The young men, when finding a potential wife, look for girls who are pretty (Stevick, 2007).The girls, when looking for a husband, look for a man who embodies traditional Amish values such as industry, strength, responsibility and humility, and who they think would be a good husband, father, provider and responsible church member.He spent the following year traveling about the colonies, keeping a journal of what he experienced.One custom prevalent in Massachusetts Bay Colony caught his eye - the practice of "Bundling" or "Tarrying" in which young couples thinking of marriage would share a night in the same bed fully clothed or "bundled." Sometimes a board would be placed between the couple.He then takes the letter to the bishop in the young women’s district and the bishop is informed that he desires to marry and it is signed after she is confirmed that she is free from sexual misconduct (Stevick, 2007).The engagement is announced only in church to the congregation, usually six weeks prior to the wedding date (Stevick, 2007).
The man starts to grow out his beard symbolizing the marriage ring (Kraybill, 2010).
When the boy chooses a girl, he shows his interest by writing a letter, or having a friend tell her.
He may take the girl for a walk and has a designated time and place to meet away from the crowd and invite the girl for a ride in his buggy. A steady girlfriend will see him at singing and usually every other Saturday night.
Bundling is when the male and female sleep together in the female’s bedroom getting to know each other better.
The female is tightly wrapped in a bed sheet, the male sleeps closely in the bed with her, but no clothing is removed.