Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of TLC's 19 Kids & Counting fame have been married 30 years, with 19 children and three grandchildren to show for it.
Almost as incredible as their offspring total? On their 30th anniversary, the Arkansas couple seems as happy and in love as the day they got married.
July 21 marked the couple’s 30th anniversary, which they celebrated with a "special lunch," and prompted Michelle to blog about their humble beginnings.
Be available. Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls. - Michelle Duggar
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Michelle recalls how she personally baked their wedding cake, wore Jim Bob’s mom’s wedding dress and honeymooned in their native Arkansas.
“My wedding to Jim Bob almost 30 years ago was sweet and simple," she writes. "I wanted to do as much as I could myself as a way to save money."
“For the wedding cake, I made it myself and froze it. A friend decorated it for me using icing that she made with ingredients I bought for her."
"Another special touch was wearing Jim Bob’s mother’s wedding dress as my dress. Everything [at] our wedding was so inexpensive, but perfect."
“The reception was very simple with cake, nuts and punch. It was such a sweet time! We invited our closest friends and family (about 200 people)."
“Although we didn’t videotape our wedding, we took a lot of pictures and we had it recorded on cassette tape," recalls the mother of 19 here in 2014.
"As our children were growing up," she says, "we would listen to our wedding cassette again every year on our anniversary and we'd reenact the ceremony."
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar decided to splurge (relatively) on their honeymoon at Arkansas state parks, but even that modest aspiration became less so.
“When we arrived at our first destination, we couldn’t believe the difference between the photo on the brochure and the reality,” she explained.
“The picture showed a lovely cabin right beside a beautiful flowing river, but the cabin was really rundown with awful orange curtains and cobwebs everywhere!"
"On top of that, the river was completely dried up; there was no water at all. So we opted instead to go into town and stayed at a hotel in Fort Smith."
Next, "we went on to the incredibly scenic Mount Nebo and stayed for a few nights," but that too was cut short by car trouble. Writes Michelle:
"We were like, you know what? Let’s just go home to our house, to our new place, since we were both looking forward to being there together.”
Michelle says they spent the rest of their honeymoon "living on love" and fixing up the 900-square-foot starter home they had just purchased.
That's what it's all about, right? The rest is history, with Josh and Anna Duggar and Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard now married with kids of their own!