6 Surprising Facts About Jill Duggar’s Engagement (That Included Chaperones!)

Jill Duggar: TLC / TheKnot.com TLC

Holding hands and living together before marriage is seemingly normal behavior — except when you’re part of the Duggar family! Jill Duggar, part of the famously huge clan on 19 Kids & Counting, announced her engagement to accountant Derick Dillard today. “I am so happy,” says Jill. “Our story is so very unique.” Unique is right, since the couple started talking on Skype before meeting in person and got engaged with two special chaperones present! Here’s six surprising — and sweet — details about their engagement:

1. Jill’s dad, Jim Bob, connected with Derick when he was doing missionary work in Nepal. He thought that Derick and Jill would hit it off, so the two started Skyping and texting (with each of their parents overseeing the conversations). Jill and Derick began courting in November, which means that they have chaperones supervising them when they’re alone together, and have little to no physical contact.

2. Jill says that she fell in love with Derick — before she even met him. “We got to know each other in the first few months pretty quickly,” Jill told People. “I was in love with someone I had never met in person, but we really knew each other well.” 

3. Derick and Jill may both live in small Arkansas towns, but the start of their courtship began overseas. “The first time we talked, he was in Japan, we met in Nepal, he spent time in India and Israel and then came back to Arkansas where he met my family,” Jill says. “We have a very international story even though we live so close.”

4. The couple saved holding hands for engagement — and will kiss for the first time on their wedding day. “I feel like I’m dreaming,” Derick says. “It was great to grab her hand for the first time.” 

5. Derick proposed to Jill on March 29 on a walk after lunch, with Jill’s sisters and chaperones, Jana and Joy, lingering behind. 

6. Derick arranged for someone to start singing a love song to them on a bench before he proposed. “By the second verse, I knew the song was about Derick and me,” Jill says. Derick then got down on one knee with a diamond and white gold engagement ring he’d designed himself. 

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  • Ashleigh
    04/10/14 at 05:59

    This is disgusting. Seriously though, not holding hands until the engagement??? What in the world!? Yes, I understand that is their preference, but touching someone(and I mean in a nonsexual way too) brings you so much closer. And chaperones??!?! If this girl is old enough to be engaged than she needs to know how to live her life without being watched at all times. That is far from what the real world is! This family is scary to think about.

  • Sid
    04/11/14 at 04:39

    You are the one that has a problem…. This IS what was normal back in the day when girls were protected probably something that you never experienced yourself therefore the insulting comments….. GOOD FOR YOUR DUGGERS!!

  • Allison
    04/20/14 at 04:17

    How on earth could you consider this “disgusting?” I mean, that’s your opinion, but I find their values to be wholesome and worth honoring. Would you rather they follow the cultural norm of disposable relationships and “casual” sex? There are two main reasons for the chaperones… first, so they’re protected from temptation when it comes to physical contact with each other. They value abstinence until marriage and don’t want to get caught up in a moment and then have regrets. Second, people overlook a lot of things when they’re caught up in a relationship. Having someone there whom you trust is just a way of having “backup.” I’d much rather go into a relationship with someone I trust’s blessing (because they see how the person is and agree that they’re good) than go in, “blinded by love,” and then figure out too late that the person was not exactly who I thought they were.

    It’s one reason I think dates should be a part of group events early on… family things, outings with groups of friends… because you can see how your date interacts with them, and they can give you wise counsel on whether or not they think this is the right person for you.

    Once these two are married, they’re on their own. It’s just the time of courtship when they recognize that they need and want to proceed with caution. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. Better to go in with both eyes open than to end up in divorce later over something you didn’t see prior to “I do!”

  • Shannon
    06/15/14 at 03:04

    I wholeheartedly agree with how Jim Bob and Michelle are raising their children. I also agree with you, Allison. I wish more families raised their children this way so that the divorce rate would be minimal and children would be raised in a stable environment.
    Marriage is sacred and a blessing from God, and this is how the Duggars show respect for the sacredness of two lives becoming one.
    I wish I had the blessing of being courted and having the love and respect, feeling valued by my future mate as the Duggars do.
    Congratulations to all the couples and an abundance of blessings to all of you! <3

  • Sherise
    06/05/14 at 08:27

    The fact that you said such mean and hateful things is so sad and I will pray for you. How horrible it must be to be you that you would spout such negativity into the world. Instead of rejoicing in someone else’s differences and being happy for them that this is what they have chosen to do and have stood by their beliefs you actually took the time to try to put them down? I feel sorry for you. How horrible it must be to decide that what you think is right is the only way things should be and impress upon the world your own thoughts and feelings. The funny thing is they never make anyone else feel uncomfortable for believing differently than they do wherever they go. If someone doesn’t believe the things that they do they smile and try to listen and understand with an open, loving and caring heart. If they are asked their opinion they share it in a loving way. Not in a mean and hurtful way like you did.

