The Duggar family is one of the most-watched families on television, and between weddings and pregnancies, the Counting On brood is constantly growing. This summer, not only will the family be getting bigger thanks to two new babies – Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo are expecting a girl, and Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell are expecting a boy – but they will also add one more when Josiah Duggar marries Lauren Swanson.
The Duggar Family Website announced on January 23rd that the 21-year old Duggar was officially courting Lauren Swanson.
“We are overjoyed to begin this new phase of our lives together," Josiah told People Magazine at the time. "Through the years our families’ friendship has allowed us to get to know one another as friends. I can definitely say I have found a great friend … even better than I could have hoped for or imagined."
Then, just six weeks later – and in true Duggar style – the couple announced their engagement. When they shared their big news with the world, the couple marked the occasion with an Instagram post that featured a sweet picture of the two that strategically showcased Swanson’s engagement ring. He also added the caption, “I feel like the most blessed guy on Earth...Lauren said Yes!”
Josiah says that the more time he spends with Swanson, the more he realizes that he can’t live without her. And, there is no one else that he would rather spend his days with. He is also looking forward to growing old with the 19-year-old.
The couple is now planning on tying the knot this summer, and this is everything we know so far about their big day.
15 They Both Come From Large Families
Both Duggar and Swanson come from large families, and that means their wedding will have a huge guest list, just like Duggar’s siblings that have gotten married before him. Duggar is, of course, one of 19 children, and Swanson is the oldest of eight.
Josiah said that it is “going to be neat” to see the families come together, and it will take a lot of planning since the families are so large on both sides. However, they are excited and thankful that God has brought their lives together.
At this point, the Duggars are pros at planning big weddings, so there is little doubt that this ceremony will be just as epic as it is beautiful.
Swanson says that she is “excited to be getting married to Josiah,” and the engagement was a special moment for her. She says that she is especially looking forward to spending the rest of her life with him.
When Josiah popped the question, he made the moment special by proposing to Swanson at the exact same spot that her parents got engaged. He apparently caught her off guard with the question, but she still said “yes” only six weeks after they started courting.
14 Easier Courting Rules
Josiah is the only Duggar kid to have a social media presence before an engagement, and it appears that he is taking advantage of the opportunity. He recently posted a photo on Instagram of a Face Timing session with Swanson with the caption "Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always been a talker. ☺️ But now I love being a listener, too. ❤️ #facetimewiththebest."
However, fans noticed that there didn’t appear to be anyone else around during their conversation, which is a clear violation of Duggar courting rules. Jim Bob and Michelle require all phone and text conversations to be monitored, and since the conversation appeared to lack a chaperone, many believe that Josiah’s courting rules are far less strict than they were for his sisters.
The couple also posted pictures of their trip to Australia and New Zealand, and the two seemed to be getting extremely handsy during a visit to the Waiouru Army Museum. In some of the pics, their faces were within kissing distance, and in others, Josiah had his hands on Swanson’s waist.
To be fair, he was helping his fiancée down from climbing a tank. But still, Josiah had his hands in places that his dad Jim Bob would not approve of.
13 The Wedding Date is June 30th...We Think
I feel like the most blessed guy on earth 🌎... Lauren said YES! God definitely opened our eyes in his perfect timing to show us how we complete each other. The more time I spend with Lauren the more I realize how I can't live without her. There's no one else I'd rather spend my days and grow old with! #engaged #weddingplanningbegins
The Duggar family has yet to officially announce the actual date of Josiah and Swanson’s wedding, but the Facebook fan page Duggar Family News: Life Is All Not All Pickles and Hairspray claims a source has revealed the plan is for a June 30th wedding.
However, if this is the actual wedding date, fans are upset because the date falls right in the middle of two very important events – the birth of Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell’s son and Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo’s daughter.
Caldwell is due in June and attending a wedding just days or weeks after giving birth could be a challenge. As for Jinger, she lives in Laredo, Texas, and traveling to Arkansas just a few days before her due date is probably not an option.
The Pickles and Hairspray page has turned out to be one of the most reliable sources for Duggar information on the internet, but it didn’t provide any more details about the wedding other than the June 30th date. It may be a little late in the season for an outdoor wedding in Arkansas because of the weather, but it looks like the couple can’t wait to tie the knot.
