Representative Tulsi Gabbard and Abraham Williams were married Thursday in Kahaluu, Hawaii. Pandit Vinod Dave, a Hindu priest, performed a Vedic ceremony.
The bride, 33, is a Democrat in her second term representing Hawaii’s second congressional district. She is also a captain in the Hawaii National Guard 29th Brigade Combat Team, having served in Iraq. Before being elected in 2012, she was in Hawaii’s House of Representatives and on the Honolulu City Council. She graduated from Hawaii Pacific University and the Army National Guard Officer Candidate School at Fort McClellan in Alabama.
She is a daughter of Carol P. Gabbard and State Senator Mike Gabbard of Kapolei, Hawaii. Her father represents Kapolei, Makakilo and parts of Ewa, Kalaeloa and Waipahu on the island of Oahu. He and the bride’s mother also own Hawaiian Toffee Treasures, a candy company in Honolulu.
Mr. Williams, 26, is a freelance cinematographer in Honolulu.
He is a son of Anya Anthony and the stepson of Timothy S. Anthony of Kailua, Hawaii. The groom’s mother is the manager of Ms. Gabbard’s district office in Honolulu. His father teaches social studies and administers the English language learner program at Kalakaua Middle School in Honolulu.
The bride’s first marriage ended in divorce.
She and Mr. Williams had been acquainted for some time, but they didn’t really get to know each other until 2012, “when he was volunteering on the shoots for my campaign ads,” Ms. Gabbard wrote in an email. “About a year and a half later, he asked me out for the first time at a birthday party that a mutual friend of ours threw for me. It was the first time that we had a chance to kick back, relax and really talk on a personal level.
“As we got to know each other, we realized how much we actually had in common. We went for a long walk on our first date, and ended up at a pickup volleyball game with a few friends. Pretty soon, we were going on hikes, going surfing and spending as much time together as we could. Oftentimes that meant an early-morning surf before work. Our friendship and relationship developed over our mutual love for the ocean and surfing.”
Surfing also played a part in the marriage proposal. Ms. Gabbard said:
“I was home from D.C., and the day before Thanksgiving, he mentioned he wanted to go for a sunset surf on the South Shore that night. I was in meetings all day, and by the time we left, the sun was starting to set. We got stuck in traffic at a really long red light, and he was getting so frustrated. I couldn’t understand what the big deal was.
“By the time we got there and were paddling out, the sun was just about to dip under the horizon. He paddled quickly out to the lineup, way ahead of me, and waited as I slowly made my way out. Then he paddled over, pulled out a double-tethered contraption attached to a gold duct-tape-covered flotation device, with a beautiful ring attached, and said, ‘I have a question for you: Will you marry me?’ ”