Once upon a time, Joseph Duggar and Carlin Bates had fans of their famous families dreaming of a super-sized Duggar-Bates wedding. However, the reality show stars have both found love elsewhere.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Joseph Duggar, 22, and his girlfriend, 18-year-old Kendra Caldwell, recently took a big step forward in their relationship by taking a road trip together. Joseph Duggar’s family members served as a large group of chaperones for the courting couple as they visited the Ark Encounter in Kentucky and the the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio. After they had done a little sight-seeing, Joseph and Kendra attended their second wedding together. The Duggars decided to take the road trip because their family’s former live-in tutor, Tabitha Paine, was getting married in Tennessee. Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell were also in attendance at Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo’s wedding last November.
At Tabitha Paine’s April 1 wedding, the Duggars were reunited with their close friends and fellow reality show stars, the Bates family. The Duggars and the Bates family have known each other for years, and the families are constantly dogged by rumors that one Duggar or another is dating a member of the Bates brood. As In Touch Weekly reports, 27-year-old Jana Duggar and 24-year-old Lawson Bates are the latest members of the famous families to be linked romantically. However, Bates family matriarch Kelly Jo has denied the rumors that Jana and Lawson are courting.
As SheKnows reports, there have also been rumors concerning Joseph Duggar and 18-year-old Carlin Bates. They spent New Year’s Day together last year, and the Inquisitr previously reported that Amy Duggar filmed Joseph and Carlin sitting very close to each other on the couch during the Duggar family’s 2015 Christmas celebration. It also looked like Carlin was wearing Joseph’s baseball hat in Amy’s blurry video.
However, Joseph Duggar dashed fans’ dreams of a Duggar-Bates wedding early last month when he announced that he was courting Kendra Caldwell, the daughter of the Duggar family’s pastor.
“Our families are close friends through church and this has allowed Kendra and me to get to know each other. She’s the best!” Joseph Duggar told People.
Joseph and Kendra have known each other for at least four years. The Duggar Family Blog recently shared a few throwback photos of Kendra posing with the Duggars during their 2013 mission trip to Central America.
Carlin Bates has also found love with someone she’s known for a few years. According to the Bates Family Blog, she met her boyfriend, Evan Stewart, about five years ago. However, the two didn’t really start getting to know each other until recently. They call each other boyfriend and girlfriend, but Carlin says that they aren’t officially courting yet.
Evan Stewart is a few years older than Carlin, and he’s appeared on her family’s reality show, Bringing Up Bates. Evan has five siblings, and his family has their own gospel band, called His Own.
As Entertainment Tonight reports, Erin Bates Paine has said that she believes a Duggar-Bates wedding is “almost inevitable” because the families are so close. However, if a Duggar-Bates courtship ever does develop, the families will have to decide whether the progression of such a relationship would be filmed for Counting On or Bringing Up Bates.
In the meantime, the Duggar and Bates families continue to enjoy spending time together. At Tabitha Paine’s wedding, Joseph Duggar and Lawson Bates posed for a photo mocking women who get excited about wedding rings.
Joy-Anna Duggar and Carlin Bates are very close friends, and they also spent some time together at the wedding. As In Touch Weekly reports, Carlin filmed Joy-Anna crying because she missed her fiancé, Austin Forsyth, so much. Carlin also shared a photo of herself and Joy-Anna battling the wind while trying to pose together.
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