‘Counting On’ Joseph & Kendra’s Wedding Special Recap: A First Kiss & More Duggar Wedded Bliss

When your father is literally standing inches from you while you get your first kiss…

We know you’re probably still recovering from Joy and Austin’s road-to-blessing-making-bliss episode, but don’t put away your fancy wedding sandals just yet—because the Duggar clan is fixin’ to marry off yet another kid before the end of this season of Counting On!

When we last saw him, Joseph Duggar (the third-oldest Duggar boy after grabby hands Josh and “Bachelor Until the Rapture” John-David), proposed to Kendra Caldwell right in the middle of Joy and Austin’s wedding reception. So naturally, on this week’s episode we’ll see Joe and Kendra’s wedding day, proving that the only thing quicker than a Duggar courtship is the editing crew at TLC.

“Geez, TLC, you couldn’t have let my wedding be the season finale, could you?”

We will, of course, get to see all of the wedding prep for Joe and Kendra’s wedding day in a full, two-hour episode that will air next season. (Don’t worry, kids, you’ll get to watch good ol’ Miss Cindy send the Duggar children out to the neighbor’s cornfields or whatnot to pluck some sort of weeds to use as free wedding décor, but you’ll have to wait a bit.) This episode focuses only on the wedding day. We start out at the Caldwell home on the morning of the big day.

Before heading off to the church, Kendra and her sister Lauren are primping (in moderation) in the bathroom and Lauren laments how lonely it’s going to be brushing her teeth without Kendra around. (Let’s be honest, Lauren’s probably more bummed that she won’t be able to share conservative clothes with Kendra anymore. There goes half of the knee-length skirts and high cut tops in her wardrobe!)

“I’m not going to have to bang it out for the first time in a camper like Joy, am I?”

Kendra’s womenfolk tell the cameras that, “Kendra is doing well, despite everything.”

Did Kendra suddenly lose a limb, or wake up with a face that looks like Josh Duggar’s or something? It’s just her wedding day, guys… geez, cool it with the dramatics.

Before hitting the road with her laundry basket of wedding supplies, Kendra tells viewers she and Joe have talked about their first kiss and have decided that they’re not “gonna lunge for it” and she’ll let Joe take the over the liplock and she’ll just kind of stand there.

“Don’t worry girl. I went on the Interwebs to find out how to kiss. And, no, I DIDN’T have an accountability buddy with me while I used the computer!”

Umm… TLC, why the hell wasn’t this conversation filmed?! You guys film boring things like Joy getting glasses, but there was no crew present for this little talk between Joe and Kendra?! We can only imagine the hilarity and cringe-inducing moments that would have ensued from seeing these two trying to get their hands on an unsecured Internet connection long enough to Google, “How to Totally Nail Your First Kiss as Grown Adults in Front of a Camera Crew and Random Friends/Family Members Without Disappointing the Lord.”

Over at the Duggar compound, Joe drops a letter off to each of his siblings before heading to the church. He heads to the girls’ room (which, sadly, now only houses poor Jana, the elementary-age girls and a bunch of empty beds that used to belong to the now-married sisters) and places an envelope on Jana’s bed.

(Anyone want to bet it’s really just a note instructing Jana where to place all of the wedding gifts after the reception ends… after she cleans up and takes out the trash, of course.)

He then goes to the boys’ room, which basically looks like the Army barracks in the movie “Full Metal Jacket.” There is a bunch of triple-stacked bunk beds and piles of junk everywhere.

Joe says he can’t believe the previous night was his last in that room. From the looks of that place, he should be elated. If I were one of these guys, I’d elect to sleep in Ye Olde Duggar Junk Warehouse, rather than this room that’s packed with post-pubescent guys.

At the church, Miss Cindy has once again enlisted the help of some unlucky little Duggars to help her place flowers on everything she can get her hands on. Cindy commends Jeremiah on the job he did placing flowers on the giant cross, calling him “amazing.” I’m sure Jim Bob will be elated to learn that one of his sons has a passion for interior decorating!

“If I keep pretending I like floral design, maybe my dad won’t marry me off anytime soon!”

Jere downplays his skills, telling the cameras he’s just the “greenery guy.” (We’ve gotta hand it to him, though; his greenery-covered cross looks amazing!)

Miss Cindy then talks about how a Duggar boy wedding is different than a Duggar girl wedding, which is super obvious in the fact that she’s not throwing hay all over the damn floor for this ceremony. She does, however, mention there’s a flower delivery issue but she’s remaining optimistic that “God willing” everything will work out. (No Duggars have been sent to gather the horse feed just yet.)

