Another Duggar wedding is on the way: 19 Kids and Counting‘s Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald are engaged!
According to People, Ben proposed to Jessa on Thursday night after getting approval from Jim Bob Duggar. Ben and Jessa celebrated by holding hands for the first time.
The pair just marked their “11-month courting anniversary” this week. There’s no word on when Ben and Jessa will get married, but it will likely be a short engagement. Jessa previously told People she and Ben, who is the oldest of seven siblings, plan to have a big family.
“We are talking about our goals and the future with family. We have both talked about adoption and want to adopt, too,” Jessa, 21, said in April.
19-year-old Ben added, “Just because you are young, it doesn’t mean you are not ready for life. I want to encourage people to embrace adulthood. There is responsibility that comes with it and great reward.”
The goal of a courtship is to work toward marriage, which Ben and Jessa certainly seem to have done throughout their 11 months together. Besides going on dates and a mission trip together, one of the biggest steps the young couple took was when Ben relocated from his hometown to a place near the Duggars in Springdale, Ark. Jessa obviously also had marriage in mind when she joined Twitter and Instagram as “Jessa Seewald.”
TLC placed a vote of confidence in Ben by featuring him in press photos of the family, although not quite as prominently as Derick Dillard. (Similar things were reserved for Anna Duggar until she and Josh Duggar were actually married.)
Ben’s family seems fully supportive of the marriage, based on a recent blog post from his father. He said, “I, for one, don’t agree that putting off marriage is biblical or healthy.”
UPDATE The pair said in a statement: “We are so blessed to be engaged! God has written an amazing story through our courtship, and another chapter has just begun! We are thrilled to see what the future holds — especially the wedding bells.”
New episodes of 19 Kids and Counting premiere on TLC on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 9/8c. Before then, TLC is airing Dishing with the Duggars for three weeks straight, beginning on Monday, Aug. 25 at 1/12c p.m.