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Off the market: Jill Duggar is engaged

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

A Duggar wedding in the works

It's official: A Duggar daughter is off the market. Jill Duggar has announced her engagement.
A Duggar wedding in the works
Photo credit: TLC

19 Kids and Counting star Jill Duggar can finally hold hands with a boy for the first time in her life — because the reality kid is now engaged.

Jill, who recently revealed her courtship with equally religious accountant Derick Dillard, spilled the news while gushing about her fiancé's international lifestyle.

"I am so happy," Jill told People. "Our story is so very unique. The first time we talked, he was in Japan, we met in Nepal, he spent time in India and Israel and then came back to Arkansas where he met my family. We have a very international story even though we live so close.

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"When my dad first introduced Derick and I, we spent hours texting, calling, and talking on Skype while 8,000 miles away from each other," she added to ABC News. "And when we finally met in person in Nepal, we knew within days that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

"I love Derick's desire to follow God and to serve others. Derick is so romantic and the proposal was perfect. We are incredibly happy and can't wait to share our courtship and engagement on 19 Kids & Counting. Next up, wedding planning!"

Part of the couple's commitment to God is that they will abstain from any physical contact until certain relationship milestones — and that means they didn't even hold hands until they were betrothed.

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"I feel like I'm dreaming," Dillard told People. "It was great to grab her hand for the first time."

The couple won't share their first kiss until their wedding day.

"They're a match made in heaven and Michelle and I couldn't be more thrilled," dad Jim Bob Duggar told ABC. "We're so grateful to God and look forward to watching their love continue to grow as they prepare for their wedding and future life together. We're not losing a daughter, but rather gaining a son."

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