No one is as over these Duggar wedding specials as Jenny Duggar…and we LOVE her for it…

Kendra and the girls arrive to the church and are greeted by wedding coordinator/Duggar-wedding staple Laura. (She’s the gal who came in some time after Jessa’s wedding and gave ol’ Sierra and her Craft Kit ‘o’ Horrors the boot for future Duggar weddings.)

Kendra tells Laura she’s “cool as a cucumber” despite her wedding being just hours away. Once in the bridal suite, she greets all of the arriving Duggar girls in a voice so calm, it almost rivals Michelle’s. She’ll fit in this family just fine.

Jessa comments that Kendra is “doing great even now.” Geez, are these people just staring at this girl, waiting for her to crack and start screaming Bible verses in strange voices or something?

“She’s looking down the barrel at 25 years of being a baby machine. You’d think she’d be freaking out!”

Elsewhere in the church, Joe addresses the cut on his nose he’s currently sporting and reveals it was the result of a rough game of broomball… you know, the same activity all grooms partake in the night before their weddings.

Joe says he isn’t too worried about the fact that it “broke the flesh” (no comment…too easy) because he plans to glam it up before he heads down the aisle.

“A little makeup never hurt nobody, right,” he says.

Yaass, Joe – werk!

Jason says Joe’s wedding is the third wedding in less than a year, which isn’t “Duggar standard” but we beg to differ… this is classic Duggar. The only thing missing is another pregnancy announcement, another courtship, a vat of pickles and Derick attempting to con “fans” out of more cash for “mission trips.”

Jason says in this family, you never really know who’s next, though we can all assume who isn’t. (Sorry, Jana.)

“Dad said we were out of eligible daughters to marry off so one of the boys had to take one for the team. You drew the short straw.”

All of sudden, Jim Bob comes in to ruin the vibe. He demands all the guys gather ‘round him so they can listen as he tells Joe that this is the biggest day of his life (except for his salvation) and that nothing will ever be as important as what’s about to happen to him today. But, you know…don’t be nervous or anything.

“If at any moment you feel like you’re going to keel over from nerves…make sure you do it on camera.”

Back in the bridal suite — where every Mary Kay palette has seemingly gone to die — Kendra talks to her youthful-looking mom, Christina.

Kendra tells her mom she’s getting a little nervous but is excited that her dad is not only walking her down the aisle, but also officiating the ceremony. Christina tells viewers Kendra and Joe are “two completes” for each other. We can assume this is a good thing…?

As the setting up continues, Miss Cindy announces that her flower delivery never arrived from California but she’s going to make it work with the flowers they already have. (Apparently the Lord had more important tasks to work on and didn’t have time to answer her prayers to have So-Cal roses make it to Arkansas in time for a Duggar wedding?)

“Where in the H-E-double hockey sticks are those flowers? I told y’all we should have used hay!”

Miss Cindy yanks some roses out of the church lawn and throws them together with some random greenery left over from the church décor and a few flowers that are appropriately called “blushing brides.” She prays that Kendra will be too overwhelmed with wedding nerves to notice the changes to the bouquet.

(Does anyone else think that, somewhere in the church, there’s a grouchy Sierra holding a box of California flowers and muttering that she could have done a better job?)

“Oh you want those other ladies to do your weddings? We’ll see about that…”

As ceremony time grows near, candles are being lit, Kendra’s dress is being laid out (with not a stitch of lace, we might add!) and Jana is sent over (in between changing baby diapers and repainting the church, of course) to be Joe’s makeup girl and cover his broomball blemish so that he doesn’t look like Rudolph the Fundie Reindeer in his wedding photos.

“I’ve done a lot for this wedding so if we could cool it with the old maid references for an episode, that’d be great.”

Kendra ever-so-kindly kicks the majority of the girls out of the dressing room section of the bridal suite so she can throw on her bedazzled ball gown and do a first look with her dad.

Upon seeing his daughter, Pastor Caldwell jokes that Kendra probably can’t run in the dress, almost as if he’s suggesting she should. While talking to her parents, Kendra starts crying, but luckily she manages to keep her fancy faux eyelashes attached. Before they head out, Pastor Caldwell keeps talking about how much Kendra reminds him of his wife. Like…he says it a lot and it’s getting uncomfortable.

