19 Kids and Counting Recap: Ben and Jessa Tie the Knot (and Kiss Behind Closed Doors!)
From the wedding rehearsal to the Seewalds' very first kiss as a couple
After having just two and a half months to plan a wedding attended by upwards of 1,000 people, the Duggar-Seewald wedding went off without a hitch.
Find out what went down on this week’s 19 Kids and Counting, from the emotional wedding rehearsal to the even more emotional ceremony and reception. (Not to mention the many kisses that followed the one that happened behind closed doors – no more chaperones!)
The Wedding Rehearsal
At the rehearsal, Jinger, 21, was incredibly emotional in her speech. As Jessa’s best friend, she was happy for her sister but sad to see her leaving the house. “I just have to say that I am so thankful for just I am so undeserving,” she said, before beginning to cry in earnest. “I just love Jessa.”
The sisters hugged, and Jinger continued, “She has always been there. For my lowest points and stuff, she has been the one encouraging me, standing beside me, regardless of what I’ve gone through. It’s something that I’m just so grateful for. And I’m thankful for Ben for coming into Jessa’s life, and I’m just super excited to see what God has in the future for both of y’all.”
Jessa admitted that she was feeling weird about how, in less than 24 hours, there would be no more chaperones and that she would be going from a house of 20 to a house of two.
Also, there were 200 lbs. of chili being served at the rehearsal, which is truly astonishing to consider.
Before the Wedding
Possibly the only person more emotional about the pending nuptials than Jessa was her father, Jim Bob, 49. While he promised to try to not be as emotional at Jessa’s wedding as he was at Jill‘s, he failed to fulfill that promise pretty much immediately.
Jim Bob’s tears prompted Jessa’s in return, and Jessa made a rookie mistake by forgetting to wear waterproof mascara.
Meanwhile Ben, 19, was more than ready for his first kiss with his wife – he had brought with him a toothbrush, mouthwash and mints. All dressed up in his wedding finery, Jessa did his hair for him – it was a sweet moment for the couple before they experienced separation anxiety over being apart for just a few hours. Seriously – Jessa tossed around the idea of changing back out of her dress to go see Ben before exchanging their vows.
While Ben did remember mouthwash, he forgot the rings! Luckily, Jim Bob saved the day, but come on, Ben!
When Jessa came out in her blush-colored wedding gown, her bridal party was stunned. “She’s a beautiful bride,” said Jinger. Indeed she was!
Following a “real fast” prayer, it was time for Jessa to walk down the aisle.
The Wedding Ceremony
While Jessa and Ben often professed that their wedding would not necessarily be all that traditional, it was pretty traditional. Her father, Jim Bob, walked her down the aisle and was the one to lift the veil before givng her away to Ben.
Though traditional in spirit, their handwritten vows did differ from the norm. Also, their officiator, Pastor Mike Schadt, had jokes! “As Proverbs 18:22 says, ‘He who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from the Lord.’ Can I get an ‘amen,’ Benjamin?” “Amen!” a mildly startled Ben replied.
“You are the love of my life,” Ben told Jessa in his vows. “You’re my best friend, and I’ve learned so much through your love for me, and today is a beautiful day because I have the privilege of committing my life and all that I am. From the depth of my being I will seek to be open and honest with you. I will forever be there to laugh with you, to lift you up and to love you unconditionally through all of our adventures and our life together.”
Jessa’s vows were similarly sweet, and the two each finished their vows with the words: “I say these things believing that God is in the midst of them all. I give you this ring as as token of my unending love.”
(Naturally, Jessa loved the wedding band that Ben designed for her. “Baby, it’s gorgeous,” she said.)
When the happy couple were pronounced husband and wife, they ran out of the ceremony while the Arkansas Razorbacks fight song played them off. (Really.)
Pastor Schadt had more jokes to explain that: “It was their desire that they would share this unique and precious time alone – intimately alone. I guarantee you – and I know where they are but I’m not going to tell you – but I can tell you right now they’re smooching. So, the longer I talk the longer they can smooch in private. So, if I could just have your attention for three hours,” he trailed off, to laughs from the pews.
Jessa and Ben’s First Kiss Opened the Floodgates
“Our first kiss was nice and slow and romantic,” Jessa described it to 19 Kids cameras. “And I’m sure we’ll be doing a lot more kissing from here on out!”
Indeed, they did! The two kissed chastely all throughout their wedding reception.
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There, the couple enjoyed sundaes instead of cake – a hot-button issue in the Duggar household, as it turns out – and were led away from the festivities in a horse-drawn chariot to begin their honeymoon. “We have a lot of awesome stuff planned out,” said Jessa. “We’re going to Europe, so we’re really excited.”
“We looked back and thought that it was perfect,” Jessa narrated as the episode closed. “It couldn’t have gone better. It was everything we wished it would be, and we’re happily married.”
Also Worth Noting
• Jessa is organized – haven’t you heard? She planned the budget down to the last detail, and if she had to go over on any one item she’d make sure to pull the money from elsewhere. The girl would make an excellent wedding planner – when’s the last time you’ve heard about a wedding that came in on budget?
• For Josh, 27 – who only barely made it to the wedding thanks to a business meeting – the most memorable moment of the wedding was the fact that Jessa and Ben fully ran off stage to go kiss in private. “I guess that’s their thing!”
• “Just the words and the things that they expressed to one another was so beautiful,” said mother Michelle, 48, of her favorite part of the wedding. “I really appreciated that throughout their whole wedding ceremony.”
19 Kids and Counting airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on TLC.
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