Jenna Bush Hager met her husband Henry Chase Hager while working on her dad’s presidential campaign
The pair hit it off right away, and after dating for just three months, Jenna asked him to marry her. However, he turned her down, which led to a "humiliating" Valentine's Day incident, which Jenna previously recounted on Today with Hoda & Jenna, explaining that she had mistakenly believed he was proposing, a moment which later ended up being printed in The Washington Post.
Eventually, Henry did propose and the couple got engaged in 2007. Prior to popping the question, he asked her father President Bush for his blessing. "So, the guy comes to see me, and he says, 'I want to marry your daughter.' I said, 'Done deal,' " Bush told CNN at the time.
Jenna and Henry said 'I do' on May 10, 2008, in front of 200 guests at her family's lakeside ranch in Crawford, Texas.
"Twelve years ago I married this dude as the sun set over Texas—the day after his thirtieth birthday," Jenna wrote in a 2020 Instagram post. "Twelve years, three kids, some loss, and insurmountable JOY,—and I still love him with all of me. Happiest anniversary Hank."
The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Mila Hager, in 2013. They went on to have two more kids: Poppy in 2015 and son Hal in 2019.
In May 2023, Jenna and Henry celebrated 15 years together. Jenna commemorated the day with a sweet Instagram post featuring a carousel of photos of the two together through the years. "15 years with HH's hand in mine. I love him. A lot. ❤️❤️," she wrote in the caption.
So who is Jenna Bush Hager's husband? Here's everything to know about Henry Chase Hager and his relationship with the Today host.
He and Jenna met on the campaign trail
Jenna and Henry met on her father's campaign trail in 2004. At the time, he was working as a staff assistant for Karl Rove, the senior advisor for President Bush. He also had a girlfriend.
According to friends, their relationship moved quickly after that. "On Election Day, they were friends. By the Inaugural, they were an item," Henry's friend told PEOPLE.
Jenna joked that he was her "worst date"
During another Today segment, Jenna told Kotb the story of her worst date, which featured her husband and the Secret Service.
"My worst first date involved the Secret Service, let's just leave it at that," she said before launching into the incident. "It was with Henry and his car ran out of gas and went backwards and hit the Secret Service."
The two were in Virginia, which is where Henry lived at the time, when he realized he needed to stop for fuel. He went to the nearest gas station but it was up a hill and the car didn't make it.
"I was laughing but he was horrified," Jenna said.
He was once caught sneaking out of the White House
On an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Jenna recounted another embarrassing and hilarious story from the couple's early days of dating.
"My parents were traveling and I was staying [at the White House]," she said. "We'd gone out to the bars and, like all relationships do, it reached a certain level."
She went on to explain that Henry had fallen asleep and accidentally spent the night. "He woke up and he looked around he was like, 'Aaaaaaah' because he worked for my dad," she said. He then tried to sneak out but ended up getting caught by the Secret Service.
Jenna once gave him a "dramatic" ultimatum
The Today with Hoda & Jenna host confessed that she once gave Henry a "manipulative ultimatum."
"I had kind of — in a dramatic fashion that you may or may not recognize — said, 'Listen, if you don't want me to move to Latin America, we need to get engaged,'" she said, adding that it was "kind of like a manipulative ultimatum."
He'd told her that wasn't going to propose, but shortly after that, she thought he had changed his mind. She explained that it was around Valentine's Day and the pair went to a fancy restaurant that allowed you to make your own fortune cookies.
"They brought two glasses of champagne at the end of the meal and tied around one was the fortune which they got wrong. It was supposed to say something like, 'Go and when you come back, I'll be here.' But all it said was, 'Don't go.' With champagne," she said.
She added, "So, I was like, 'Yes! I Will Marry You!' And his face dropped. He could have cried." Continuing, she shared that another couple at the restaurant had witnessed the exchange and told reporters, leading to a story in The Washington Post.
In the end, though, it turned out to be a funny memory for the couple. "So, Henry found that article from The Washington Post, got the article and framed it for Valentine's Day so that we could always remember the humiliation that comes with love," she recalled.
He proposed on a hiking trip
Jenna revealed on Today with Hoda & Jenna that she proposed to Henry after three months of dating when she was 22 years old.
"I might've had a Christmas cocktail and we were dancing, and I said, 'This is it, I know it, let's just get married, what are we waiting for?' " she said.
Ultimately, though, he turned her down. "He smiled and he was like, 'I'm crazy about you, but you're young,' " she said.
It wasn't until a few years later that the couple got engaged while on a hiking trip together in Maine. "We hiked to Cadillac Mountain, which is the first place the sun hits the United States," she told Kotb on Today with Hoda & Jenna.
"When the sun rose, he proposed," she said, explaining that they woke up at 4 a.m. to go on the hike, with the Secret Service "right behind him."
In August 2023, Jenna added on Today with Hoda & Jenna that after Henry proposed, the White House released a statement announcing their engagement as her father was president at the time — and she freaked out.
"We were sitting in the airport and it came on CNN that we were engaged and I was like, ‘Woah, woah, woah, what?' " she said on the show. "I mean, I’m happy — I married him, I have three kids, I adore him — but I was like, ‘What? What happens if for some reason … you know?’ It felt like so much pressure for both of us.”
She added that before he proposed, Henry prepared a 7-point plan to ask President Bush's approval, but the former President stopped him midway, telling him, "Henry I say yes, you don't need to go through anything else." Jenna said he then shouted to his wife: "Laura, Henry's proposing."
They got married in 2008
Henry and Jenna got married on May 10, 2008, the day after Henry turned 30, at her family's Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Jenna recounted their wedding day on Today with co-host Kotb. "I remember seeing Henry clearly, standing there at this cross that my dad had helped build for us. It's still there," she said, adding, "Our kids have gotten to stand on it."
The couple tied the knot in a sunset ceremony in front of 200 guests. "The wedding was spectacular. It's all we could have hoped for," former President Bush said at the time.
They have 3 kids together
Jenna and Henry share three children. The newlyweds enjoyed married life together for over five years before starting a family. They welcomed their first child, Margaret Laura Hager, on April 13, 2013. The little girl, called Mila, is named after both of her grandmothers — Henry's mother, Margaret Hager, as well as former first lady, Laura Bush.
The couple chose an equally sentimental name for their second daughter. Poppy Louise Hager, born on August 13, 2015, was named after Jenna's grandfather, George H.W. Bush, whose nickname growing up was 'Poppy.'
On August 2, 2019, they welcomed their first son, Henry Harold 'Hal' Hager. "His sisters are thrilled to have a little brother and already nicknamed his nickname, exclaiming 'welcome to the world Hal Pal!' " Jenna told PEOPLE at the time.
He saved a woman's life
On Today with Hoda & Jenna, the former first daughter called her husband a "hero" as she told Kotb how he saved a woman's life.
The couple were dining out at a restaurant when something unexpected happened. "We sit down, we're having a lovely little conversation," she explained.
"All of a sudden, he says, 'That woman is choking!' " Jenna said. "He gets up, he runs over, and he gives a woman the Heimlich maneuver for, it felt like it was 10 minutes."
Eventually, the paramedics arrived and luckily the woman survived. "People were saying to him, like, 'Are you a doctor?' And he was like, 'No, I was an Eagle Scout,' " she said.
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