Michelle Duggar’s Budget Honeymoon

by | Mar 2, 2015 | 12 comments

For our honeymoon, Jim Bob and I planned a trip near our home because that’s what we could afford. We were going to go to Mount Nebo and Lake Fort Smith, both in Arkansas. We chose state parks for our destinations because the cabins there were so reasonable.

When we arrived at our first destination, we couldn’t believe the difference between the photo on the brochure and the reality. We chuckle about this now, but I did not go and look at the places ahead of time. I just looked at the brochures and I thought “Okay, it’s a state park and what we see is what we’re going to get.” The picture showed a lovely cabin right beside a beautiful flowing river, but when we got there, the cabin was really rundown with awful orange curtains — and cobwebs everywhere! On top of that, the river was completely dried up; there was no water at all. So we opted instead to go into town and stayed at a hotel in Fort Smith. We didn’t get the setting we were anticipating for our first night together, but it was still sweet. Next, we went on to the incredibly scenic Mount Nebo and stayed for a few nights. At that point, our car started acting up and we were like, you know what? Let’s just go home to our house, to our new place, since we were looking forward to being there together.

It was a small fixer-upper house, about 900 square feet total, and Jim Bob got such a good deal on it. We spent the rest of our honeymoon fixing up our little house, which definitely needed a lot of work! Jim Bob had moved in a month before the wedding, but I didn’t move in until after we were married so this was our first time living together.

Before our wedding, we had ripped out all of the cupboard doors in the kitchen and sanded them down, but we didn’t have time to finish them before we got married. So when we got back after our honeymoon, there were no doors on our kitchen cabinets and the place needed a lot of work, but that was okay. We were living on love and it was so exciting.

It was just so precious to be in our own house together for the first time. Jim Bob was already being a husband and working on the car. I remember thinking, “Oh, how romantic. He’s at our house and he’s working on our car.” It’s funny the little things that you just hold dear to your heart forever.

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  1. Camilia Brown

    That story made me smile. Thank you! Camilia Brown

  2. Monica

    My husband and I married in 1987 and we didn’t even plan a honeymoon. We had bought a house were we should go after our wedding and we just wanted to be together and that was in our home. We didn’t have a lot of money. We loaned some money of our parents because of the house. I was 20 years old and in the Netherlands you couldn’t get a mortgage then. My husband to be could get a mortgage but that wasn’t enough. We were very glad that our parents helped us with money and all the help to fix our first home. We don’t like debts so we payed it of in a years time. Sweet to read your story. It looks like ours.

