What You Don't Know About Josiah Duggar's New Bride

On June 30, 2018, reality TV star Josiah Duggar and his fiancé of three months, Lauren Swanson, said "I do" from within the John Brown University Cathedral of the Ozarks in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. "What a joy it is to be husband and wife!" the ecstatic bride and groom told People after the ceremony. The young couple continued, "We can't wait to begin our journey as husband and wife!" 

If you were ever a fan of 19 Kids and Counting or are a current fan of the Duggar family spinoff, Counting On, you likely know quite a bit about the eighth child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and were excited to hear about his wedding. Swanson, however, never appeared on the spinoff, which leaves many wondering who the newest Duggar bride really is. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are all of the things you should know about the young newlywed.

She's been a family friend for years

The progression of Duggar and Swanson's relationship certainly seems fast. The two only just announced they were engaged in March 2018 — after just six short weeks of dating. Well, "courting." According to Duggar, courtship entails  "learn[ing] more about each other with the goal of marriage in mind." In a video announcement for TLC, Duggar said he formally asked Swanson to take their friendship to the next level, surprising her with the question while she was out on a girls' night. 

While six weeks is certainly a limited amount of time in which to get to know someone, Duggar and Swanson have actually known each other for quite some time. "We'd been friends for a while," Duggar explained. In fact, once upon a time, Swanson even guest starred on an episode of 19 Kids and Counting. Being as that was in 2010, Duggar and Swanson were likely just childhood pals, but that makes the fact that they ended up getting married even more adorable.

She's not actually from Arkansas

With so, so many children, it's hard to keep track of where all the members of the Duggar brood live. Of the children who live at home with their parents, they reside in the small town of Tontitown, Arkansas. Since the kids don't leave home before getting married, that means Josiah was Arkansas-bound until his wedding day. To make matters a bit more complicated, Swanson didn't live in Arkansas. 

According to TLC, her family home is located in Georgia. At some point in time, Swanson — and perhaps all of the Swansons — relocated to Arkansas. When announcing their courtship to TLC, Duggar revealed that "they moved into this area." This enabled not only the young couple to get to know one another on a deeper level, but it also made it possible for the Swansons to become more familiar with Josiah and, really, the whole Duggar clan. 

Her father is very similar to Jim Bob Duggar

The Duggars aren't going to allow their kids to marry just anyone — no way. It makes sense, then, that the Swansons are remarkably similar to the Duggar family, especially when it comes to their patriarchs. 

With Michelle working as a full-time stay-at-home-mom of their incredibly large brood, there's certainly a lot of pressure on Jim Bob to make ends meet. Even before their television days, Jim Bob cared for his family through the purchasing and renting of real estate properties, Business Insider reported. While money is definitely vital, the Duggars consider religion to be of the utmost importance in their lives. After all, that is why the couple chooses to forgo birth control, and, as a result, has so many children. According to Bustle, the Duggars are part of a sect of Christianity called Independent Baptists. 

Dwain Swanson, Lauren Swanson's father, is also a career-minded and religious man. As both the president of his own construction company and the founder of a Baptist ministry, he certainly has a lot in common with his daughter's father-in-law.

She comes from a large family

While you'd be hard-pressed to meet a family larger than that of the Duggars, the Swanson family is by no means small. On his ministry's site, Dwain Swanson revealed some details about his family. In his biography, he wrote, "My wife, Lana, and I have been blessed to have 8 wonderful children!" Sure, it's not exactly 19 kids, but it's probably more than you can imagine having

Dwain continued, writing that he, along with his wife and children, live on a small farm. Both he and his wife enjoy having the opportunity to teach their kids "about life and the ways of the Lord." In addition to having a big family on a small farm, the Swansons also hit the road from time to time to visit other families. They must have quite the vehicle to transport all of those little — and not so little — ones! Maybe the Duggars will give them some pointers.

