Kristen Welker, the White House correspondent and co-anchor of Weekend Today for NBC News, has been married to husband John Hughes since 2017. They were set up on a blind date by mutual friends and tied the knot three years later. They do not have children.
Despite her career in the spotlight, Welker and Hughes are more private about their personal lives. Welker does not post about her husband on Twitter and her Instagram page is set to private.
Welker moderated the October 22 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. While They Were Dating, Hughes Flew to Campaign Stops to Spend a Few Hours With Welker as She Covered the 2016 Election
Hughes and Welker had their first date in Philadelphia in October 2014. In a lengthy feature for The New York Times, Welker explained that she felt “optimistic” about meeting Hughes because her best friend had already given him the “stamp of approval.” Welker later explained to the Philadelphia Inquirer that her best friend’s family knew Hughes’ family.
Hughes admitted feeling nervous before his first date with Welker. He told the Times, “I remember thinking to myself, ‘If I can just make her laugh, maybe I’ll have a chance.’” The two ended up talking all night.
Hughes traveled to Washington, D.C., for their second date, which Welker nearly canceled. She got stuck at work for more than two hours longer than she expected and she was scheduled to fly to Asia the following day with the Obama administration. But she decided against canceling and Hughes patiently waited for her.
Hughes passed the time by creating a “crossword puzzle of presidential trivia” for Welker to take with her on the plane. Welker told The Times that was the gesture that won her over. “As a White House correspondent, it was so touching, and it marked him different than anyone else I ever dated.”
After they had been dating a few months, Welker’s demanding schedule became far more hectic. It was primary election season and Welker was traveling with candidates to cover all of the action. But Hughes stepped up to the plate in a big way. He used to fly to various campaign stops in order to spend even just a few hours with Welker. Hughes told The Times, “We were head over heels for each other. But it was tough. We never knew where she was going to be.”
2. Welker Said She’d Nearly Given up Hope of Finding Love Before Meeting Hughes, Who Proposed at the Lincoln Memorial
Hughes and Welker started talking about buying a house together in Washington, D.C., after they had been dating for about a year. But as Hughes explained to The New York Times, finding the perfect time to propose to Welker was challenging because of the constant travel.
In June 2016, she told him she’d be in town for 24 hours. Hughes traveled from Philadephia so that the two of them could attend an open house. After viewing the property, Hughes surprised Welker by taking her to the Lincoln Memorial, which was where to asked her to marry him. Hughes told The Times, “I wanted to ask her outside in a place you could walk by years later and tell your kids that this was the spot we got engaged.”
Welker talked about Hughes a few weeks later in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, during which she expressed gratitude that Hughes had managed to coordinate a time to propose. She told the newspaper that before meeting Hughes, she had “just about given up on the idea of finding someone.” Welker added, “I’m 40 years old. I say that to give hope to other women who maybe haven’t found The One in their 20s.”
The couple got married on March 4, 2017, at the Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia. As The Times reported, their wedding program included the crossword puzzle Hughes had made for Welker on their second date. Their first dance was to the song “At Last” by Etta James.
3. Hughes & Welker Bought Their Washington Home for More Than $1.2 Million
Hughes was living and working in Philadelphia when he and Welker started dating. But he relocated to Washington, D.C., after popping the question.
According to property records on the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue website, Hughes and Welker purchased their two-story townhouse in November 2016 for $1.249 million. The home, which was originally constructed in 1900, sits on a 2,000-square-foot lot. It has 2,680 square feet of living space, three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and two fireplaces.
Records on Redfin show the house was renovated in 2003 and its estimated value has risen substantially since then. The townhouse was sold in 2004 for $695,000. Redfin estimates the property’s value has risen above $1.35 million as of this writing.
4. Neither Hughes Nor Welker Is Affiliated With a Political Party
Hughes’ personal opinions about politics are unclear. He does not appear to have any active social media accounts on which he might share an opinion. And he is not affiliated with any political party.
Voter registration information for Washington, D.C., is available online. According to the D.C. Board of Elections, Hughes registered to vote there in April 2017 as an independent.
Welker’s voter registration information also shows that she is not affiliated with a political party. She has been registered to vote in D.C. since January 2012.
5. Hughes Does Marketing for a Pharmaceutical Company
Hughes is a marketing professional. According to The New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer, Hughes was working as a marketing director for the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Inc. at the time of his wedding to Welker.
A search of online records suggests Hughes previously held a managerial position in the “Pricing and Reimbursement Strategy” department for Merck. Hughes’ LinkedIn profile has been deactivated or deleted.
But if Hughes ever wanted to get into news production, his wife says he now has the experience. When the coronavirus pandemic triggered stay-at-home orders, Welker said Hughes was a major help when she was broadcasting from their house. She joked to People that Hughes can “run a mean teleprompter.” She added, “We joke that he’ll be joining the union soon, because he knows how to use all of the equipment.”
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