Friday, November 7, 2014

Duggar Weddings According To A Romance Writer

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Did you watch the 19 Kids and Counting episode featuring Jill Duggar’s wedding? Have you read up on the details of Jessa Duggar’s wedding? Did you watch the engagement episodes?

Do you have any clue who I’m referring to?

The world—or at least those who watch TLC or read People (I don’t)—is fascinated by how two women from Arkansas chose to court and marry their now-husbands. As an admirer of all things romantic (and I do mean romantic, not lustful), I’m swept up with the Duggar weddings.
Let’s talk about the courtships (what I consider a synonym for dating) first.
Jill traveled across the world to Nepal to meet the guy she ended up marrying. Across the world, people. While their meeting was a tad awkward, it was also one of the sweetest things I’ve ever watched. The two spent time together, Jill’s dad acting as the buffer, and ultimately their friendship shifted into courtship. Derick (Jill’s now-husband) presented her with a necklace and asked to court her. She said, “Totally!”
Jessa and her special guy Ben had a simpler meeting at church, but that doesn’t lessen their story. After courting for a little while, separated by distance, Ben moved close to Jessa in order to “speed up” their courtship.
Both couples never held hands, much less kissed, before they were engaged.
Oh, and let’s consider those proposals. Derick had a song written for Jill. Ben directed a scavenger hunt for Jessa. So for anyone who thinks a couple has to be touchy to be romantic, I dare to disagree.

The Weddings
Jill’s wedding might’ve been labeled low-budget, but how does one have a low-budget wedding with 1,000-2,000 guests? I’m not sure, but the event was beautiful. (From my TV screen, at least.) Pickles and root beer floats, a barefoot bride, the groom’s sick mother in attendance, the first ever kiss…all romantic.
I didn’t attend Jessa’s wedding (I’m sure my invitation must’ve gotten lost), but the pictures and articles have me longing for that wedding episode. She and Ben chose not to share their first kiss in front of their guests, a choice I find refreshing and understandable. Jessa’s dress was beautiful. Like, I might have to borrow it from her one of these days.

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Why does all of this matter to the romance novelist?
Because romance is not the physical. I’ve read books written by Christian authors that I couldn't finish which is unfortunate and unnecessary. Romance isn't lips and muscles. It isn’t an attempt to get as close to crossing that line as possible without doing so.
A guy choosing to wait to hold his girlfriend’s hand until they’re engaged is romantic. A girl flying across the ocean to meet a guy she could potentially fall in love with is romantic.
Tension can spring from so much more than physical contact.
I love love stories. There’s something about them that hooks me. Makes my heart squeal.
But only if the book is about more than how attractive the hero thinks the heroine is. Because if the relationship is based on that, I doubt the couple will survive long after the “I Do”.

What do you think? If you haven’t already, do you want to watch the Duggar weddings?


  1. Love this! It's the almost-kiss that we love the most in fiction. It's the moments where you realize how much these characters love each other and sometimes, while I love that fictional kiss, it's more powerful in the waiting. Great post. :)

    1. So glad you get my meaning here. I'm all for a tasteful kiss powered by abiding love. That's why I write romance. :)
      But waiting does bring the depth every relationship needs.
      Thanks for stopping by, Casey!

  2. We don't get TLC with our channel package, so I haven't seen enough of the Duggars to know much about them, other than they're really conservative--and that's a rare, refreshing thing for TV these days!

    I love that they shared their first kiss/wedding kiss off-stage! I've said the past couple years that there's no way I want my first kiss to be in front of an audience. LOL. It's so sweet and romantic to see a couple so devoted to purity. Puts me in mind of Eric and Leslie Ludy's books--great stuff.

    That's one thing I'm learning writing romance. Sometimes the hero NOT kissing the heroine can be just as romantic--or more--than stealing a kiss, especially if he's considering her feelings, sacrificing his own wants for her best interest. :)

    Now you've got me curious, and yes, I do want to watch the Duggar weddings! :) Maybe I can find clips on Youtube or something!

    1. 19 Kids and Counting is one of about three shows I watch. Ha! I said the other day there is no way I'd want to kiss my husband in front of a crowd of people watching us. I'm shy as it is--that would make my face blood red!

      I started reading a book the other day where the hero kissed the heroine at the beginning of the book basically just to prove he could. I was completely turned off to the story even though I'm thinking I was supposed to swoon. Lol!

      There are probably clips on YouTube or maybe even on the TLC website. They'd be worth watching.

  3. Hey Courtney,

    I found your post through my friend Natalie's website. :) I love this post, because I watch the Duggars too, and yes, I watched the wedding episode. It was beautiful! :) Truly romantic. :)