During all this, Miss Cindy tramples through the church barefoot to give Kendra her  admittedly thrown together bouquet. Kendra, of course, thinks it’s perfect. (Can you imagine how great it would have been if Kendra had turned all Bridezilla on Miss Cindy, throwing the weed bouquet back in her face and yelling that she wanted the bouquet she had ordered?!)

“No, the bouquet is, um, great. But why didn’t you at least have Jana pick the worms off the roots before you gave it to me, Miss Cindy?”

Kendra tells Miss Cindy she loves the bouquet, though, so it’s time for yet another reveal. The bridesmaids are all instructed to turn their backs (while up on stage) and then turn around to see Kendra in her dress. Everyone makes a fuss, of course. Once they see the bride, the girls are pumped, unlike their shoes, which are a funky mix of sandals, ballerina flats and corked wedges. (Hey, most of the bridesmaids are Duggar girls, so it’s kind of a miracle that they’re wearing shoes at all.)

The Duggar girls always take at least one bridesmaid photo where everyone looks like they just looked up dirty words in the dictionary or something. Peep the eyes on everyone in this one…

Michelle and Jim Bob take a moment before the ceremony to sit down with their son and give him a pep talk. In addition to advising Joe to honor and love his wife, Michelle instructs him to “never go sleep with anything between you and Kendra.” (We assume she meant clothes.)

“I have a good feeling about this one, Jimmy. I think he may beat Josh’s offspring record!”

Michelle and Jim Bob also stress the importance of being respectful and using words of affirmation and encouragement, as they apparently do in their relationship. Both parents make sure to stress to Joe that, again, this is the BIGGEST day of his life but, you know, don’t be nervous or anything…

Seriously, why is everyone trying to trigger Joe into a nervous breakdown?

“If we could just get Joseph to pass out, we’d have great footage for the dramatic trailer for this episode!”

Back in the bridal suite, Kendra is holding it together, but we can’t say the same for her dress! The bottom ruffle falling off of it. Calm down, girl! You didn’t walk down the aisle yet and that dress is already coming off!

Jana storms into the room, sewing machine in hand, ready to tackle the wardrobe malfunction! (I mean, who doesn’t travel with their full-size sewing machine, right?) Joy and Jana zap the dress back into shape, while Jessa stands there asking questions so it looks like she’s helping.

[Insert inappropriate Duggar wedding night joke here]
As guests begin to arrive, the guys, who are hanging out in some sort of choir room, chat with their brother before he ties the knot. Joe keeps talking about getting his first kiss (and, oh yeah, getting married too). The younger boys look a little jealous of him, knowing that it may be years before they, too, will know what it feels like to press their lips against the lips of a real, live girl!

Joe says he’s excited but not nervous, and talks about how special it is that he and Kendra are waiting to share their first kiss. He notes that a lot of people don’t wait until marriage to do so.

Um…except for every one of the Duggars, of course…

It’s almost time to walk down the aisle and the nerves are finally hitting Kendra. Outside of the bridal suite, Jana helps her with a last minute pinning of her veil, saving the day once again.

The face Jana makes when anyone asks if she’s ready for it to be her turn to walk down the aisle…

She’s helped by a ridiculously pregnant Anna who looks as if she’s going to pop out her latest blessing right there on Kendra’s gown. (Don’t worry! Jana can deliver the baby and still have time to clean the baby gunk off of the gown!)

We get to see the church set up for the first time, and it’s gorgeous. No joke, Miss Cindy has really outdone herself this time.

This wedding guest is clearly riveted by the festivities…

Joe heads down the aisle with his parents and they tell him they’re so happy for him because he’s waited so long for this day (i.e. three months).

After the wedding brigade heads out with their houseplant-style bouquets, it’s time for Kendra and Pastor Caldwell to walk down the aisle. When Joe sees his bride, he gets emotional and fights to conceal one hell of a cry face.

When Joseph realizes the only Duggar brother he can talk to about sex is Josh…

Pastor Caldwell isn’t just going to hand off his oldest blessing, however. He gives a painfully long speech (read off of his cell phone, natch) and busts out several corny Dad jokes RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CEREMONY. He basically gives the “Father of the Bride” speech in the ceremony instead of at the reception, and it totally takes the attention off of the couple getting married.

“Anything else Pastor Caldwell? Would you like to sing a few verses of ‘Careless Whisper?’ Do a little stand-up comedy? We’ve got time. It’s just our wedding…”

Finally, he releases Kendra to Joe, then takes on the role of the pastor… just so he can talk some more about himself.

The attention finally goes back to Joe and Kendra…but not for long. When it’s time for the couple to exchange rings, Joe turns to his best man Josiah to get Kendra’s ring and he pretends to not have it.

