Feb 21, 2020
19 Kids and Counting: Happy Wedding Day to Jessa! And Many More!
It’s Jessa’s wedding day on 19 Kids & Counting! So she gets married. That’s pretty much it. There’s also ice cream sundaes, if that interests you. No? Um, it’s a little chilly outside. Yeah, that’s about all the excitement you’re gonna get.
If the Duggar family demanded an end to interracial marriage or the right to refuse service to Muslims, there is no chance People magazine would even consider an exclusive deal to print Jessa’s wedding photos. But, because it’s fags and dykes, here it is:
Doesn’t she look lovely? Doesn’t everyone who falls in love and wants to get married deserve the chance to be this happy? Nah, just straight people, lest we risk earthquakes and pestilence, says the Duggars. Here’s some more money, says People magazine.
People got the exclusive on Jill and Derick’s newborn baby as well. Little Israel was born last night (Monday, April 6) at 11 minutes ‘til midnight. One has to wonder if they think the name is somehow a poke in the eye at our president with the Iranian nuclear deal going on. Although Jill is a natural crunchy granola midwife (the weird overlap between ultra-hippies and rightwing crazies on birth and vaccines never ceases to amaze me), she wisely made a last-minute decision to opt for a hospital birth given that Little Israel ain’t so little… 9 lbs 10 oz!
Okay, People, er, I mean people, it’s on to Jessa’s wedding day!
“Today is the day Ben and I will share our first kiss,” says Jessa, lest you forget.
“I’ll make sure I have some breath mints handy, maybe some breath spray,” says Ben, whose preoccupation with fresh breath is reaching OCD levels. It’s getting to the point where I expect him to throw a dental dam over Jessa’s face. Mouths are yicky.
The wedding party is gathering at the church, with the gentlemen posing for photos in one hour, the ladies in two hours, and the crowds swarming in a couple of hours after that.
It’s 40 degrees outside, and it’s only expected to get in the 50s, so Sierra the Wedding Planner is frantically trying to find outdoor heaters to rent for the reception, which is taking place in the church parking lot. Does she not have the Weather Channel app on her phone? At least there’s no rain in the forecast. In fact, looks-wise, it’s an amazingly beautiful day.
The show’s producers have given 13-year-old James a camcorder and sicced him on the wedding party to do ambush interviews. He starts with Sierra, asking her if she’s got this shit, and she’s like, fuck yeah, bitch—it’s game time.
Jessa is shellacking Ben’s hair with 80 gallons of Aquanet for the wedding photos. “Doing my hair for the last time as just an engaged couple,” Ben pines wistfully. THAT DOES NOT RISE TO THE LEVEL OF NOSTALGIA, YOU MORON. Can the producers not coach him up a little bit on some non-idiotic things to say?
Ben stands up, and what the hell happened to his shirt? Did it shrink in the dryer? Did he buy it at a yard sale? Not only is it a hideous gray-brown, but it’s three sizes too small. Combined with a pink bow tie, he looks like the poorest kid at Sunday School. I wonder if Jessa bought it online based on his T-shirt size.
Aw, there’s spinster Jana, putting on a brave face. Good for you.
Here comes James, camcorder in hand, ready to ambush Ben with a question that even Ben could answer. “This is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime deal for you, right?” asks James.
The producers miss a chance to insert the Jeopardy! music and really ramp up the suspense here. What will he say?????
“Yes,” says Ben. Whew! He passed!
The bridal suite is crowded, what with 11 bridesmaid and various family members. Derick is painting Jill’s toe nails because she’s pregnant and can’t reach. Ma Duggar forces Jessa to eat a granola bar, and Jessa assures her she had a decent breakfast.
“She’s staying calm,” Ma Duggar says. Gee, whodda guessed Jessa could manage to give off an air of not really caring and going with the flow?
Sierra, on the other hand, is striking out in her quest for outdoor heaters. She throws in the towel and trusts everyone brought a sweater. At least the ice cream won’t melt very quickly.
James points his camcorder at Derick and asks, “What do you think about being the tallest person in the wedding?”
