If the Duggars aren't getting married themselves, there's a good chance they're celebrating someone's nuptials. Case in point: Joy-Anna Duggar recently attended the wedding of Carlin Bates, a name that might sound familiar to some Counting On fans. So, who is Carlin exactly? Not only is she Joy-Anna's longtime BFF, but Carlin also happens to be a reality star.
Joy-Anna, who announced her pregnancy in early May, attended Carlin's wedding to Evan Stewart in Tennessee on May 26, reported US Magazine. The reality star was one of the newlywed's bridesmaids, proving that she and Carlin are pretty close. Joy-Anna even traveled to the event early, noting that her husband, Austin Forsyth, stayed home with Gideon so she could enjoy one-on-one time with her bestie.
Joy-Anna shared numerous snaps of the pre-wedding festivities to her Instagram Stories, according to InTouch Weekly, including a snap of her makeup and styled hair. The mom was glowing, folks.
It probably shouldn't come as a surprise to fans that Joy-Anna pulled out all of the stops for Carlin — the Arkansas native has known her friend for years. It all started with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's friendship with Carlin's parents, Kelly Jo and Gil Bates. And as it turns out, the two families have a lot in common — both sets of parents have 19 kids and a reality show to boot. Bringing Up Bates premiered in January 2015, just seven years after 19 Kids and Counting debuted in September 2008.
Out of all of the siblings, Joy-Anna and Carlin formed the closest bond, which might have something to do with their close ages — the friends are only seven months apart.
The two often talk about their deep bond on social media, like when they're wishing one another a happy birthday.
"Happy birthday to my bestie @carlinbates98!!! I love you SO much, Carlin!!" Joy-Anna penned in April. "Annnddd can’t wait to see you at your wedding!!!"
Back in October, for Joy-Anna's birthday, Carlin penned: "God made us best friends because He knew our moms couldn't handle us as sisters! I hope your birthday is perfect! I'm so proud of who you have become! I love you dearly."
Despite Joy-Anna and Carlin's closeness, they were raised a bit differently. Case in point: The Bates family prefers longer engagements, as opposed to the Duggars' warp-speed courtships.
“It doesn’t make sense to tell couples they should have to rush and get married in three months either," Kelly Jo said in 2013, according to InTouch Weekly. "The couple misses so much that way.”
That being said, Carlin got married nine months after her engagement, while Joy-Anna got hitched 3 months after Austin's proposal. Hmm.
Both Carlin and Joy-Anna, however, were encouraged to have chaperones on their dates pre-marriage.
"One of the rules that we've asked the couples to obey is to be in an open place," Kelly Jo said, according to Knoxville News Sentinel. "When you go off alone in corners and cubby holes, that's when temptation is really going to grow, so we ask them 'take along a chaperone.'"
Cubby holes? Very interesting.
Differences and similarities aside, it's clear the pair's bond is set to stand the test of time. And it's nice that Joy-Anna was able to attend Carlin's wedding over Memorial Day weekend.