Joseph Duggar is engaged to Kendra Caldwell, and the time and place he chose to pop the question are raising eyebrows.
On Friday night, Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell attended the wedding of Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth. Because everyone was focused on the bride and groom, Kendra probably was not expecting Joe to get down on one knee. However, that’s exactly what the Counting On star did. According to People, he proposed to Kendra at his younger sister’s wedding.
“We are super excited. It’s great to not be courting anymore, now we’re engaged!” the happy couple said.
Joseph, 22, and Kendra, 18, didn’t share any further details about their unconventional engagement, likely because they want fans to tune in to a future episode of Counting On to see how Joe popped the question. However, the third-oldest Duggar son may want to explain his decision to get engaged on Joy-Anna’s big day well ahead of her future TLC wedding special. On the Duggar Family News: Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray Facebook page, Joseph is getting slammed for stealing some of the spotlight away from his sister on her big day. Critics are calling Joseph’s proposal “tacky” and inconsiderate.
“Wow!! Not that the Duggars go by every day standards, I always thought proposing to someone at someone else’s wedding was considered rude?” wrote one commenter.
“Extremely tacky. This should be his sister’s big day, not that I support Joy getting married, but not cool of him to propose at her wedding.”
However, Joe’s parents don’t see anything wrong with his wedding day engagement.
“There is a lot of love in the air today! We are so pleased to announce that Joe and Kendra are now engaged to be married! Our sweet Joe is on the verge of starting his own family,” Jim Bob and Michelle wrote on their family’s website.
In a video message, Joseph said that he asked Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth if they would be okay with him proposing at their wedding, and the couple gave him permission to do so.
However, some critics are also blasting Joseph Duggar for failing to consider Kendra Caldwell’s feelings. They think he should have made Kendra feel like this big moment in her young life was all about her by putting some more thought into his proposal and planning it for a different date.
“Even if Joy & Austin okayed it, poor Kendra for getting a ‘special proposal’ at someone else’s wedding, with other people’s friends and family present. No special day, special meal, hell they were already dressed up for a wedding party. 0/10 originality Joeseph,” wrote one fan on the Duggar Family’s Facebook page.
“Poor Kendra deserves her own moment not during another woman’s moment,” commented another.
Perhaps Joseph Duggar chose to propose during someone else’s wedding because he knew that Kendra Caldwell would be genuinely surprised by the romantic gesture. Duggar family proposals are always filmed, so if Joseph took Kendra to a romantic location with a camera crew in tow, she immediately would have guessed that something was up. The newly-engaged teen admitted that her future husband succeeded in pulling off a surprise proposal.
“I’m so happy and so shocked,” Kendra said. “There’s so many words I want to say, but just shocked.”
It’s also possible that Joseph didn’t want to spend a lot of time planning a proposal because his fiancée is in such a rush to officially become a Duggar. According to the former 19 Kids and Counting star, Kendra has been pressuring him to pop the question.
“I was definitely nervous going into it, but I wasn’t afraid that she was going to say no, because she has said, ‘I’m just waiting on you!’”
As Us Weekly reports, the couple announced their courtship on March 8, so it was just weeks ago that Kendra was talking about how much she was looking forward to side-hugging Joseph. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar discourage courting couples from engaging in a lot of physical contact, and one of the Christian conservative parents’ most famous courtship rules forbids couples from front-hugging until they get married.
Kendra Caldwell is the daughter of the Duggars’ pastor, Paul Caldwell, so her religious beliefs likely align with those of Joseph and his family. However, following such strict courtship rules hasn’t been easy for Kendra; she had to wait for Joseph to ask her father for permission to court her before she could start having unsupervised phone conversations with her beau.
“I’m looking forward to side-hugs and getting to do phone calls and texting and also getting to do ministry stuff out in public and for everyone to know we’re courting,” Kendra said.
Joseph Duggar rewarded Kendra Caldwell’s patience with a promise ring, but now she gets to replace it with some new engagement bling.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Facebook]