The couple chose not to have a cake, a white dress – or a public first kiss
Jessa Duggar (now Seewald) was always a young woman with a mind of her own – and she and new husband Ben Seewald showed their more than 1,000 guests at their wedding day they were doing things their own way.
The couple, who wrote their own wedding vows, were saving their very first kiss until after they were married. But they had a surprise for the crowd eagerly waiting to see them lock lips on stage after Pastor Mike Schadt introduced them as Mr. and Mrs. Seewald.
“They wanted their very first kiss ever to be in private,” Schadt tells PEOPLE. “It was important to the both of them.”
He then spoke to the crowd for several minutes about the couple’s decision and asked Jessa’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar to show the wedding crowd a kiss.
“So, now you’ve seen a Duggar kiss,” Schadt said.
After spending some time alone, the new bride and groom posed for pictures and later exchanged several sweet kisses at their reception.
The reception was also missing a traditional wedding feature – a cake. The couple chose to have ice cream sundaes instead, so guests had brownies, ice cream and a variety of toppings including chocolate, caramel, candy and cookies.
“I don’t really like cake,” Jessa, 21, told PEOPLE when she was planning her wedding. “We wanted ice cream sundaes instead.”
The couple chose special ice cream flavors for their own sundaes – mint chocolate chip for Ben, 19, and chocolate for Jessa.
Jessa also chose a blush gown from Tesori Bridal in Fayetteville, Arkansas – an Allure dress from their modest line, with a fully beaded bodice of Swarovski crystals and pearls, and had some of the tulle in the dress removed so it would fall exactly the way she wanted it to.
“It was the second dress I tried on,” Jessa tells PEOPLE. “I love it.”
And it was absolutely perfect for the bride, say Tesori Bridal co-owners Lindsey Stavely and Erin Bridges.
“We didn’t know if she would like it because it wasn’t the traditional white,” says Stavely. Adds Bridges, “She kept coming back to this dress and all her sisters were like, ‘the second one, the second one,’ so everyone agreed.”
The newlyweds were cheered on by the crowd who blew bubbles in the air as the couple left their reception in a horse-drawn carriage.