When Jill Dillard (née Jill Duggar) got engaged in late March, she gave herself less than two months to plan a wedding ceremony and reception for up to 3,000 guests. Thankfully for the 19 Kids and Counting star, a family friend named Sierra offered to provide some much-needed help.
“We had talked about it, and I told her, ‘If you want help with it, I would love to help you.’ And she’s like, ‘Perfect, yes! Okay,'” Sierra told The Original Duggar Family Blog. She added that, although Jill had a lot of potential helpers in her family, they both agreed it was best to limit the siblings’ workload. “It’s such a special time that if you’re not careful, you can forget that it’s a special time, and you miss out on the fun joy of being a family when your daughter’s getting married. So if we had any questions, we really deferred to the oldest sisters or to Michelle.”
Possibly because she didn’t have too many voices in the mix, Jill was able to cultivate the specific theme of “honor” for her big day. The women came up with ideas for integrating the theme by turning to Pinterest. Ever-economical Jill then got most of her supplies from a newlywed woman she connected with via Craigslist.
Jill, Sierra and their “dynamic” team of volunteers, put personal touches on decorations by inscribing wood stumps that lined the aisle with Bible verses and making a large, hand-painted sign for the reception.
The other big task was making enough snacks and desserts to satisfy up to 3,000 guests. (“Only 1,000-1,500 attended.”) They divided and conquered by making 3,000 servings of cake “brought in from across the nation,” 2,000 cupcakes, 3,000 cookies made at the Duggars’ home, 3,000 root beer floats and a big mix of salty snacks — including the Duggars’ beloved pickles!
Even though the scale was large, Sierra said everything was relatively stress-free.
“[Jill and Derick] were that awesome team that said, ‘Here’s what we want. Can we do it?’ So we did it,” she said. “I really didn’t have to be an intense wedding coordinator at all because everyone was so loving and so joyful.”