Jenna Bush Hager says her husband Henry was so nervous to ask then-President George W. Bush for her hand in marriage that he read the BIBLE for courage
- Jenna, 41, opened up about their engagement on the Today show Monday
- She recalled how it was ‘not easy’ for Henry to ask her father for his blessing
- The host said her husband ‘read the Bible’ before sitting down with the president
Jenna Bush Hager has revealed that her husband, Henry Hager, was so nervous to ask her father for her hand in marriage that he read the Bible for courage before getting his blessing.
The Today star opened up about the lead-up to their engagement on Monday’s show, recalling how Henry sought divine inspiration in anticipation of his sit-down with then-President George W. Bush.
‘[It was] not easy. He actually read the Bible,’ Jenna, 41, told her guest host Justin Sylvester, who was filling in for Hoda Kotb.
Henry asked the commander-in-chief for permission to marry his daughter at Camp David — the presidential retreat in Maryland — over Fourth of July weekend in 2007.
Jenna Bush Hager, 41, revealed that her husband, Henry Hager, read the Bible for courage before asking her father, then-President George W. Bush, for her hand in marriage
Henry asked the commander-in-chief for permission to marry his daughter at Camp David – the presidential retreat in Maryland – over Fourth of July weekend in 2007
Jenna said Henry had a ‘seven-point plan’ of why he wanted to marry her, but her father gave him his blessing right away. They wed at her family’s estate in Texas the following year
‘I was like, “Come see the movie,” or “We’re going to go do this,”‘ Jenna recalled. ‘We had friends there, and he was like, “No.” He called my dad. He’s like, “I’d like to come speak to you.” He’s like, “I’m taking a nap. Come in a couple hours.” So he had to sit and stew.’
The former first daughter noted that Henry was more than prepared when it came time to share his intentions with his future father-in-law.
‘He had like a seven-point plan of why he wanted to marry me and how he was going to take care of me,’ she explained. ‘My dad goes, “Henry, I said yes. You don’t need to go through anything else — Laura, Henry’s proposing,” and that was that. Good thing he did it.’
Henry may have been nervous to propose, but Jenna had already popped the question years before their official engagement.
‘I proposed to Henry after several cocktails,’ she admitted. ‘I was 22 years old, my sister was standing with us, we were dancing and Barbara just started shuffling backwards. She was like, “What is happening here?” We’d only been dating three months. He told me he loved me and I’m like, “Me too! Let’s get married!”‘
‘Asking a man to marry you after three months and three martinis is a lot,’ Justin joked. ‘But it worked out for you.’
Jenna admitted that Henry said no at the time, but they got married five years later.
‘He didn’t say no,’ she clarified. ‘He just was like [laughing].’
Jenna also stunned her guest host Justin Sylvester when she admitted that she had proposed to Henry years before after just three months of dating
‘I proposed to Henry after several cocktails,’ she admitted. ‘I was 22 years old… We’d only been dating three months. He told me he loved me and I’m like, “Me too! Let’s get married!”‘
Jenna and Henry have three children together, Mila, ten, Poppy, seven, and Hal, who turned four last week
Jenna may have known early on that Henry was ‘the one,’ but she still felt some pressure after their engagement was announced.
‘My parents put out a statement because my dad was president. We were sitting in the airport, and it came on CNN that we were engaged. I was like, Whoa, whoa, whoa,’ she remembered.
‘I’m happy I married him. I have three kids. I adore him,’ she added. ‘But I was like, “What? Like what happens if for some reason [it doesn’t work out]? It felt like so much pressure for both of us.’
Jenna and Henry tied the knot at the Bush family’s estate in Crawford, Texas, in May 2008, and they recently celebrated 15 years of marriage.
Earlier this year, she shared how her mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, mortified her and her twin sister, Barbara Bush, with her sexual innuendo the morning of her wedding.
‘My sister and I spent the night the night before [my husband and I] got married, and my mom came in [singing], “You’re getting married! Let’s go change the sheets!” And Barbara goes, “Eww gross, Mom! This isn’t The Other Boleyn Girl!”‘ she recalled.
‘I won’t even say what she said after that,’ she added, laughing.
Jenna and Henry have three children together, Mila, ten, Poppy, seven, and Hal, who turned four last week.
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