Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jinger Finds Her Dress

What did you think of last night's episode? For those who missed it or want to relive the moment when Jinger Duggar found her wedding dress, check out the video below.

Accompanied by mom Michelle Duggar, sisters Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Joy, and future mother-in-law Diana Vuolo, Jinger tried on three prototype dresses designed by Renee Miller. The first one was basic, but she liked the idea of it. The second one was very lacy, and she like it even more. When Jinger tried on the third gown, she fell in love with it. (Click here to read our full recap of the episode.)

Photo/video courtesy TLC/People Magazine

Monday, January 16, 2017

Recap: 'The Jinger Gown'

Counting On "The Jinger Gown"

  • Jinger is taking her mom, her four oldest sisters, Ben, Derick, Spurgeon, and Israel on a three-day trip to Fredericksburg, Virginia, so she can choose her wedding dress. Jeremy’s parents, Chuck and Diana, live on the East Coast and will meet them there to join in the festivities.
  • “As far as looking forward to the wedding, I don’t think I could be more excited,” says Jeremy.
  • Jana, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy are in the girls’ room preparing for the trip and talking about what Jinger wants in a dress. Jinger also tells her sisters who she has chosen to stand up with her in the wedding. “I don’t think she really even asked us,” says Joy, laughing. “She kind of told us.”
  • Jinger’s family refers to her style as “the Jinger style.” They say she is classy and trendy.
  • Everyone arrives in Virginia. Chuck Vuolo, Derick, Ben, Israel, and Spurgeon hang out together while the gals go wedding dress shopping. "I'm excited that Jinger has chosen to include my mother and father," says Jeremy, who is back in Laredo, where he pastors a small church.  
  • "Any opportunity to visit with Jinger is a joy...and we were looking forward to meeting the family," says Chuck.
  • The girls arrive at Ava Laurenne Bride, where Jill bought her dress, and reunite with co-owner Wendy. They also meet Renee Miller, the dress designer from Pensacola, Florida, to whom Wendy introduced Jinger. 
  • "I cannot believe that Jinger is going to be getting married!" says Michelle. "Getting to spend this time with Jinger and the sisters is such a precious thing."
  • Everyone is stunned when Jinger walks out in the first of three dresses designed by Renee. "It was just amazing being in a wedding dress," says Jinger. Jinger likes the first gown, but it is very basic, and she is wanting more details.
  • The second dress is very lacy, and Jinger loves it. The other women also agree it's more "Jinger" than the first one. "I think all my sisters have an opinion...and so I really appreciate their advice because I've never done this before," says Jinger.  
  • Jinger falls in love with the third dress the minute she looks at herself in the mirror. "This is like everything and more," says Jinger. "I love everything about this dress."
  • "I just overwhelmingly thought that this was her," says Renee Miller. "I just knew that dress #3 would be the dress that we would be able to name The Jinger."
  • "There's a lot of dress in this beautiful train, but it doesn't overpower her at all," says Diana Vuolo. "She just radiates, and I think she is going to bring my son to tears." 
  • While the girls shop, the guys go out for ice cream. Derick and Ben ask Chuck Vuolo for advice on transitioning from one child to two.
  • The Seewalds, Duggars, and Dillards say Spurgeon is laid back, happy, and interactive, while Israel is strong-willed but a sweetheart. 
  • After dress shopping, everyone heads to a local art shop to create canvas paintings for Jinger and Jeremy's home. Jill and Derick paint a faceless picture of Jinger and Jeremy; Ben (while Jessa takes care of the kids) paints an artistic coffee cup; Jana and Joy paint a girl holding an umbrella; Michelle and Jinger paint a city skyline; and the Vuolos paint a picture of a jewel that says "she is far more precious than jewels," signed Mom and Dad.
  • Jill and Derick have been home from Central America for a few weeks and are glad to be with family.

Duggars Return Tonight!

Joseph Duggar, Jeremy Vuolo, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, Jill Duggar Dillard, 
Derick Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald, Ben Seewald, Austin Forsyth, 
Joy-Anna Duggar, Josiah Duggar, Jana Duggar, John-David Duggar

The new season of Counting On premieres tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT on TLC. Will you be watching?

Click here to read the summary of tonight's episode on our Showtimes page and here to find out what the Duggars have in store for viewers during the rest of the season.

Photo courtesy TLC

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Designing Jinger Duggar's Wedding Dress Part 3

Jana Duggar, Jill Dillard, Renee Miller, Jessa Seewald, Diana Vuolo (Jeremy's mom), and Joy Duggar watch Jinger try on the three prototype dresses made by Renee; August 17th, 2016
Are you ready for the third and final post from Ellie's interview with Renee Miller, owner of Renee's Bridal and Special Occasions and designer of Jinger Duggar Vuolo's wedding gown? (Click here to read part two.)

We have even more photos to share, so stay tuned for a post of only pictures.

Ellie: What is your design process?
Renee: I sized Jinger by looking at pictures of her and then met her on August 17th to show her three prototype dresses I had created. She chose her favorite, and I spent the next two-and-a-half months personalizing that gown. The under layers of the dress were sewn by machine, but the beads, lace, and pearls were all sewn on by hand. All three of the prototypes fit her perfectly. A true designer has an eye and can size without measuring.