She has a "Christlike character"

As her father wrote in his biography, Swanson was raised in the Baptist faith, just as Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar brought up Josiah as an Independent Baptist. Both families are likely happy that was the case. After Duggar and Swanson announced their courtship, Duggar spoke with People about his girlfriend. "I can definitely say I have found a great friend... even better than I could have hoped for or imagined," he gushed, "I so appreciate Lauren's Christlike character and tender heart toward others." 

It seems their matching faiths weren't just of importance to their folks, but to each other. Duggar expounded on his eventual wife's spirituality, saying that she shares scriptures, prayers, and sometimes just a simple smile with people who seem "sad or lonely." Duggar told People that both he and Swanson are thankful to God, as well as their families, for their outpouring of love and support as regards to their courtship.

She wasn't her husband's first love interest

As you can imagine, the Duggars don't exactly sleep date around. The purpose of courtship though, according to Duggar, is to determine if the couple is compatible for marriage. If not, both parties are free to go their separate ways. This is what happened with Duggar's first girlfriend, Marjorie Jackson. That's right — Swanson wasn't his first significant other.

In a video for TLC — one that is remarkably similar to the one Duggar and Swanson shared to announced their courtship — Duggar and Marjorie Jackson announced their decision to court back in 2015. Nevertheless, the couple decided to call it quits some four months later.

"A few weeks ago Marjorie and Josiah agreed to end their courtship, keeping in step with what they believe the Lord's will is," Michelle Duggar said in an official statement on Facebook. "As parents we are very pleased to see two young people searching out their futures with God's will as their first priority!" she continued. If Jackson's Instagram account is any indication, she seems to be unaffected by the news of her ex's wedding. Hopefully they're all happy.

Is she anti-social media?

As of 2015, Duggar has been quite active on social media, but the same cannot be said for Swanson. According to In Touch, the Duggar kids can't have their own social media accounts until they are engaged. Because Josiah Duggar started courting Marjorie Jackson in 2015, they may have allowed this "privilege" to start early. Although it's not known whether Swanson's parents have a similar rule, one thing is for certain: she doesn't have any known social media presence at the time of publishing.

It wasn't until January 2018 that Swanson started popping up in photos and, even then, it was on her husband's Instagram page — not one of her own. Perhaps Swanson is against using social media or maybe she was under strict rules from her parents. It could just be that she's uninterested in the various platforms, or maybe she has a private account under an alias. Whatever the reason, now that the couple is married, maybe they'll start sharing a joint account or she'll go on to run her own page. 

Like mother, like daughter

When Duggar proposed to Swanson, he didn't choose just any location. Instead, he picked one that held a lot of sentimentality. "The whole thing was very meaningful," Duggar told Us Weekly in an exclusive interview. Surely all engagements are "meaningful," but that's not what the 21-year-old reality television star had in mind. 

"The place where I proposed to Lauren is the exact spot where her parents were engaged," he detailed. Aww. That spot was not in Arkansas, but in Swanson's home state of Georgia, TLC revealed. Although Duggar kept some of the exact details to himself, he did say there was "a lot of family history" on the Georgian property, which made it particularly special for his then-girlfriend. Swanson also opened up to Us Weekly, saying, "Everything about the engagement was such a special moment for me" and that she's excited to start her life with Duggar.

You can expect to see her on TV soon

Get excited, guys: Lauren Swanson will be making an official Counting On debut come summertime 2018. It will be her first time back on TV since she and her now-husband were kids, as well as her first time ever starring on a TV show.

Josiah Duggar, clad in his gray suit, and Swanson, cloaked in her white wedding gown and veil, made a big announcement in a video for TLC.  "We're still living in a dream!" Swanson told the camera. Her groom revealed that they'd actually married just a few minutes prior. Yet and still, they were thinking of the Duggar family fans. At the very end of the video, the lovebirds thanked people for their well wishes just before Duggar revealed, "Please watch the journey to our wedding day on Counting On." What! It's true.

The eighth season of Counting On returns in summer 2018, which means you can get caught up with all your favorite Duggars and get to know Lauren Swanson even better.