Jenna Bush Hager Remembers Her Wedding and Why She 'Wept' with Her Dad After He Picked Her Up

·4 min read

Jenna Bush Hager this week reflected on her 2008 lakeside nuptials, recounting a special memory with Hoda Kotb as she celebrated her 13th anniversary with husband Henry Hager.

The Today show co-host, 39, got married at her family's Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas, on May 10, 2008.

Speaking with Kotb on Monday's episode, she specifically recalled a moment with her father, former President George W. Bush, before he led her down the aisle.

"I think my dad picked me up in a pickup truck — in his pickup truck — and he said, 'You look beautiful, baby,' and then we both just wept up and down," she said.

Once they arrived at the ceremony site, Hager said she saw her then soon-to-be husband standing in an area that has since become a special place for the entire family.

"I remember seeing Henry clearly, standing there at this cross that my dad had helped build for us," the mom-of-three said. "It's still there, so we have our Christmas services there that we put together. Our kids have gotten to stand on it."

The limestone altar was the former president's idea and was meant to stand as a permanent landmark on the Bush family property.

For her toast at the reception, a guest told PEOPLE at the time, "She told the story of how she wasn't prepared for Washington's bitter winters but that falling in love with Henry made her not notice the cold so much."

Following the ceremony, President Bush said of the occasion: "The wedding was spectacular. It's all we could have hoped for ... It was just a special day and a wonderful day, and we're mighty blessed."

RELATED: Jenna Bush's Wedding Album

Shealah Craighead/The White House via Getty From left: George W. Bush and Jenna Bush Hager at her 2008 wedding

In addition to celebrating her anniversary, Hager also celebrated Mother's Day as well as her husband's birthday, sharing a series of photos on Instagram along with a caption about Henry.

"Happy to share Mother's Day with this dude who makes being a mama so fun and joy-filled! Happy birthday Hank!" she wrote. "You'll never see this but we loved celebrating you with a family dinner, homemade sheet cake and a toddler burning man."

The couple share three children: son Henry "Hal" Harold, 2, and daughters Poppy Louise, 6, and 8-year-old Margaret "Mila" Laura.

Speaking with Kotb on Monday about the couple's celebration of so many milestones, Hager said it was "simple and fun, and of course Henry tried to make it about me, which is so sweet ... he's a good guy."

The former first daughter added that she and her kids baked her husband a sheet cake for his birthday — burning herself in the process, but nonetheless feeling "impressed" with the outcome.

RELATED: Life with Grandparents George W. and Laura Bush as He Launches New Painting Project

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Speaking with PEOPLE for a recent cover story upon the release of his new book of paintings, President Bush, 74, said he and his wife Laura Bush have plans to see daughter and their grandchildren in May, noting that "the problem with COVID is that there's not a lot of travel back and forth."

And when they do arrange a visit, the former president will likely spoil his grandkids, admitting, "Well, I give them, for example, 'Pappy, can I have a piece of candy?' I said, 'Oh, sure.' "

Earlier this month, Bush released his second book of paintings, Out of Many, One, which highlights "the inspiring journeys of America's immigrants and the contributions they make to the life and prosperity of our nation," according to a news release.

The portraits are also on view at an exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

Though not a part of the exhibit, Bush told PEOPLE that he has painted portraits of his wife and daughters.

"The Laura portrait was a bust," he said. "And I think Barbara is pretty good, but it took her to sit down and tell me what she thought was wrong with it, and then I corrected it."

"I've been very sensitive, because I tend to be a pretty sloppy painter and I tend to apply a lot of paint," he acknowledged, "and if you do that on a face that's a beautiful face, it could disrupt the beauty. And so I was concerned about it."

He added that his portrait of Mrs. Bush was "destroyed," though the portrait of Hager is upstairs in his art studio.