How to tell if a Mennonite or Amish woman is married (Amish and Mennonite wedding traditions)?

On many occasions, the Mennonite and Amish cultures are often mistaken to be one. However, this is not the case; though they share the same practices in some areas, they are not entirely the same. Many areas that raise the most questions are; how to tell if a Mennonite woman is married.

Married Mennonite women wear a white bonnet to show their commitment and submission to their long-life commitment, which is marriage. On many occasions, you will see married Mennonite women with white bonnets in church or public gatherings; the white bonnet displays their marital status, so suitors keep away.

Though Amish and Mennonite women seem to be the same, their traditions vary in some practices. Do Amish and Mennonite couples wear wedding rings? Why does the color of the bonnets matter? Do modern Mennonite couples wear wedding rings? Can you tell if a Mennonite or Amish woman is married just by the color of their bonnet? In this article, you will get the answers to all these questions and learn more about the cultures of both Amish and Mennonites. Read on!

Why does the color of the bonnets matter?

In most cases, the only time you see a Mennonite or Amish woman wearing a white bonnet is when she is married. Thus, she wears the white bonnet to signify that she is in a lifelong relationship. Also, the white bonnet symbolizes her submission to her husband and the marriage at large. Hence, a bachelor looking for a wife will beware not to go near her as she is already married. This way, there is less confusion.

On the other hand, black bonnets are worn by single women. A single Mennonite or Amish woman who wishes to attend church or go to a public gathering will throw a black bonnet on their head as a symbol of their relationship status. Hence, a single man with the intention of marriage may progress to pursue her.

These colors in both Amish and Mennonite traditions are significant, as they symbolize one’s relationship status; hence there is no confusion. Therefore, the color of the bonnet is very important, as putting on the wrong one might send the wrong signal or convey the wrong message to the public.

How to tell if a Mennonite or Amish woman is married?
Can you tell if a Mennonite or Amish woman is married? See below

Can you tell if a Mennonite or Amish woman is married just by their bonnet? (Are there any exceptions)

Both Mennonite and Amish cultures take marriage as a solemn institution. They highly regard it and treat it with respect it deserves. A married Amish or Mennonite woman will wear a white bonnet to signify her relationship status and show her honor and submission to her marriage. Hence, you can quickly identify a married woman from both cultures from one that is not.

However, though this is the case, some exceptions cannot be left unsaid. Sometimes a Mennonite woman may wear a black kappa on her head on top of a white bonnet during prayer. Hence, it may be deemed unfit to judge whether she is married or not during such a situation. Widowed Mennonite women also wear black bonnets.

Also, there are some exceptions when it comes to Amish bonnet-wearing rules. During winter, Amish women wear black bonnets or hats to protect themselves against the raging cold. Hence, it is difficult to tell apart married from unmarried women.

Do Amish and Mennonite couples wear wedding rings?

The principal concept of the Amish way of life is humility and simplicity. They try their best to live meekly without attracting any attention. To achieve this, they only wear plain and solid colors that are not colorful so as not to be the objects of attraction. Due to this belief, the Amish believe wearing Jewelry or other accessories like rings is incorrect, as it draws too much attention. Hence Amish couples are not allowed to wear rings or any other jewelry to show their commitment to their marriage. However, since a symbol of marriage is essential, a married Amish woman puts on a white bonnet to signify that she is married. On the other hand, a married Amish man will grow his beard as a sign of marriage and adulthood. Some Amish men grow their beards up to their chests as once married; it is not allowed to cut them.

Mennonites also believe that the core values of living a good life before the eyes of God are modesty, simplicity, and practicality. Hence, though they also have firm beliefs, they try to remain practical. The traditional Mennonite ways would not allow Mennonite couples to wear wedding rings. Married women showed their status by wearing bonnets. However, it is hard to distinguish a married Mennonite man as they have nothing to identify with. Hence, some septs decided to change this belief and allowed wearing wedding rings as long as they did not contain any decorations or precious stones. The idea of simplicity, modesty, and practicality must align with the wedding ring to deem it fit to wear.

Amish and Mennonite wedding traditions
Do modern Mennonite and Amish couples wear Jewelry? See below

Do modern Mennonite and Amish couples wear Jewelry?

Though the ancient days, Mennonites were prohibited from wearing makeup or Jewelry. With time, some of these cultures have slowly faded away. Modern-day Mennonites believe in simplicity, modesty, and practicality as their core values. And though they believe that wearing Jewelry attracts attention, a wedding ring is an essential aspect of marriage; hence it is only practical to have one. However, the wedding ring must be plain, simple, and modest without adding exaggerated decorations or precious stones. It should only be for acknowledging that they are married and not to use it to glorify themselves.

Though years have passed since the Amish traditions were first introduced, they remain rigid and unbreakable. The Amish prefer to preserve their traditions without changing any part. Hence, modern-day Amish do not wear Jewelry or makeup as they are not allowed to. Instead, they stick to the old way of signifying their marriage union, a white bonnet for the married Amish woman and long beards for the married Amish men.


Do Mennonite and Amish couples wear wedding rings?

Do modern-day Mennonites wear wedding rings?

Can you tell if an Amish or Mennonite woman is married just by their bonnet?

Do Amish couples wear Jewelry?

Why the color of the Amish bonnet matters

Why the color of the Mennonite bonnet matters

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