Beaming bride Jennifer Gates spent a few moments having a heart-to-heart conversation with her father, billionaire Bill Gates on Friday evening just before a rehearsal dinner got underway and ahead of Saturday’s nuptials.
The father of the bride and his 25-year-old daughter could be seen sitting on the outdoor deck of her Westchester mansion with the pair laughing and joking before appearing deep in thought.
Preparations for the multi-million dollar wedding of Jennifer to Nayel Nassar have been underway for much of the week but Friday evening was significant in other ways too as it brought her freshly-divorced parents together as the rehearsal dinner was held in the stables of their 142-acre estate.
Bill and Melinda Gates who divorced in August after 27 years of marriage, were seen together mingling with guests at a rehearsal dinner on Friday night.
Bill Gates could be seen smiling with just hours to go before he will be giving his daughter away in a wedding hosted at her sprawling estate
Father-of-the-bride-to-be Bill Gates listened intently as his daughter, Jennifer Gates, spoke to him just ahead of the rehearsal dinner
Beaming bride Jennifer Gates spent a few moments having a heart-to-heart conversation with her father, billionaire Bill Gates on Friday evening before her rehearsal dinner began at her Westchester estate
The pair got to spend some daddy-daughter time ahead of what is going to be an exceptionally busy weekend for the family
The couple split in August but appeared to be chatting together with their friends and welcoming guests to the home.
Bill, 65, was seen in a dark suit while Melinda, 57, was seen in a colorful dress at the home in North Salem, New York.
The pair, who were among the most prominent couples in global business, having once worked together, could be seen welcoming guests to the Jennifer’s sprawling estate as a weekend of celebrations began in earnest.
The proud parents of Jennifer could also be seen smiling while wedding photographers took pictures of the occasion.
Earlier on Friday, Jennifer and her dashing groom-to be Nayel also stepped out on the deck of their home to enjoy a quiet moment will Bill and Melinda, together with her younger brother.
They were seen posing for pictures on the deck before moving down to a scenic, tree-lined driveway, where the pair walked as a couple, danced and kissed.
An elaborate tent city has been set up on the property, and on Thursday potted trees were hauled in to block views of the venue from the roadway and give them some semblance of privacy.
An eighteen-wheel truck and vans hauled in equipment, while golf carts shuttled staff around the site and down the road to where another set of tents were erected to handle catering.
Bill Gates and his ex-wife Melinda French can be seen mingling with guests at their daughter Jennifer’s rehearsal dinner
Jennifer Gates is pictured with family and guests ahead of her wedding ceremony in North Salem, New York at her rehearsal dinner
Bill and Melinda could be seen welcoming guests to the rehearsal dinner on Friday night
Beaming bride Jennifer Gates and her dashing groom stepped out on the deck of their home to enjoy a quiet moment on Friday with her recently divorced parents Bill and Melinda Gates, and her little brother
The police chief, fire chief and town officials stopped by to see the progress. Several cops were stationed alongside the property, along with private security officers who were on hand to protect VIP guests and keep traffic flowing.
The family let out a big cheer as the groom pulled up to the stables around 6 p.m. in a black van, and joined his soon-to-be in laws for a wedding eve celebration.
Bill shared a moment with his daughter Phoebe, sitting on a sofa on the lower deck facing the equestrian area. Then son Rory came and sat down with them, before joining his mother Melinda.
The groomsmen stood on one side, while the bridesmaids gathered on the other. The couple of honor stood in the center, doing a dry run of their ceremony. A woman in a green dress stood between them.
Guests wearing suits and cocktail dresses were seen greeting one another as wedding photographers snapped away
Before Friday night’s dinner, some younger members of the family were seen on the outdoor deck of the mansion
Earlier, on Friday, Melinda French Gates could be seen speaking to a man on the driveway of the estate as she carried her heels in her right hand
Melinda could be seen wandering along the private driveway on the North Salem, New York estate on Friday evening
The couple posed for pictures on the deck and the driveway where they walked down together dancing and kissing
Gates wore an elegant white bridal dress while the groom wore a grey suit for the couple’s pre-wedding photos
At one point the soon-to-be husband and wife shared a romantic smooch for the cameras
They posed as a happy couple, laughing and strolling down the scenic, tree-lined driveway
Members of the wedding party including Nassar (second from left) could be seen enjoying a chat on the sun deck
What appears to be Rory John Gates on the deck of his sister Jennifer Gates’ home on the eve of her wedding
Jennifer will gather with her groom-to be Nayel Nassar and her freshly-divorced parents at a rehearsal dinner this evening in the stables of their 142-acre estate
The roadway will be closed for the ceremony Saturday afternoon. And the town has posted signs banning the use of drones around the property.
