It’s something every little girl’s father can relate to.
Actor Kirk Cameron, who was one of the 1,000 guests at Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald’s wedding in Bentonville, Arkansas, on Saturday, says he wanted to bring his teenage daughters to the event so they could witness an actual marriage where the couple hadn’t even kissed before they said their ‘I do’s.’
“I want them to see that and go, ‘That’s what I want for my marriage,’ ” the former Growing Pains star, 44, tells PEOPLE. “Nobody does this. And as a dad, it thrills your heart. I want a guy that honors and respects my daughters like Ben is respecting Jessa.”
Cameron, a born-again Christian, says he initially didn’t think he could make the ceremony, but after talking about it with his wife, she convinced him otherwise. “She said, ‘Did you see the thing in PEOPLE magazine about their rules about love and sex? It was awesome!’ ” he recalls.
“So while I normally wouldn’t fly that far for any old friend’s wedding, my daughters will very rarely get the chance to see a wedding where a husband and wife saved their first kiss for the altar,” he says. “I want them to see this, because I don’t know that they ever will again.”
His daughters, Bella, 16, and Ahna, 15, who watch the hit show 19 Kids and Counting, were thrilled to be able to attend. “[When] we got an invitation from Jim Bob and Michelle, they were like, ‘Dad, we are GOING. We are GOING!’ ” Cameron says with a laugh.
For many more intimate details of Jessa Duggar’s wedding – plus exclusive photos – pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
• Reporting by ALICIA DENNIS