Jill Duggar, the second oldest daughter of 19 children, finally received her first kiss this weekend: At her wedding. The 23-year-old, “19 Kids and Counting,” reality television star wed her now-husband Derick Dillard in Arkansas after their chaste courtship. In true Duggar style, the couple was introduced through her parents, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, and allowed to date in only group settings, touching only when giving what they refer to as a side hug that may only last a few seconds. The couple never kissed, even after he proposed and they planned their wedding.
This weekend the couple finally shared their first kiss as they exchanged wedding vows in front of nearly 1,000 guests, including all of Jill’s siblings, parents, and Dillard’s mother, who left the hospital where she is battling cancer to attend her son’s wedding. Dillard’s father passed away in 2008. The couple commemorated his father, whom Jill never met, by hanging one of his police uniforms at the church where they wed, alongside Michelle Duggar’s wedding dress from three decades ago.
The wedding was held, in true Duggar tradition, at the family’s church, the Cross Church in Springdale. The family elicited the help of volunteers to prepare food for the reception, which was no easy feat considering how many guests were in attendance from all across the country. The reception food included 3,000 cookies and root-beer floats and more than 600 cupcakes.
Of her first kiss with her new husband, the newly minted Mrs. Dillard says, “It was worth the wait,” and her guests seemed to enjoy being there to witness the couple’s special moment. As the duo exited their wedding reception to get into their balloon-filled vintage truck, guests began a chant prompting the couple to kiss, which they happily did for everyone to see.
(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)