  • Kate
    06/11/14 at 05:19

    Chastity is disgusting and scary to you??? Wow, now I’m scared.

  • 04/10/14 at 06:53

    Oh my gosh, these two are precious! Congratulations to the both of them and I wish them a lifetime of blessings. Such a sweet story.

  • Kelly
    04/21/14 at 04:07

    What wonderfully wise young people! They are thinking with their brains and not their hormones!

  • 03/08/15 at 06:22

    UH, I THINK THE SHORT ENGAGEMENTS IS TESTIMONY TO THE FACT THAT HORMONES ARE MORE THAN PROMINENT. ISN’T POOR BEN SEAWALD 17?
    IT’S TOO CREEPY FOR WORDS!

  • Becky
    05/08/14 at 11:30

    Congrats. What a great couple and example. Our World needs more couples like this today.

  • Natasha
    05/09/14 at 10:41

    I understand the whole not sex thing but not holding hands and even kissing before engagement/marriage is too far. How does someone know they actually love each other without at least a kiss? There has to be some connection with kissing like this thing called chemistry and actually liking the kiss. At least that is what I believe. I love my fiance but there have been guys I have been physically attracted to but then kissed them and there was nothing but looks.

  • Kate
    06/11/14 at 05:22

    I am sure that your fiance really appreciates the fact that you kisses a bunch of frogs before you got to him. He must be so proud of you.

  • bishop
    05/18/14 at 05:33

    While I do not think this type of relationship is “for” everyone, good for them for sticking to their own morals and convictions. Personally, I could not imagine my first kiss (with anyone, every) being with an “audience” a.k.a. the congregation at the wedding!

  • Jan
    05/20/14 at 03:28

    I agree with Asheigh. This is a scarey family. The oppression here is abusive.What kind of “training” would cause adults to allow themselves to be controlled to this extent? This is just the other side of the extreme sexual behavior coin. Both sides.are sick! 19 kids or 9 baby daddies? Sad!

  • April
    06/20/14 at 06:24

    As a mother and a Chaplin I have seen both sides. I think what ever works for your family is for the best. They are raised in God’s love and word. A kiss leads to other things and while I don’t practice this with my children I don’t disagree.

  • Linda
    06/28/14 at 04:16

    I loved the whole Duggar Daughter episodes with Jill and Derrick. But to think you know someone who you have only been with in the presence of chaperones is ridiculous. It takes years to “know” someone and they never had a chance to let down their hair with eyes always on them. So if the man or woman seems different after the wedding and things are not so rosy I guess you would be stuck. I doubt there would ever be an episode where we would see an unhappy couple since it does seem to be more indoctrination rather than “getting to know someone”. I do not think that holding hands is in anyway going too far but it is what mom and dad expected and they were raised to accept it. Both Michelle and Jim Bob admit they “went too far” in interviews they have given over the course of time so I am not sure they are not just a little bit hypocritical. It reminds me a little of the Mormon groups up in Salt Lake who go to the justice of the peace near the colleges and get “married” so they don’t have any guilt to have sex and have it annulled in a short time so they are not kicked out. I hope that all the Duggers marry well and have happy endings. I am sad to think that the families have to watch so carefully in order to toe the line and there is no real self control allowed to be practiced because it is how one really feels rather than we have to because the world is watching. It is easy to be celibate when you are not tempted and have no opportunity to partake but self control is just that with emphasis on the “self” . Although I do not agree with some of the stands taken on this show with their faith and restrictions etc I admire that in this country they are a united family and show the loving side of their interactions. It is a good example for families and we need more good examples. Still I would not want my daughter or son to even consider the idea of a marriage unless a full year of knowing that person “warts and all” as they say went by. I have seen so many marriages that were like this go stale and the wife usually stays for the “sake of the kids” and that in itself is tragic. I do wish them the best of luck.

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