Please enable JavaScript to properly view our site.

We the People

Why do Amish people marry on Thursdays? Who was the last Democrat to represent Lancaster County in Congress? [We the People]

Amish weddings

Both bride and groom need to be on the lookout after the Amish wedding ceremony. If a bride steps over a broom, some claim, then she'll be a housewife who's too lazy to pick up a broom. The groom's captured and thrown over a fence to show "he's not with the young folk but married guys don't want him either," one Amish man told researcher Karen Johnson-Weiner. Sometimes a modern bride is thrown over the fence as well and the groom is supposed to catch her. Pranks can be found in the food, especially the special food for the couple at the eck, or corner table: a mousetrap in the eck salad, gummy worms sprinkled over food or a bowl of prunes sewn together.

LancasterOnline is answering your questions through We the People, a public-powered journalism project. You ask, you vote and our reporters find the answers.

Here are a few answers to questions that had not yet made it to the voting round.

If you have a Lancaster County-centric question, submit it below and your question may be featured in a future article.

Enter your email to ask us your question.

Why do the Amish get married on Thurdays and not on a Saturday when they have off of work?

Amish weddings

Amish couples have handmade outfits like these for the church service when their wedding is announced and then for the wedding day.

Plain folk actually have quite a few wedding customs that differ from non-Plain weddings.

Amish weddings typically occur on either Tuesdays or Thursdays, as those are the least-busy days of the farming week.

The community needs a full day to prepare and clean up for the event. Weddings aren't celebrated on Mondays and Saturdays, as it's considered sacrilegious to have to work or clean on Sundays, according to

Weddings are also typically held in November, as the farms require more tending during harvest seasons in the spring, summer and fall; the chances for inclement weather are too great during the winter.

LNP reporter Erin Negley wrote a story about Amish marriage customs; read more here.

Question submitted by Daniel S.

Who was the last Democrat to represent Lancaster County in the US Congress, and when was that?

Redistricting map - PA-16 to PA-11

These graphics published by The New York Times show how the new map affects the partisan makeup of the Congressional district containing Lancaster County. 

The answer to this question is tricky.

Lancaster County is currently in Pennsylvania's 11th district.

Until 2013, our county was in the 16th district; before that, Lancaster was in several other districts, according to historian Steve Nolt. 

LNP reporter Tim Stuhldreher details Pennsylvania's 2013 redistricting in this article.

From the 1980s to the 1990s, Lancaster County was split, and part of the county was in a district with Berks County. During that time, that area - including Brecknock, Caernarvon, East Earl and East/West Cocalico were represented by a Democrat, Constantine "Gus" Yatron.

Before that, a Democrat hasn't represented Lancaster county since 1829.

Republican Lloyd Smucker has been Lancaster County's representative since 2017.

*Note: This question has been edited and corrected with the help of Steve Nolt.

Question submitted by Tyler M.

More 'We the People'