“I’m not in the wedding,” Derick says. Damn, James—way to rub it in. You are one cold-ass honky.
(And I, for one, was really looking forward to an answer to that insightful question, too. Life, why are you so full of disappointments?)
Ben has something to sweat about, and not just the upcoming tongue-touching. He’s forgotten the rings! What, is this a sitcom? “It’s a little bit ridiculous,” he admits. He’s got no choice but to call Pa Duggar and give him this one last chance to withdraw his consent and refuse to give his property away to this idiot. Instead, Pa agrees to grab the rings on his way out of the house.
Hey, it’s eldest son Josh. His wife Anna’s been fretting for two episodes that he wouldn’t make it because he wasn’t scheduled to fly in until the day of the wedding. I’m sure it’s been weighing heavily on your mind as well. But, despite a two hour delay, he’s here in plenty of time. I know I’ll sleep easier tonight.
In the bridal suite, there’s a slo-mo reveal of Jessa opening the door in her bridal gown. Yep, that’s the bridal gown all right. Too bad we’ve already seen her in it weeks ago.
“I can’t believe this is the day we’ve talked about for years,” says Pa Duggar. Then the tears start flowing. Wow, Jim Bob’s got a bit of John Boehner in him. When Jessa sees her dad crying, she immediately joins in. Then Ma Duggar follows suit.
“I totally forgot to wear waterproof mascara,” Jessa bawls.
Once the family has had a chance to compose themselves, James is back with his camcorder. “Could you explain what you’re feeling right now?” he asks Jessa.
“I’m sad to be away from Ben for a couple of hours,” Jessa says. James somehow refrains from puking down the front of her wedding dress.
Speaking of Ben, it’s time for the boys to get their wedding photos. Holy crap, ALL of their shirts are pulled ridiculously tight. Did no one have the guts to say anything? At this point, I’d tell all the groomsmen to take off the shirts and hand them to the next smallest person in line. Yeah, the biggest guy would be left shirtless, but you’ll just have to send him home. Them’s the breaks.
But nothing like that happens. Instead, they line up in weird boy band formations. With the blue pants, gray shirts, suspenders, and bow ties, it’s all very Civil War hipster. And incredibly tacky.
“I can’t believe it. In just about 30 minutes, my dad will be walking me down the aisle,” Jessa says. Look, you rehearsed it yesterday, and now you’re standing there in a church in your wedding dress; I’m not sure what else it’ll take to convince you.
Also, 30 minutes? If the boys are getting their pictures made, the ceremony’s at least two hours off. I’ll blame this on bad editing.
Here come all the women in their coral bridesmaids dresses. I guess all that drama about finding something different came to nothing, huh? It hasn’t been mentioned since the episode the dresses arrived in the mail. Jessa is there as well, and let’s be honest: she looks amazing.
Also honest: Jinger’s smile looks pained. She’s really going to miss having Jessa around.
Inside the church where he can’t see Jessa in her dress, Ben says the day is flying by. I wish I could say I felt the same.
Photos must be done, because Pa Duggar is hanging out with Jessa again. “You’ve been a great daughter,” he says.
“Still a daughter,” she consoles him. “All my days.”
“I just can’t believe it. This day is finally here,” he says. And here come the waterworks. When Jessa sees it, she starts crying too.
All of the bridesmaids gather around Pa Duggar, and he starts praying. Elsewhere, the groomsmen are gathered around Poppa Seewald, who is leading them in prayer. “Wait a minute,” you wonder. “Why isn’t Ma Duggar or Momma Seewald leading the women?” Ha, ha, you’re not a crazy rightwing evangelical, are you. Women DO NOT lead prayers if there is a man present to do it. Ever. No joke. Bitches best be quiet in church.
Ben and his groomsmen enter the sanctuary and walk onto the stage while the organ plays “Amazing Grace.” Brown shoes with navy blue pants and grey shirts… interesting choice.
The bridesmaids start walking down the aisle, and 17-year-old Joy Anna is just bawling her poor little eyes out. As the same preposterously bombastic bridal march from Jill’s wedding begins, Pa Duggar whispers to Jessa, “You’re the prettiest bride ever.” You hear that, Ma Duggar? That includes you, ha, ha!
