Jill Duggar is officially a married woman and can kiss her husband anytime she wants.
The couple tied the knot on Saturday, June 21, at the Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas. Because Jill and Derick both adhere to strict religious traditions, they shared their first kiss while standing at the altar.
Jim Bob Duggar, Jill's father, introduced the newlyweds last year while Derick was doing missionary work in Nepal. The couple started talking through Skype and text messaging, and later decided to enter into a courtship (a stricter form of dating). On March 29, with Jim Bob's permission, Derick decided to ask Jill to marry him, and she of course said yes.
On the couple's wedding website, Derick detailed how he met his bride.
“The answer to my prayer came in August 2013, just before I left Nepal for a two week trip to Japan,” he wrote. “During a conversation with Jim Bob, he mentioned how he thought Jill and I might get along well, having similar personalities and direction in life. He gave me Jill’s phone number and we began texting, then emailing, then skyping/ talking on the phone. Over the next few months we became very grateful for modern technology as we continued to get to know each other better. Most of our conversations were centered around our values and life goals.”
“At the end of November, Jill and her dad got to come to Nepal for a couple weeks,” he added. “I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited and prayed that God would give clear direction during this time. By the end of the trip I felt the Lord directing me to ask Jill to officially begin a courtship relationship. She agreed and we continued getting to know one another. It would still be two months before I completed my two year term and would move back home to Arkansas. Upon my arrival home (January 2014), I was met by the Duggar clan; this was my first time to meet Jill’s family in person. Over the next few months, I enjoyed spending time getting to know Jill and her family better.”
Their relationship continued to grow, and Derick explained that he knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Jill. "I shared how much I loved her, how I couldn't imagine life without her, and I asked her, 'Will you marry me?'" Derick recalled about the proposal.
— Say Yes to the Dress (@syttd) June 21, 2014
More than 1,000 guests attended the wedding including at least 100 immediate family members and numerous guests from over 30 states, and with the help of many volunteers, the couple's wedding went flawlessly. “I’m so grateful to all the volunteers who helped put everything together for the wedding,” Michelle Duggar, the matriarch of the family, said during an interview with PEOPLE. “Everyone has worked hard and done an amazing job." Putting everything together included preparing 600 cupcakes, 3,000 chocolate chip cookies and 3,000 root-beer floats for the wedding reception.
So, what did Jill think about her first kiss? She revealed that it was definitely worth the wait!
Congratulations to the happy couple!
Image via theknot.com