Everything You Need to Know About Vice President Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff's Relationship

When they got married, Vice President Harris became "Momala" to his two kids.

Kamala and Doug

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There is a new vice president in the White House—Madam Vice President, that is! On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Madam Vice President Kamala D. Harris was sworn into the White House and made history as not only the first woman VP but the first Black and South Asian VP with her husband, Doug Emhoff, by her side. From their blind first date to their courthouse wedding, here is a complete timeline of Vice President Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff's relationship.

  • Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff first met on a blind first date in 2013.
  • A year later, the couple wed at the Santa Barbara courthouse. Harris became stepmother to stepchildren Cole and Ella Emhoff, whom Doug had during a previous marriage.
  • On January 20, 2021, Harris was sworn in as Vice President of the United States as her husband held the Bible.

2013: A Blind Date

While VP Harris was the Attorney General of California, Emhoff was an entertainment lawyer living in Los Angeles. The two were set up by Harris’s friend Chrisette Hudlin. And during a joint interview for CBS Sunday Morning in 2021, Harris made a very relatable and hilarious confession about her first date with Doug—she googled him! And this was a shock to him as well.

2013: Ready for Date Number Two

After their first date, Emhoff got straight to the point and asked her on date number two. “The morning after our first date, @DouglasEmhoff emailed me a list of his available dates for the next couple of months,” Harris revealed on Instagram. “He said, ‘I want to see if we can make this work.’ We’ve been making it work ever since.”

2014: A Marriage Proposal

Kamala and Doug Hugging


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After less than a year of dating, the lawyer popped the question. Which, according to Marie Claire was a “decidedly unromantic conversation” as Harris was deciding between two pad thai dishes. 

August 22, 2014: A Courthouse Wedding

On August 22, 2014, at a Santa Barbara, California courthouse, Harris and Emhoff wed as her sister, Maya Harris, performed the nuptials. Given Emhoff’s Jewish upbringing, the pair included the traditional glass breaking in their ceremony.

2014: Harris Gains Stepchildren Cole and Ella Emhoff

When Vice President Harris married Emhoff, she married his two kids along with him. Cole and Ella Emhoff are from his previous marriage to Kerstin Emhoff—who actually helped during Harris's presidential campaign and attended the 2021 Presidential Inauguration!

In an essay for Elle, Harris wrote about her first meeting with them and how nervous she was. But they got along and she described them as “welcoming” and “brilliant, talented, funny.” Not to mention, stylish. (Yes, we’re talking about that Inauguration coat.)

After she and Emhoff got married, she and the kids decided they did not like the term “stepmom.” So they came up with something a little more fun: Momala. 

Harris has been “Momala” to the kids for years, supporting them in all their endeavors (like swim meets and graduations). According to Vogue, Cole went to Colorado College and became an assistant at William Morris Endeavor after his 2017 graduation. Ella is a student at Parsons School of Design in New York City majoring in apparel and textiles, according to Oprahmag.com.

January 3, 2017: Becoming a Senator

When Harris became a California Senator in 2017, Emhoff held the Bible as she gave her oath.

January 17, 2021: The Cutest Couple

Their sweet affectionate banter and nicknames you see isn’t just in the public eye. Cole Emhoff told the New York Times that Harris and Emhoff are “almost vomit-inducingly cute and coupley.” Ella echoed that sentiment saying, “It’s so insane. It’s like the honeymoon phase forever. Like, the rest of the world gets to see it on social media, but we live that.”

January 20, 2021: Inauguration

Kamala Getting Worn in


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And as Harris was sworn in as the first female Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021, her husband was by her side holding the Bible, again. He also earned a new title that day: Second Gentleman.

January 28, 2021: Officially the Second Gentleman

Emhoff tweeted a link to Merriam-Webster's newest word: "Second Gentleman."

"Well, now it's official. @MerriamWebster just added "Second Gentleman" to the dictionary." he wrote. "I might be the first, but I won't be the last."

Merriam-Webster defines "Second Gentleman" as "the husband or male partner of a vice president or second in command of a country or jurisdiction"

Our new favorite word-of-the-day and adorable tweet come just a week after Madam Vice President Harris was sworn into office.

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