After much anticipation, Jeremy Vuolo popped the question to Jinger Duggar on the Tuesday, October 11, episode of Counting On. "We know about Jeremy's plans to propose," Jessa Duggar revealed. "But at this point we don't think that Jinger has any idea."
Jinger and Jeremy had been "unofficially" dating for five months, and "officially" dating for three months. Things were getting serious (fast!), and Jinger made a trip to meet some of Jeremy's extended family. Because the Duggars always travel in packs (and non-married couples need chaperones), Jessa; Ben; their son, Spurgeon; and Michelle Duggar all came along for the ride too.
A Couple That Plays Together …
After reaching Jeremy's hometown, Jessa, Ben, Jeremy and Jinger left Spurgeon with Jeremy's parents and Michelle, and headed out to the lake to go kayaking. "It was a romantic time out there with my love on the water," Jinger recalled.
Though they normally wear skirts, for certain activities — such as kayaking — the Duggar girls wore baggy board shorts instead. Jessa forgot hers and borrowed Ben's, while Jeremy marveled at Jinger in shorts at all. (For the record, they were not sexy shorts.)
Making a House a Home
Meanwhile back at home, Joy, Jana, Anna and a bunch of the boys worked hard to prepare the guesthouse for Jill and Derick's imminent return. Anna arrived just in time for snacks, though she was presumably there to help too. Instead of doing any actual labor, Anna reflected on her friendship with Jana.
"She will make an amazing wife one day, but selfishly right now, I'm so thankful I've had her as a shoulder to cry on," Anna said. In Central America, Jill and Derick began packing, which seemed to involve mainly giving things away rather than filling suitcases.
Jeremy Starts Getting Nervous
Before he proposed, Jeremy took Jinger to his grandmother's house for dinner. Jeremy's grandmother tried to teach Jinger how to make meatballs from scratch, but it didn't seem like she retained much of the lesson. Despite her poor cooking skills, however, Jinger seemed to ingratiate herself with the matriarch. (Apparently she had already been communicating with his grandmother, so she had, as Jessa put it, a "head start" on winning over the family.)
Another day, Jeremy took Jinger to a soccer game at the stadium where he used to play. She met some more of his friends and seemed generally smitten with her man.
Rain Threatens the Proposal
Jeremy was getting increasingly nervous as the time of the proposal drew near. He had enlisted a few friends to help orchestrate the surprise, which involved a photo shoot at sunset on the rooftop of a New York City building with the Empire State Building in the background, and a few musicians playing one of their favorite songs to set the mood.
He tricked Jinger into showing up by suggesting a photo shoot at sunset. In retrospect, he realized that if she hadn't agreed to go along with that part of the plan, he would have had a hard time keeping the surprise, but she did, and all was looking up.
That's when it started raining. Jessa noted that Jeremy had no plan B, so it was critical that the rain subside or everything would be ruined. "I'm talking to Jinger, trying to act normal, but inside I'm just saying, 'Lord, please stop this rain,'" Jeremy revealed. He continued to pray as the moment drew nearer, and just in time, the rain stopped and a rainbow came out. They walked up to the romantic setting, and Jinger beamed, but she still didn't realize what was going on.
When Jeremy dropped to his knee, she figured it out.
"Jinger Nicole, will you marry me?" he asked.
She said yes, of course, and they hugged. "This woman, who I love and want to spend my life with, is now my fiancée. It's almost inexplicable, the feeling at that moment," he reflected later to the camera.
Jessa, Ben and Michelle came out to congratulate them, along with several of Jeremy's friends. "This was definitely, by far, the most memorable trip in my life," Jinger said to the camera. "What's next?" Jeremy asked. "Hopefully a wedding soon!" they chimed.
Tell Us: What did you think of Jeremy's proposal?
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Counting On airs on TLC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.