The bridesmaids’ dresses also fit perfectly. I didn’t meet some of the girls until the big reveal three days before the wedding. We had to switch two of the gowns around, but it could not have been closer to perfect.

I prayed very hard that the dresses would fit. I was especially nervous about Jessa’s dress because she’s pregnant. When that thing zipped up, I literally shed tears of joys. Jessa looked at me and asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘You just don’t know how much I’ve worried about your gown!’ I responded.

Ellie: Can you talk more about the lace?
Renee: The lace is antique-inspired. I shopped long and hard to find a classic look. Jinger is extremely classy, every bit of Grace Kelly. She has that ‘girl next door’ look to her, and I wanted a lace that was equal to all of that. It’s actually a cream color. Her dress is a very soft ivory, although people have mistaken it for white.

Ellie: Did it take long to do all the buttons up on Jinger’s dress?
Renee: Not at all. Buttons aren’t difficult if they are put on the dress correctly. We have stretchy, elastic loops, and they just pull right over the buttons.

Ellie: What is the price range of your wedding dresses?
Renee: The price of a wedding dress depends on what the bride chooses. I have brides who come from all over to see me, and I am willing to travel to meet with brides. I work with all different budgets. The national average is $1375, and I am more than able to design a dress at or around that average.

Ellie: How much did Jinger's dress weigh?
Renee: 15.2 pounds

Ellie: Did you design dresses for any other members of the wedding party?
Renee: In addition to making Jinger's wedding gown and 10 bridesmaids dresses, I altered Josie Duggar's flower girl dress, Michelle Duggar's mother of the bride dress, and Grandma Duggar's grandmother of the bride dress. One of my team members altered a few of the guys' pants.

Ellie: How did your business start out of the trunk of your car?
Renee: For me to be doing what I’m doing today, you just have to step back, and if you know me, you would just shake your head. I’m a girly girl, but I got kicked out of sewing class when I was 14 years old, and they looked at my mother and said, ‘Please don’t bring her back.’ So for me to be doing what I’m doing is a total God thing.

Sixteen years ago, I became the sole provider for my two boys, so I started selling costume jewelry out of the trunk of my car. That’s how I spent my days, and I wouldn’t come home until I had money to pay the light bill, or get groceries, or buy gas.

A friend encouraged me to sell my jewelry at a mall kiosk during Christmastime. While I was packing up on New Year’s Day, a bride stopped by my kiosk looking for jewelry for her bridesmaids. It hit me like a bolt of lightening that I was going to have me a bridal store one day. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew that was my calling. I bought and sold three wedding gowns, then six, then 12, then 24.

I didn’t borrow money because I didn’t want to risk my kids’ livelihood. Then a bride asked me if I could sew two dresses together, and I said, ‘Why sure I can.’ And from there I started designing my own dresses. Today, there’s probably nothing I haven’t done in the bridal industry. Anything I sell in my store is totally my design. It’s amazing how God will multiply your talents. You may not have much, but if you give what you do have, God will bless it. I get emotional when I think about the hand of protection that God has put on me.

Ellie: Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Renee: I would love to give a shout out to the Duggars. They are such a wonderful family. Michelle--oh my goodness--if more mothers could have her heart, what a different place this world would be. I just feel like I am enriched so much more by being able to be a part of their life for just five days. They are gracious, and they are actually sweeter in real life than they are on TV. They are humble, gracious, loving, and full of heart, and I just can’t speak enough good words about them and how honored and blessed I am to have been a part of this big moment in their lives. I cherish each and every one of my brides, and Jinger Duggar Vuolo is no exception.

Here are photos of the sketches that the three prototype dresses were made from:

To learn more about Renee Miller, visit her website, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@renees_bridal). 

Photos courtesy reneesbridalpensacola.com; used with permission

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Duggars Return in 2 Days


The Duggars return to reality TV in just two days! Tune in to TLC at 9pm ET/8pm CT on Monday, January 16th, for the first episode in the new season of Counting On. Check out this press release from the network:

With less than three months until Jinger and Jeremy’s wedding and more than 1,000 guests coming to celebrate, the planning could not be done without Duggar-style teamwork. This exciting season follows the journey from the altar to the Vuolos' honeymoon Down Under in a special two-hour wedding event.

Viewers get an inside look into custom wedding dress shopping, venue preparation, and a bachelorette party only the Counting On sisters could plan. But as wedding bells begin to ring, the realization that Jinger is moving far away from home to start her new life with Jeremy leaves the family with bittersweet feelings.

While all eyes are on the wedding, Jessa and Ben prepare to welcome the newest member of the Seewald family to the world. The idea of expanding their little clan is exciting to the young couple, especially after experiencing the joys of raising one-year-old Spurgeon.

As Jessa and Ben prepare for this next journey, Jill and Derick reveal a little surprise of their own. To top it all off, Joy has entered a courtship with long-time friend Austin and enjoys the perks of an official relationship, including chaperoned dates and side hugs.

Photo courtesy TLC