  3. Lillian Padavano

    What a sweet memory of your honeymoon and the days and weeks after….Bob (my husband) and I were married in a Church service (Catholic) on October 3, 1970, and, God willing we will be married 45 years this October. We were surprised to find out we were having a “honeymoon baby”, as we kept our promise to each other not to be intimate before marriage…..It was difficult for us, as in “our day” people counted on their fingers, as if we were “busy” before marriage. We were forced to move out of our apartment, as the Superintendent did not allow children in the apartment complex (a grade school was right down the street!). It was the best thing to happen, because we found an old farm house in my 8th month of pregnancy and moved in in May, and I gave birth to a perfect little girl (Jill Marie) on July 6th, 1971! I showed everyone, and they had to answer to God if they thought badly about us and our personal life! We were so much in love, scared to death about having a child so soon, but we followed God’s plan for us, and now we are still in love, and have a total of three children….We lost a late term baby (boy), our second child and named him Robert Charles, Jr.. Unfortunately, we did not get to have a service and a burial…he was tossed into a garbage can….I did see his precious little face….he was the image of his father….we were blessed with another girl, Gail Christine, and a son, Adam Bryan….Adam died and was revived twice and was born with one functioning lung…he had a very rough start, but we prayed for him and he fought and survived…..Five years ago, he and his wife, Paula ruined our 40th anniversary day, and we didn’t see them for all those years. I prayed and confessed that I hated my son and his wife, and on Christmas 2014 Adam called me and asked my forgiveness. Of course, I told him I forgave him and we saw them both on New Year’s day 2015. We have seen them since and hope to see them on Easter Day. Prayer does work….yes, there were tears of loss, the “why’s” and “what if’s”, but God is always there, and He’s “always on time”, HIS TIME!!! Michelle, I know you don’t have to answer this, but we never see your family from OH…..I hope there isn’t a problem there….I know you lost your Mom….We have lost both our parents, and it hurts to this day….I hope they understand your decision to have as many children as God gives you…..due to physical and mental problems, I had to have a Tubal Ligation. I consulted with one of the Priests of my Church before I gave birth to my last Son, and he told me that we trusted God and loved God and His Son, and the Lord wouldn’t want us to have more than we can handle. As it turned out our son was a very sick baby and we went through many hurdles, and we know you did with precious Josie. He is a healthy adult and we are so glad we have him, although those five years without him were difficult. When I held him in my arms after almost five years, it felt like the first time I was allowed to hold him five days after he was born (no NICU, no ultrasound, we had no idea we were going to have a very sick child…..we just prayed each day the child was in the womb, the way Mary did for Jesus….it was better we did not know about his one lung…..anyway, I love you both, Michelle and Jim Bob….it would be an honor to meet you, but you are DVR’d and I watch your shows many times over….congratulations on all your children’s weddings, babies and their accomplishments….if God chooses to put you in a new season of your life, as Grandparents, that’s wonderful….our one and only Grandchild (so far) will be seven on April 1st. We would love more, but that is not up to us. We welcome each phase of our lives. I am 67 and one half and my husband is 68. We will be going to FL in a few weeks and stay for the month of April in Kissimmee and St. Augustine. If you ever have a chance, go to St. Augustine…it is a wonderful and historical place that I think you would enjoy (the first City of America)…That’s all. Love to the both of you. If God gives you another child, I will be overjoyed….if not, enjoy the season you are in, as we are….We love God and His Son and they are in the Center of our lives….Prayer time is so important, even for Catholics…..We are devout and love all denominations, including Jewish and Muslim….we all will be washed in the Blood of Christ some day, and I welcome the place God has chosen for me (if I am to have one). Amen and Amen……May the sun never set on you love for each other……We love you both.

  4. Dyllen

    Lovely honeymoon story. Amazing where life takes you when you’re married because when you are together, you feel so proud of yourself and each other — life is amazing! Thank you, Jesus that is life is amazing.

  5. Donna Jansen

    well you certainly attract the weirdest people given that you all follow the Quirverfull cult which teaches hatred. You are the most disgusting family on earth spouting your ‘holy’ way of living while you greedily take money from a pathetic REALITY series. I thought gluttony was a sin? so is homophobia, racism, etc. and you all embody the worst values of any family in earth. Shameful.

  6. Mary Singleton

    I want to know what your marriage counselling sessions look like. I’d like a breakdown. I have daughters and one has just begun a long distance courtship. We have talked about her young man moving closer (much like Ben did) when that happens, counselling will begin, however, no idea what resources you used, topics covered etc. Thanks!

  7. Melissa Sue

    We didn’t even have a honeymoon and here we are 10 years later, and still in just as much love as day one. We have survived some very big marital crisis, and it hasn’t always been easy but at the end of the day we can now laugh together and I always know he is my best friend.

  8. Emily H

    What a sweet story. We did not have a “proper” honeymoon either. But we will take one on our 20th. This year is 16. Anyway… I love that you all made the best of it and started, clearly, a loving life together. Blessings, Emily

  9. Debbie Brookshier

    When my husband and I got married we couldn’t afford a nice honeymoon either and we just went to a Hotel but then 12 years later we had the opportunity to go to Hawaii, we did it! Had a week of fun and by that time he had lost his eyesight due to diabetes, but he still really enjoyed himself, we both did, and it is a very good memory!

  10. Victoria Sellers

    Thanks so much for the emails you send me, what a blessing. Congratulations to you as grandparents! How is Jessa and her husband doing? What a beautiful family you have all loving Jesus and serving Him. God Bless You Abundantly Sister Vicki

  11. Misty O'Donnell

    Im so happy I stumbled upon this blog! We had a similar honeymoon experience. I booked a hotel online without looking at any reviews, and the room was freezing (no heat), and no water pressure, so we couldn’t even wash our faces! So glad it was only a one night booking!

  12. Janet Lester

    What a sweet story. Love will bring us through many stages in life. I think as long as your together you can have a good honeymoon no matter where you are. Thank you for sharing your stories and advice on what has helped you out along the way. God bless you all.


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