Do Amish and Mennonites Intermarry?

The Amish and the Mennonite communities are two Christian sects that seem similar in the eyes of the “English” (those outside the faith). While there are fundamental similarities between the traditions, there are significant differences, too. Many people are curious to know if these Christian traditions intermarry.

The Amish and Mennonites do not marry each other since the Amish only marry within their community. Some Mennonites marry outside of their community, but the tradition has historically forbidden it.

What marriage rules do Amish people have? What marriage rules do Mennonite have? Do Amish and Mennonites get along? What key differences are there in their beliefs and way of life? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Also see Do Amish and Mennonite Dress Differently? to learn more.

Amish farmer
Why don’t Amish women wear white wedding dresses? See below

What Marriage Rules Do Amish Have?

Amish marriage traditions are very different from those of the English communities.  Here are four marriage rules by which the Amish abide:

  • Marry a member of the church.
  • Weddings happen after harvest is over.
  • Construction of a wedding house.
  • Non-white wedding dresses.

More information concerning these rules can be found below.

Marry a Member of the Church

The Amish are not permitted to marry anyone who is not baptized into the Amish congregation. This congregational rule excludes English people, Mennonites, and sometimes people from other Amish communities from marrying an Amish person. Marriage is seen as an entrance into adulthood and a promise to remain in the Amish faith.

Weddings Happen After Harvest Is Over

The demands of farming dictate much of the Amish lifestyle. For this reason, weddings are only held between the months of October and March, after the year’s harvest and before the following year’s planting. These months are even called the “wedding season” in Amish villages. 

Construction of a Wedding House

Amish weddings are typically large, inviting anywhere between 400 and 800 guests. Wedding celebrations last all day, and housing so many people at once is not simple. This tradition is why the families of the bride and groom construct a new shelter where the reception or ceremony can be held. [3]

Non-White Wedding Dress

Amish women do not normally wear all-white wedding gowns. Instead, they sew themselves a blue or purple dress that they wear not only for the wedding but every Sunday after. [4] In addition to the dress, the Amish bride will wear a white apron which is set aside after the ceremony. This white apron will be wrapped around her again when she is buried.

Also see Do Amish and Mennonite Dress Differently? to learn more.

Mennonite buggy
Are Mennonites allowed to dance? See below

What Marriage Rules Do Mennonites Have?

Mennonite marriage traditions are similar to English ones but with a few more rules.

Here are four marriage rules by which the Mennonites abide:

  • No sex before marriage.
  • No vanity.
  • No alcohol.
  • No dancing. 

These rules are further explored in the paragraphs below.

No Sex Before Marriage

Saving sex until marriage is something many churches preach, but the Mennonite communities are often the most conservative. Mennonite families usually take care to stress the abstinent lifestyle to their children in accordance with what the Bible says. [7] If a couple admits to having sex before the wedding, the pastor may not allow them to marry in the church.

No Vanity

The Mennonites dedicate themselves to simple and righteous living. This conviction means that wedding dresses are modest, if not plain, and the flowers muted. If a non-Mennonite were to attend a Mennonite wedding, they might think it dull. But because the Mennonites are not entirely opposed to social media, the idea of a luxurious wedding is creeping in and may eventually push their desire for simplicity aside. [5]

No Alcohol

This rule is unwavering in the Mennonite community. Sparkling grape juice and elaborate punches are standard, but wine and liquor are not. Many Mennonites believe that alcohol, in all cases, is wrong, and though the number of abstainers is shrinking, weddings still frown upon it. [6] However, the delicious home-cooked meal at the reception usually placates thirsty attendees.

No Dancing

While the bride may be able to choose a modern dress and pretty flowers, she is unlikely to make headway as regards a dance. The Mennonites believe dances of any kind are frivolous at best and have no place in a wedding celebration. If music is played at the reception, it will be a hymnal or classical instrumental.

Also see Why Do Amish Wear Blue? to learn more.

Mennonite buggy
What is shunning? See below

Do Amish and Mennonites Get Along?

The Amish and the Mennonites both hold the same core Anabaptist beliefs. However, the Amish believe that the Mennonites have compromised their spiritual purity by mixing with the world. The top three doctrinal differences and points of contention are listed below between the Amish and the Mennonites.


The practice of shunning was what initially brought the rift between the Mennonite and Amish faiths. John Amann started the Amish community because he believed that people who are excommunicated from the church ought to experience a harsher sentence of shunning as well. 

The practice of shunning involves every member of the community ignoring and refusing to acknowledge the trespasser. While Mennonites excommunicate people from their church, they do not go to the same extremes as the Amish. [1]


The Old Order Amish actively rejects all modern technology forms, including electricity and electric farm equipment. Amish people believe that technology is the work of the devil and will only bring destruction to their families and communities.

People of the Mennonite faith do not adhere to these same rules. Mennonites do not rely on horse-drawn buggies, regularly have electricity and modern farm equipment, and own televisions. They believe in a simple way of life, but not a comfortless one. [2]

Missionary Work

The Amish live in closed communities because they believe God has given them the truth and intentionally set them apart from the world. They do not attempt to contact those outside their community, and there have been very few Amish converts in the history of America.

The Mennonites also believe that God has chosen them but believe in the importance of spreading their faith through more means than procreation. The Mennonite faith has been brought by missionaries to over fifty countries worldwide, while the Amish belief system has spread to four countries at most. 


The Amish and the Mennonites have different wedding traditions, though they hold similar religious values. Therefore, an Amish person is unlikely to marry a Mennonite.

Also see Is It Disrepsectful To Take Pictures of Amish People? to learn more.

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Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see his About page for details.

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