The good news? Jill Duggar is engaged. The bad? She's going to have a heck of a time selecting her maid of honor.
The 22-year-old, who appears with her supersized family on the TLC's reality show "19 Kids & Counting," will be marrying Derick Dillard, Yahoo has confirmed. Jill, who is studying to be a midwife and recently authored a book about her conservative family's view on relationships, announced in late March that she was in a courtship with the Arkansas accountant, 25. Now, comes the news that the duo — who were brought together by Jill's dad, Jim Bob, who met Derick two years ago while doing humanitarian work in Nepal — will tie the knot within the next few months.
"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 tells Yahoo in a statement. "And when we finally met in person in Nepal, we knew within days that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I love Derick's desire to follow God and to serve others. Derick is so romantic and the proposal was perfect. We are incredibly happy and can't wait to share our courtship and engagement on '19 Kids & Counting.' Next up, wedding planning!"
The future groom sounded equally smitten, telling People magazine, "I feel like I'm dreaming. It was great to grab her hand for the first time," referring to when he placed a ring on her finger.
Jill will be the second of Michelle and Jim Bob's offspring to walk down the aisle. Josh, 26, married Anna in 2008 and they already have three children of their own. And Jill and Derick have their blessing.
"They're a match made in heaven and Michelle and I couldn't be more thrilled," Jim Bob tells Yahoo in a statement. "We're so grateful to God and look forward to watching their love continue to grow as they prepare for their wedding and future life together. We're not losing a daughter, but rather gaining a son!"
The bride-to-be and her 21-year-old sister Jessa, who announced her courtship with Ben Seewald last September, recently paired up with two other sisters — Jana, 24, and Jinger, 20 — to write a book about relationships called "Growing Up Duggar." In it, they shared their views on marriage and explained how courtships work.
For the Duggars, the courtship phase is hard work. Mom Michelle previously said that the period "is not about having fun. You are really considering if this person could be your life partner — you pray about it and see what happens."
Any conversations or interactions between each girl and her potential partner are closely monitored by Michelle and Jim Bob. And they are mostly faith-based, involving discussions about scripture. There is no physical contact, other than a side-hug hello and goodbye.
However, all that will soon change for Jill in the next few months when she ties the knot. And, considering how happy Derick was to touch Jill's hand when he proposed, their first kiss on their wedding day is going to be a spectacular event.