Amish Marriages Are Arranged: True or False?

Amish Marriages Are Arranged: True or False?


Although Amish marriages may have far more traditional ceremony involved than English marriages, they are not “arranged” in the technical sense. Amish men and women are allowed to court each other voluntarily, with the blessing of their parents, and may freely choose whether or not to marry each other.

For an engagement to be made official, the groom must go to his bishop, declare his intentions, and acquire a Zeugnis, which is a letter of good standing from his church. If the bishop is aware of any sinful behavior or need for correction, he deals with it at that time.

Once the groom acquires the Zeugnis, he delivers it to the bride’s minister or deacon. That church leader will visit the bride, confirm she desires to marry the groom, and discuss any sin or other concerns in her life. After this meeting, if all is satisfactory, the leader will wait until the appropriate time and then “publish” or announce the engagement to the church.

This answer has been provided as an excerpt from the upcoming book, Plain Answers About the Amish Life by Mindy Starns Clark. Learn more below.

Plain Answers About the Amish Life

Plain Answers About the Amish Life
By Mindy Starns Clark
Available Now

For Amish fiction readers, young and old alike, Plain Answers About the Amish Life provides a glimpse into an obscure, fascinating world—what the Amish believe and how they live.
Learn more:


Last 5 posts by

One Response to “Amish Marriages Are Arranged: True or False?”

  1. The answer dealing with Amish “engagements” regarding the prospective groom visiting HIS bishop in order to acquire a “Zeugnis” which is then delivered to the prospective bride’s minister or deacon, who then visits her, etc., makes it sound as if all marriages happen between different districts.
    What about if the couple both are in the same district? Is the procedure the same, given there is only one set of Bishops, Ministers and Deacons involved? With a district containing a large number of young people, limited travel opportunities, etc., wouldn’t it be more likely to find a spouse in your own district?


Leave a Reply