And so begins my second adventure of the summer. Only just recently returned from Music Camp, I am setting off once again into Mennonite land for my “little” brother’s wedding. I’m going to take advantage of this cultural opportunity to acquaint my non-Menno readers on the ins and outs of a fairly standard Conservative Mennonite wedding.
Dating, marriage, and wedding traditions can be quiet complex in any culture and Anabaptist culture is no exception. Often times there are unwritten rules we seem to inherently grow up knowing. Mennonite traditions do vary somewhat among the different groups, and they as a whole are quite different from Jewish practices of dating and courtship. Unlike many conservative Jews, Mennonites don’t have official matchmakers and the guy and girl are free to interact socially before deciding of their own volition to date or, as some would call it, court. Often times you might meet your future spouse at church or a community event. After high school many Mennonite young people go off to attend several short terms at what are know as “Bible Schools” where many people end up finding their future spouses. Usually if the guy and girl hit it off, the guy will contact the girl’s dad to ask for his blessing or permission, but nothing is done officially through a matchmaker as it would be in conservative Jewish culture.
My brother just so happened to meet his fiance on a mission trip to Jamaica (another popular way of meeting future spouses) and they kept in contact for a while as friends before he called her dad and they officially started to date. It is also not uncommon for couples to date for a year or two or even longer before becoming engaged.
As in most cultures wedding traditions can vary from community to community and my future sister-in-law is from Lancaster, so I will be documenting and observing things from somewhat of an outsider’s view.
Stay tuned for more pictures and updates!