12 They Are A Part of The Show Counting On
Now that Swanson will be marrying into the Duggar family, she will likely be fully immersed into their lives by appearing on the family’s reality show Counting On. Although being a television personality may seem like a full-time job, the show only films a few months out of the year. But, that doesn’t mean she will be seeking employment anytime soon.
Duggar wives do not work outside of the home. And, if she and Josiah are anything like his siblings, they will be announcing a pregnancy before the end of the year. Which means Swanson will soon have the title of wife and mother.
In addition to his appearances on Counting On, Josiah does have a job working for his dad Jim Bob in the family real estate business and has obtained his license.
It’s very possible that fans will be able to find out more about Josiah and Lauren’s personal life in future episodes of Counting On. The reality spinoff has featured all of the married Duggar couples so far (except Josh and Anna, thanks to his molestation scandal), but Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard recently exited the show because of his rants on Twitter. The show has also had special episodes whenever there is a Duggar wedding.
11 Not Her First Time On Television
Lauren and her family have been friends of the Duggars for years, and it turns out the Swansons appeared on an episode of 19 Kids & Counting back in 2010. We don’t know much about the family or the bride-to-be. She appears to be extremely private and doesn’t have any social media accounts for fans to follow.
We don’t know what she does for a living or her educational background, so until we get the chance to meet her on Counting On, all we have to go on is that she and Josiah were friends before they fell in love.
"Through the years our families' friendship has allowed us to get to know one another as friends. I can definitely say I have found a great friend … even better than I could have hoped for or imagined. I so appreciate Lauren's Christlike character and tender heart toward others. She brings sunshine into the room and encourages everyone around her,” said Josiah.
When they announced their engagement, Josiah’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle said that Lauren has grown in her knowledge and understanding of the Lord, and she is a wonderful, caring, and compassionate young lady with a zeal for Christ.
10 It Did Not Work Out With Josiah's First Girlfriend
Unlike his siblings, Josiah courted twice before announcing an engagement. Back in 2015, Josiah courted Marjorie Jackson for a few months before the couple called it quits. But, they remained vague as to why their relationship came to an end. No matter what the reason was, Josiah and Jackson’s courtship is the only one in the Duggar family so far that didn’t end in marriage.
Josiah revealed in a statement that he and Jackson had a good time together and they were trying to follow God’s lead on everything. But, she didn’t feel that the timing was right.
Some fans theorize that Jackson was more into fame than she was into Josiah. And, when the Josh Duggar scandal hit, and TLC canceled 19 Kids & Counting, she no longer had a reason to stay in the relationship.
But, little did she know that the older Duggar kids would come back with their own spinoff.
Josiah and Jackson appeared to have parted ways amicably after their four-month courtship, and she is now living her best life. She is currently a graphic design student at John Brown University, and she has also authored two books. That is probably something she wouldn’t have been able to do if she had married Josiah.
9 Texas PDA
Josiah and Lauren know their way around the Duggar courtship and engagement rules. The couple seems to uphold the no kissing, no full hugs, and no sex rules, but when they were on a romantic date in Texas, the two enjoyed some PDA in other ways.
The engaged couple traveled all over Texas with his family, and they posted some pictures on Instagram of their “beautiful evening in San Antonio on the river walk.” In each photo, the couple is touching in some way. One features Lauren’s hand on Josiah’s torso, another shows her hand on his arm, and in a third they have their arms interlocked.
It appeared that the two were enjoying their evening in Texas alone, but fans soon discovered that they did indeed have a chaperone, per Duggar rules. Josiah posted a photo of himself sitting next to Lauren while trying to push away his little brother Jason. He added the caption, “Please Jase, I got this. Third wheel probs.”
Earlier in their Texas vacation, the couple visited Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market. Even though they started courting in January and got engaged in March, the couple has traveled quite a bit, including trips to Australia and New Zealand.
8 Head Over Heels
It is obvious by the way Josiah talks about Lauren that he is quite smitten with his bride-to-be. When the two were in New Zealand, he posted a pic of Lauren on Instagram and wrote that he was enjoying the beauty, and the landscape was nice too.
