It’s wedding bells for the Duggar family, and daughter Jill has dad to thank.
As the clan — the stars of TLC’s hit reality show “19 Kids and Counting” — make courting the theme of the new season, the 22-year-old daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar has just revealed she is engaged — and that her dad introduced the happy couple.
Jim Bob told TODAY that he met Derick Dillard, 25, nearly two years ago while doing humanitarian work in Nepal. “I thought he and Jill had a lot in common and would hit it off,” he said. “Needless to say, they haven’t stopped talking since. They’re a match made in heaven and Michelle and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Jill Duggar told People magazine that their courtship is a “very international story” and that Derick was in Japan the first time they talked.
“When my dad first introduced Derick and I, we spent hours texting, calling, and talking on Skype while 8,000 miles away from each other,” Jill Duggar said. “And when we finally met in person in Nepal, we knew within days that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.”
The second-oldest Duggar daughter plans to marry Dillard, an accountant, in Rogers, Ark.
“I feel like I’m dreaming,” Dillard told People. “It was great to grab her hand for the first time.”
Jill isn’t the only Duggar daughter with a beau. Jessa, 20, has been involved with Ben Seewald, 18.
Being in a relationship with a Duggar involves plenty of rules, as TODAY learned when we recently caught up with the family. Dad Jim Bob and mom Michelle — the parents of 19 — make a distinction between dating, which doesn’t necessarily lead to marriage, and courtship, which has a good chance of ending at the altar and is carefully monitored.
The Duggar daughters always have a chaperone with them, while the brothers carefully watch their suitors. There’s no kissing or hand-holding, and if a beau wants to text a Duggar, the parents are included in every message.
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