When Mom got married, she borrowed her great-aunt Susie’s high-top shoes. “Hochi schuh” (high shoes) they are called. As soon as the wedding ceremony was finished, Mom went to her bedroom and changed into something more comfortable and not as old-fashioned for the rest of the day.

 

Every Amish woman has to wear “hochi schuh” for her wedding. One girl and her sister had a double wedding. Because their house was full of about 450 guests, they sneaked up to the attic and took off their “hochi schuh” there.

 

Sometimes the bride’s mother will also wear “hochi schuh.” An Amish minister’s wife has to wear “hochi schuh” every time she attends church, even if she is young.

 

Years ago, all older Amish ladies wore “hochi schuh.” Today, many grandmothers still wear “hochi schuh” for church, although not all of them do. I asked my grandmother, “How did you know you were old enough to wear “hochi schuh?”

 

 “Just when someone older than me started wearing them, then I did, too,” she said. “There wasn’t any particular time. Maybe someone said, ‘When are you going to start wearing hochi schuh?’ Then I thought maybe I should start wearing them.”