And, when describing what he loves about Lauren, he said, “It’s always stood out to me that in every situation, she looks for the one who appears to be sad or lonely and quickly can brighten their day by sharing words of hope, an encouraging scripture, a prayer or even a simple smile with them.”
Josiah has posted about Lauren non-stop on Instagram since they started courting and writes captions like “No place I’d rather be. #withyou.”
Unlike his brother Joseph – who was uncomfortable putting his hand on Kendra Caldwell’s hip during their engagement photo shoot – Josiah seems more than happy to get as close as he can to Lauren, and it doesn’t look like his wedding date can get here fast enough.
In their engagement announcement video, Lauren didn’t say much, but her actions spoke volumes and fans noticed.
“CAN YOU SEE HER RUBBING HER THUMB ON HIS ARM???” read a post on the Let’s Talk Duggars Tumblr. “I can feel the sexual tension between these 2 from here! They wanna do it, ASAP.”
7 Trying To Be Tight-Lipped About Their Romance
It isn’t unusual for Duggar couples to keep the details of their wedding day under wraps, so they can avoid unwanted attention from obsessive fans. But, many Counting On viewers thought that this time things would be different because Josiah is different – he’s been in two courtships and is active on social media.
It isn’t clear why Josiah gets away with more than his siblings, but the fact is that he does. And since he has an Instagram account, he enjoys maintaining more open communication with his fans, so it makes sense that they would expect him to be more open about his wedding preparations.
But instead, he has kept things quiet just like his siblings, and fans have had to dig to find out when Josiah and Lauren plan to exchange vows.
The only thing we know is that they have broken some courtship rules, and sources say once they tie the knot, Josiah will continue to rebel by allowing his wife to break away from the dress code that both families enforce – if she wants.
Will they continue to cast off some of their families’ more arcane rules? It looks like fans will have to watch Counting On to find out.
6 He Is The Ultimate Rebel Duggar
When Jinger, Jessa, and Jill got married they started rebelling against Jim Bob’s rules via their fashion choices. All three started wearing pants, and Jinger even took it a step further with miniskirts, shorts, and heels. Jill also made headlines with a nose piercing.
Sources say that Jim Bob is less than thrilled with his gradual loss of control over his daughters, but he is even more concerned about what will happen with Josiah. It seems that the next Duggar to marry is also planning to cast off the shackles of the patriarch’s oppression, and it might set a precedent that could shift the balance of power in the family.
A former Duggar employee says that Josiah is the biggest rule-breaker we have seen so far.
"Josiah is gonna be the next one to bust out. He's a little bit crazy," says the insider. “He’s a 90-mile-an-hour guy. He drives 90 miles an hour, he moves 90 miles an hour, he thinks 90 miles an hour."
The 21-year-old was recently involved in an incident that could have resulted in tragedy. He neglected his father’s orders and almost killed two people when he rolled a car off the back of a truck into another car.
The disaster was no surprise to those who are familiar with Josiah’s reckless ways. He has been throwing caution to the wind and ignoring his family’s rules for years.
5 She Is New to Arkansas..So She Will Have To Adapt Quickly
According to The Hollywood Gossip, Lauren is from Georgia, and her family still has ties to the southern state. No one knows if she has a job or goes to school, but we do know that she comes from a large religious family.
Her dad, Dwain Swanson, founded a ministry that connects men with trusting the Lord, but other than that we know almost nothing about the family or Lauren’s personal life. She doesn’t have any social media presence – not even a personal Instagram or Facebook account – and her family’s life isn’t documented anywhere online for fans to see.
In video interviews since Josiah and Lauren’s engagement announcement, she stays by Josiah’s side but remains virtually silent. But, that could be because it is a daunting task to go straight from obscurity to the spotlight of Duggar fame.
It appears that Lauren will marry into the Duggar family while remaining a mystery to fans. And even though fans have a lot of questions, it doesn’t look like she will be doing much talking.
One thing fans seem to be curious about is Lauren’s education level. Some wonder if she is attending college, but the answer is probably “no.” The Duggars aren’t big on formal education, and few have shown any interest in studying beyond the GED’s they receive when they complete their homeschooling.
4 Rushing Into Marriage After A Short Dating Period
The Duggars are known for their super-fast courtships and engagements, and Josiah and Lauren have kept the tradition alive with a six-week courtship and a three-and-a-half-month engagement.