Groan…

We then see a man rappelling from the ceiling to hand them off to Josiah.

“Wow,” Pastor Caldwell remarks. (He’s probably angry that the attention was taken off of him.)

Kendra starts laughing nervously (and unnaturally loudly) at the whole thing, but we’re not really sure she’s so thrilled that everyone seems dead set on stealing the thunder on her wedding day. But, hey, whatever it takes to get to that closed-lip liplock!

“Nyuck it up, Josiah…and sleep with one eye open.”

Joe takes the ring and places it on Kendra’s finger declaring, “With this ring, I be wed.”

Yeah Joe, you will BE wed. Thankfully Kendra gets the words right, so there’s hope for their offspring.

Joe and Kendra shuffle across the stage to light the unity candle and someone starts belting out an obnoxious rendition of “Butterfly Kisses” — a song that’s—you guessed it—all about the father of a bride!

“Hey at this point, I’m just happy my dad’s not tap dancing across the stage, Joe.”

Joe and Kendra are then joined on stage by their parents for a prayer circle.

Can we just take a second here to recognize the fact that Jim Bob is not wearing his trusty gray suit for this wedding?! (It must still be at the cleaner’s from Joy’s wedding!) Also, we need to highlight the fact that Michelle has ditched her regular 1990s scrunched curls for a more modern curled ‘do for the occasion! Get it, girl!

After the parent prayer circle breaks up, Pastor Caldwell joins the couple back together and as Joe gets ready to “lunge” in for the first kiss, a shower of petals falls from the ceiling.

Kudos to Miss Cindy because it truly is a magical moment! Joe goes in for the kiss and manages to land it, as petals sprinkle down over him and his bride. (Anyone else wish that this was how their first kiss went down? Like… just a little?)

All jokes aside, this was a beautiful first kiss…

Kendra is giddy, proclaiming, “This was the best ever! That was the best kiss ever!” and Joe hugs her close. It’s, no joke, a super-sweet moment.

As the couple prepares to exit the stage, the power completely shuts off in the church. Everyone has a look on their face like they’re expecting yet another joke. (Like, will a spotlight come on so Jim Bob and Michelle can start jitterbugging in the middle of the church pews or something?)

For once, though, the attention-grabbing incident is NOT planned. Kendra and Joe make the best of it and, after being pronounced man and wife, manage to run down the aisle without tripping in the dark.

“Geez, Joe, couldn’t you wait to turn the lights off until we got back to our Honeymoon Camper?”

As per usual, Jana springs into action. She starts assembling every candle she can find in the church to light up the appetizer buffet line (before she probably headed up to the rafters of the church to see about fixing the electricity.) A pregnant Joy proclaims that a loss of electricity can’t hold a Duggar down on their wedding day!

Luckily, the power comes back on not too long after the reception starts. With the power restored, the newlyweds talk about the ceremony and Joe reveals he didn’t realize he’d get so emotional seeing Kendra walk down the aisle.

We don’t get to see Kendra throw her bouquet (probably because no other Duggars can use the event to get engaged.)

Joe and Kendra head up on stage to cut the cake, and Kendra manages to jam a bit of cake into her groom’s face. Joe looks anxious to get this whole thing over with so the blessing-making can commence!

From the looks of it, Joseph is certainly ready to be fruitful and multiply…RIGHT NOW.

After cutting the cake and running through a sparkler sendoff, Joe puts his soon-to-be partner in excessive reproduction into his chalk-covered truck for the first time without a chaperone.

In the words of Josiah…“Another one bites the dust!”

To read our recap of Joy-Anna Duggar’s wedding special, click here!

(Photos: TLC)

6 Responses


  1. Why do we have to watch this wedding yet agai?
    Kendra is cute and pregnant and ohhh so young and drives one insane with the giggles that she does all the time. Giggles over everything.
    So I thought we would see the brother who is in a court ship now and new material , but my tv says season finale and it’s the wedding of Kendra an joe already watched it once. You all must have no new film!
    Is this the end of the show??


  2. I lost is at “bachelor to the rapture” lmao! Greatest recap ever! All kidding aside, I think Joe is very sweet but Kendra is so young. I’m also not totally convinced the power going out was an accident.


  3. Kendra is SO YOUNG. And now she will keep on popping baby after baby after baby. Like legit, she can even beat Michelle cuz she and JB didn’t have their first kid until she was 21. I expect an announcment by the end of the year.

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