Inside 19 Kids & Counting Stars Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald's Wedding
The young couple, who wrote their own wedding vows, wed before a crowd of over 1,000
It was a day that Jessa Duggar had been anticipating for years – and one her parents Jim Bob and Michelle, who have 18 other children, say they had prayed about since she was a little girl.
As the first strains of the bridal march played through the First Baptist Church in Bentonville, Arkansas, more than a thousand guests waited in anticipation to see the bride – who saved showing her wedding dress to her groom until that moment.
“We are excited and know it is going to be a beautiful wedding,” Duggar said before her rehearsal dinner.
The bride planned her wedding – themed with the colors navy, grey and coral – in just months and decided to keep it simple, skipping a cake and serving ice cream sundaes instead, wearing a blush Allure bridal gown and, most surprising to the guests gathered, saving her very first kiss with Seewald for after their marriage vows, away from prying eyes.
Along with her crew of bridesmaids, flower girls and sister Jinger, 20, her maid of honor, the wedding party included groomsmen on Seewald’s side and a multitude of other family and friends.
Seewald’s aunt Rebecca Seewald, 28, sang “Love Never Fails” before the two wed, pouring sand into a glass bottle to signify their union.
“Jessa asked me to sing this song and she rewrote some of the words,” Rebecca Seewald tells PEOPLE. “I am thrilled to have such a wonderful family come into Ben’s life.”
Jim Bob, 50, and Michelle, 49, shared special moments with their daughter as she prepared to walk down the aisle. And Seewald’s parents Michael, 39, and Guinn, 40, also expressed their love and support of the new couple.
“This day is so exciting,” Guinn Seewald tells PEOPLE. “It seems like a dream.”
For many more intimate details of Jessa Duggar’s wedding – plus exclusive photos – pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday