The step of marriage is a major one in Amish society, so the preparation and the execution is quite involved.

The newlyweds live with the woman's parents until the spring, when they will establish a place of their own.

Family is the core element in the Amish church, and choosing a mate is the most important decision in an Amishman’s life.

Fall communion takes place the following church Sunday.

After communion, proper certification of membership is requested, and is given by the second Sunday after communion.

The sequence of events will be covered only briefly here.

The links at the end of the article provide additional detail. November is the favored month because the winter weather has not yet begun.

These events are only open to young singles and are the equivalent of a teen dance. Unmarried Amish choose their own husbands/wives, and the woman is very much involved in the process.

The Amish do not dance or play musical instruments, but they share the Pennsylvania German love of singing. Courtship often begins with a young man transporting a young woman to and from one of the many singings or Sunday worship.

The couple will be allowed to spend time together in private, but to spend this time alone behind closed doors would be scandalous.

But as with courtship everywhere, couples like to be together out of sight and earshot of others, and the Amish, too, will contrive ways to accomplish this goal.

Sixteen is the age when courtship begins, but couples will likely be 20 or older when they marry. Although it is obvious to all when a couple becomes serious, the intent to wed is kept secret until July or August.