well. It looked much too pretty to eat but anyone who wanted to could sample any of it if they chose to.

To be continued


  1. It sounds fascinating, and very different.

  2. I always wondered what was up with all the celery when I read that in books. Does it symbolize something or do they like the color, or what, do you know? At least you got to see how someone else did it and knew what you didn't want and were glad you didn't have to have! And you got to be there with LV - twice as much fun I'm sure!

  3. A very interesting experience for you, I'm sure, but I'll bet your wedding was much nicer. I can't wait to read about it. Jan

  4. This must have been interesting, I never made it to any weddings, other then in our own home community, Did you ever hear the saying that the thought behind celery sticks was for a fruit-full married life,just like one bunch of celery produces lots of sticks,it symbolized there union as one, and they want to have lots of children,( what you think of that?0 Just as if celery sticks would have anything to do with it,To awful that people put so much emphases on old wives tales.

  5. Yuck, creamed celery. No thanks. I'm guessing this community was founded by the Lancaster Amish. This wedding certainly has all the hallmarks of it. I'm sure they even served roasht!

  6. Thank you for that window into another way of living. I love reading about different things, one of them being amish. I just love stories about people, families, faith, nature. I love your blog, and I hope your read mine.

  7. Your blog is facinating! We too have our wedding traditions (in England) but it's good to read about other traditions and customs.


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