“I just couldn’t believe it. The moment was finally here,” Jessa tells the camera. “I was about to marry my favorite person in the world.” And down the aisle they go, onto a stage about three times the size of an average church. No, not an average church stage—an average church.
Pa Duggar says the right words to give the bride away, and we get to watch in real time as Jessa makes her way to Ben’s side and the pastor starts the ceremony. Wow, this guy can talk. And it looks like we’re going to have to listen to every word of it.
“Love is patient, love is kind,” he says. Ooo, how original. “Love is not a feeling; love is a choice,” he says. Okay, that part’s different. Still, it’s pretty traditional stuff about devoting yourself to another person even when you’re not feeling particularly lovey-dovey.
Now it’s time for the vows, and Jessa and Ben have written their own. Ben whips out a piece of paper to general laughter, because everyone there knows he’s an idiot. “I will passionately pursue you, pray for you, empower you to do the things you dream,” he says. The alliteration is nice, I guess, but I’m not sure I get the “pursue” part.
Jessa recites the same vows, but from memory. When Ben gives her the ring—the one he designed in secret—she whispers, “Oh, Ben. That’s gorgeous.” It’s a little Super Bowl ring-ish, I think, but I’m not marrying the guy.
Next, they each take a wine carafe filled with colored sand—one green, one blue—and pour it into a single glass container. Hey, I made one of those at day camp when I was a kid! We put it in the bathroom, and I was very proud of it. This one is even more meaningful: the two sands are becoming one, and cannot be separated again, at least not without risking eternal hellfire.
Both sets of parents then come to the stage and join the bride and groom in silent prayer. It’s riveting television, let me tell you.
Then the pastor pronounces them man and wife. Majestic orchestra music swells up like it’s a presidential convention, and off the happy couple goes down the aisle.
Once they’re gone, the pastor has a few more words to say: Did you notice they didn’t kiss? I bet you noticed they didn’t kiss. Ben said he need sixteen breath mints and a bottle of Scope first. So they decided their first kiss would be in private. “I can tell you right now, they’re smooching,” he assures us.
Cut to the reception. Jessa and Ben come out, and everyone demands they kiss. They happily oblige. Everyone cheers.
“I was suffocating. I kind of forgot to breathe,” says Ben. Dude, how have you not drowned drinking a glass of water yet?
Next, Jessa wants to mimic the famous photo of her mom winking over her dad’s shoulder with her marriage certificate on their wedding day. The original is pretty corny, but the tribute is kind of cool.
Then bratty little six-year-old Mackynzie has to come and spoil the moment. “Jessa’s dress was peachy,” she says. She means the color. It’s called blush, you little twerp! Ugh, you ruin everything!!!
Once again, the crowd calls for a kiss. Then, each of the Duggars gets a chance to talk to the camera and predict lots of babies. One of the kids even mentions that Jessa and Ben are talking about adopting, which is the first mention of it on the show, although the tabloids have been saying so for several months. Could it be because Ben thinks vaginas are even grosser than mouths? Maybe, but I’m guessing Jessa just doesn’t want Ben in the gene pool.
Good call, Jessa. Way to be a mensch.
“They bought you mint chocolate chip ice cream,” Jessa says.
“Really?!” Ben exclaims. Chill, dude. That’s pretty much the normal way you incorporate mint into ice cream. I’m glad to see Sierra didn’t have an entire volunteer crew dancing on breath mints for people to pour over their sundaes.
The couple hooks arms and feeds each other bites of their sundaes like it’s champagne. Then it’s time for them to make the naked sexytimes. They rush off through bubbles, not rice, to a waiting horse-drawn carriage. But first, James catches them one last time on his camcorder to ask them to describe their first kiss.
“Awesome,” says Ben.
“Wow,” says Jessa.
To the camera, Jessa says, “It was perfect and everything we dreamed it would be.” Then they head off into the sunset for painful, yet mercifully brief sexual intercourse.