22 June-2014, ALICIA C. DENNIS: The small town of Springdale, Arkansas, grew by more than 1,000 people this weekend, to include a large accumulation of Duggars celebrating the nuptials of the second daughter in a family of 19 kids.
600 cupcakes! 3,000 chocolate chip cookies! 3,000 root beer floats!
At the family-friendly wedding and reception for Jill, 23, daughter to Jim Bob, 48, and Michelle, 47, of TLC’s hit reality show 19 Kids & Counting, greeting and feeding the masses went like clockwork in true Duggar fashion.
“I’m so grateful to all the volunteers who helped put everything together for the wedding,” Michelle tells PEOPLE. “Everyone has worked hard and done an amazing job.”
Part of that job included making more than 600 cupcakes, 3,000 chocolate-chip cookies and 3,000 root-beer floats for guests to enjoy.
Tables divided into sweet and salty snacks were set up around the grounds of the Cross Church, where the bride and groom said their “I Dos” and guests formed a long, winding line to have a chance to wish the new couple well in their marriage.
More than 100 immediate family members were in attendance, as were guests from more than 30 states, according to Jim Bob.
“I think we should have done more pranks at the wedding,” Jill’s younger brother, Jeremiah, 15, tells PEOPLE with a laugh. “But, they did a good job. Derick is my brother-in-law. He’s a good guy. I’m stuck with him now, so good thing.”
Crowd Chants ‘Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!’
One memorable reception accessory for guests to view was Michelle’s wedding dress hanging on a wooden backdrop (she and Jim Bob have been married for 30 years this summer), accompanied by one of Dillard’s father’s police uniforms on the other. Dillard’s father, Rick, died in 2008, and his mother, Cathy, who is battling cancer, came to the wedding directly from the hospital.
“We want to think about the importance of marriage,” Jill explains to PEOPLE. “And what it means to be married.”
The eldest in the Duggar clan, Josh, served as emcee of the reception, pointing people to long folding tables filled with chocolate and vanilla cakes, as well as the tables with the wedding cake.
As the couple departed the reception in a vintage pickup filled with balloons and decorated with the message “Just Married” printed on the rear window, the crowd started chanting, “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” and the newlyweds obliged.
The couple had saved their very first kiss for the moment they became man and wife – and the new Mrs. Dillard tells PEOPLE it is all working out.
“It was worth the wait,” she tells PEOPLE, beaming and grasping her new husband’s hand.
(Input source: People.com)