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Love is in the air as the Duggars announce that their second daughter Jill, then 22, entered a courtship in November 2013 with 25-year-old Derick Dillard. "I was really impressed with his character," Jill tells PEOPLE. "He's a great guy." Her father, Jim Bob, introduced the two after meeting Dillard via email; the lovebirds got to know each other over Skype and text before she traveled to Nepal, where he was doing missionary work, to meet him – with dad in tow. "I was in love with someone I had never met in person, but we really knew each other well," Jill says of those early months. "I think it could be that I just met my future husband."
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RINGING IT IN
After five months of courting, Dillard pops the question in April 2014, surprising Duggar after a lunch in Bentonville, Arkansas. Per their set rules, this means they can now hold hands – saving their first kiss for their wedding. "I feel like I'm dreaming," Dillard tells PEOPLE of the big day, adding, "It was great to grab her hand for the first time."
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On June 21, Duggar and Dillard tie the knot in Springdale, Arkansas, in front of more than 1,000 family and friends. "Derick has such a tender, caring heart," Jill's sister Jinger tells PEOPLE. "I couldn't have picked a better person for my sister." The couple shares their very first kiss at the ceremony – and a few more after that! – before treating guests to a sweets-filled bash. "It was a party to end all parties," proud pop Jim Bob tells PEOPLE.
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With the wedding behind them, the Dillards hit the beach, honeymooning in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. "Everything about being married is awesome," Jill tells PEOPLE. "I have the most amazing guy." After returning home to Arkansas, the couple settles into daily life, heading back to work and learning to cook for two (as opposed to about 21, as Jill was used to!). That's "a learning experience in and of itself," Jill says.
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Just two months after their wedding, the couple makes a big announcement: They're expecting their first child in March! "It's a great surprise," Derick tells PEOPLE. "We just want to tell everyone because we're so excited." The Dillards indicate that they're going to follow in Michelle and Jim Bob's footsteps, opting to welcome "as many kids as God will give us," Jill says. In October, they break the news that baby-to-be is a boy.
19 Kids and Counting returns to TLC on Sept. 2 at 9 p.m. ET.
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