19 Kids and Counting Recap: Behind Josh, Jill and Jessa's Marriages (and Michelle and Jim Bob's Vow Renewal)
As one Duggar starts on the road to marriage, another of the 19 Kids lifts the veil on her own wedding
With three Duggar weddings down, a whopping 16 remain!
Josh, Jill and Jessa have all paired off, and with Josiah, 18, officially pursuing a courtship with Marjorie Jackson as a first step to marriage, it may not be long before another 19 Kids and Counting wedding hits the airwaves.
On this week’s 19 Kids, we go behind the scenes of Josh’s wedding to Anna, Jill’s to Derick Dillard and Jessa’s to Ben Seewald as well as Michelle and Jim Bob‘s vow renewal 25 years after they tied the knot.
Jessa, 22, and Ben, 19, tied the knot in November, and, as we know, the couple was keen on keeping costs low so that they could focus on their honeymoon. For their decorations, they borrowed from their church and from Jill’s wedding to Derick and she ordered bridesmaids dresses online.
As wedding planner Sierra shared, Jessa is a girl who knows what she wants – she’s “really good about checking that everything stays in line,” said Sierra. Was that a hint of fear we detected?
For their wedding desserts, the Dillards eschewed traditional cake and went for brownie sundaes instead. For their Duggar-sized wedding audience, an incredible 1,800 brownies were made.
When it came to putting the wedding together, Sierra had the help of around 200 people – all of whom had been helped by the Duggars in the past and who wanted to return the favor.
The wedding also featured a surprise guest – a friend of Jessa’s from Indonesia who arrived two days in advance of the big day. As happy as the occasion was, Jinger, 21, acknowledged that it was “bittersweet” watching her “best friend” get married. “I was super excited for her but then, at the same time, things are never going to be the same in our friendship on that level ever again,” she said.
As for Jill, 23, and Derick, 26, the planning of their June wedding was hindered by the cancer diagnosis of his mother, Cathy. As the two spent an increasing amount of time at the hospital, Anna and the rest of the Duggar girls stepped in to help out.
Though Cathy was in poor health leading up to the wedding, she miraculously recovered for long enough to attend the wedding. “I truly believe that the joy she has is good medicine for her,” said Derick.
Jill, as Sierra revealed, was a fairly low-maintenance bride. However, there was just one thing she really wanted: root beer floats. As misfortune would have it, somebody left the freezer open, and all 33 gallons of the ice cream melted. Thanks to an 11th-hour miracle, Sierra managed to get her hands on enough ice cream for Jill and Derick’s guests, scooping 3,000 floats in an hour.
Joy Anna, now 17, was tearful throughout the ceremony. “It was so hard for me, thinking of [Jill] moving out of the house,” she said.
The first of Michelle and Jim Bob’s children to tie the knot, Josh, 27, married Anna in September 2008. They set the trend for budget-conscious weddings – Anna wore her sister’s wedding dress, and she made her own veil after she balked at the $200 price tags at the bridal shop.
She also decided to sew all of the bridesmaids dresses herself, which made them an affordable $35 each. “It was still the most special moment in our lives,” said Josh. “We didn’t have to spend all this money.”
Anna included all of the expansive Duggar clan as much as possible in the wedding, which made Joy Anna feel “honored.”
It’s apparently a Duggar tradition to sabotage the weddings to some extent – John David, now 25, accidentally-on-purpose forgot the rings. When it came time to exchange them, he leapt off the stage and ran for them. “It was very intentional,” he said. “Weddings are always so solemn and everything and so I figured I had to bring a little laughter into everybody’s world.” We’re sure Anna appreciated that!
If Jackson, 10, ever gets married, he has a great sabotage in mind for his brother, Justin, 12: “Maybe take his girl,” he joked, to the surprised laughter of the producers in the background.
Finally, we learned a little bit about the vow renewal ceremony that Michelle, 48, and Jim Bob, 49, held while she was pregnant with Josie.
The couple renewed their vows in the same place they got married 25 years prior, and all of their kids – 18 of them, at the time – were in the wedding.
“Thirty-one years ago, I asked you to marry me, and 30-and-a-half years ago we got married, and it’s been a wonderful life,” Jim Bob told his wife.
19 Kids and Counting airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on TLC.
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