Fans believe that things move quickly for the Duggar kids because of their “urges.” They can’t enjoy any physical contact (except for side hugs) until they are married, plus couples can’t be alone with their significant other, so it makes sense that they would want to move things along quickly.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard got engaged in late March 2014 and were married by June. By April of the following year, they were parents of a little boy they named Israel.
Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald got engaged in August 2014 and tied the knot in November of that year. Exactly one year later, they welcomed their son Spurgeon.
Jinger Duggar began courting Jeremy Vuolo in June 2016, and one month later they were engaged. The couple then married in November of that same year, which meant the time from day one of courtship to walking down the aisle was a mere five months.
They did wait a little longer to have a baby. The couple didn’t announce a pregnancy until January of this year, and they are expecting a little girl in July.
And then there is Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth. They started courting in November 2016, got engaged in March 2017, married in May 2017, and announced a pregnancy in August of last year. The couple wasted no time becoming parents, with Joy-Anna giving birth to their son Gideon exactly nine months after she said, “I do.”
3 Moving Up The Lucrative Family Business
We know that Josiah works with his dad in real estate, but he also has been working on getting his pilot’s license like his brother, John David. It seems that in the Duggar family, there is a method to getting into the family business.
In March Josiah explained, "The way it kind of works for guys in my family who are trying to move up through the ladder, first of all you start off doing the mowing and then may switching over to working on the properties my dad's working on... and then maybe from there transitioning into the cars, and then slowly transitioning over into real estate."
Josiah also enjoys DIY projects and fixing things. He and his brother Joseph like to buy wrecked cars, so they can fix them up and sell them, and he and some of his siblings also flip houses. These are hobbies that Josiah jokes “keep him out of trouble,” and Jinger has even said that her little brothers make a lot of money restoring automobiles.
So, in addition to their potential income from appearing on Counting On, it looks like the couple will have a nice income from Josiah’s other projects.
2 They Have The Same Goals
Josiah and Lauren were friends for years before they started courting, but it was only after he spent time with her family that he realized they shared the same goals. That is what made him decide to court the 19-year-old, and once they got together, they had the same goals of learning about each other and eventually getting married.
Since they both come from large uber-religious families, chances are they also share common beliefs, like being pro-life. Back in October, Josiah posted a photo of himself on his Instagram account where he held a sign that read, “Abortion Kills Children.”
He also posted the caption, “Standing with thousands of pro-life individuals throughout the country today in the #lifechain. Pray for people in crisis situations and pray for our nation!”
The Duggar family is known for their pro-life stance, and in addition to being against abortion, they are also anti-birth control. The family believes that God is in charge of how many kids each of them is to have, and Jim Bob and Michelle have blamed birth control for a miscarriage early in their marriage.
Josiah is also a Republican, and in 2015 he posted a photo of himself standing with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is also a Christian minister and former Presidential candidate.
1 Josiah Is A Member Of The ALERT Academy
Can you find me in this photo? 🔎Going through ALERT Unit 51 in 2014 was one of the best experiences I've had. Looking back, the most important lessons I learned there were how to make the most of every moment, and to be ready for whatever opportunities God places in front of me next! Unit 58 is coming up soon! I'd encourage any young man 17+ who's up to the challenge to check it out! alertacademy.com ➡️Promo video link in bio
In 2014, Josiah joined the International ALERT Academy, a Christian training and service organization that has the mission of equipping people with the tools to prepare them for “the specific callings God has placed in their lives.”
He posted a photo on Instagram to share the lessons he learned at the academy, and he called the ALERT Unit 51 “one of the best experiences” he has ever had.
"Looking back, the most important lessons I learned there were how to make the most of every moment, and to be ready for whatever opportunities God places in front of me next!" he captioned the photo.
Josiah then encouraged young men 17 years and older who were "up to the challenge" to check it out for themselves.
ALERT stands for Air Land Emergency Resource Team, and their website claims that their program provides young men a combination of Christian discipleship, community service, and career training that they can’t find anywhere else on Earth.
ALERT features a three-phase program that begins with basic training, which is a nine-week boot camp. Phase two continues the development with emergency response training that helps participants acquire skills for service opportunities. Phase three is advanced training to help men earn a state or national certification in the field of their choice.