‘It’s obviously not the wedding we would throw, financially speaking,’ Liz, a neighbor who runs a dog-training business and was walking one of her furry clients past the estate, told DailyMail.com.
‘Nobody can throw this, to put on something like this and to build this entire little city going on down here. It’s quite the event, quite the event.’
The construction began weeks ago, prompting some locals to complain about the noise and disruption. Liz was happy to receive one of the gift baskets, including a fine bottle of red wine, the couple sent neighbors to smooth things over.
Still, she got no invite to join the 300 guests who are expected.
‘I wish them well and I hope they have a beautiful, sunny day and they have a wonderful wedding,’ she said, though she saw it might rain.
‘And when it’s over, all this will come down and then we’ll be happy.’
The family appeared cheerful and in good spirits despite Bill (far right) and Melinda’s (third from left) fresh divorce
Dad Bill shared a sweet moment with his eldest daughter outside the home ahead of walking her down the aisle on Saturday
The father and daughter were seen laughing and embracing in an emotional moment ahead of Jennifer’s big day
Gates, worth an estimated $132billion according to Forbes, is expected to walk his eldest daughter down the aisle on Saturday when she’ll tie the knot with beau Nayel Nassar
One married couple who lives nearby was strolling by the secondary tents set up a couple hundred yards away on the estate.
‘It’s quite a spectacle,’ the wife, a retired schoolteacher, said of the wedding. ‘We haven’t had this much excitement in town for a long time. I can’t remember when. We’ve been in town 44 years.’
‘We’re not in with the in crowd,’ she said and quipped, ‘I don’t know who she’s wearing.’
‘It’s just a shame that it’s supposed to rain tomorrow,’ she said. ‘I mean, every day this week has been gorgeous out. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, you can’t control the weather.’
The wedding has caused a surge in business for some local merchants, including the local pizza joint, Salem Pizza and Pasta, that had to shut down for an hour at lunchtime to fill a last-minute order for staff working the party.
The owner, who counts the Gates as customers, was taking it in stride.
Event staff have been working diligently all week to pull the lavish party together as the countdown to the wedding reaches it final hours
At the estate there were talks about the wedding as an ‘open sky’ event, with plans to remove tarps over the plexiglass tents so guests could see the sky
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos offer a sneak peek inside the opulent wedding reception venue as preparations are made
Jennifer Gates, 25, will wed 30-year-old fellow equestrian Nayel Nassar Saturday at the 124-acre, $16 million North Salem farm that her billionaire parents purchased for her in 2018 shortly after her graduation from Stanford University
Her wealthy neighbors in North Salem include David Letterman and another riding champion, Georgina Bloomberg whose father, former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, bought her a horse farm in the town in 2012
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos gave a glimpse of the scale of the celebration with large pavilions seen being erected across the property
A source estimated that construction costs for the pavilions will be ‘at least $2 million’
Two guitars, a piano and string quartet were placed around a stage, where workers were performing a sound check
‘They come in here all the time,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘They’re very nice. In this town, everybody’s famous.
‘Everybody’s a billionaire. You know who comes here? Richard Gere, Bloomberg, David Letterman. Everybody’s nice. Once you have their kind of money, there’s no reason to be mean. Only poor people are mean.’
In the municipal offices a mile away, staff were chatting and joking about the extravagance of the event.
‘It’s probably about $25million,’ one female employee told DailyMail.com. ‘We’re not invited, so we’re angry.’
Back at the estate, workers barked out orders, as a purple-haired wedding planner roamed the grounds.
There was talk about running cables into the stables and setting up propane tanks for a presumed barbecue for tonight’s rehearsal dinner.
They talked about the wedding as an ‘open sky’ event, with plans to remove tarps over the plexiglass tents so guests could see the sky.
Preparations for the multi-million dollar wedding of Bill Gates ‘ daughter are in full gear Friday, ahead of tonight’s rehearsal dinner
An eighteen-wheel truck and vans hauled in equipment, while golf carts shuttled staff around the site and down the road to where another set of tents were erected to handle catering
There was talk about running cables into the stables and setting up propane tanks for a presumed barbecue for tonight’s rehearsal dinner
The construction began weeks ago, prompting some locals to complain about the noise and disruption
The roadway will be closed for the ceremony Saturday afternoon. And the town has posted signs banning the use of drones around the property
Workers were heard barking out orders, as a wedding planner roamed the grounds ensuring everything was running smoothly
A harpist was hired to set the mood for guests in a separate, climate-controlled cocktail tent. Eight chandeliers and a massive spotlight were being positioned. DJ equipment was also loaded into the stables for Friday night’s event.
Yellow flowers and pink roses were seen being driven in for the rehearsal dinner and three-tiered water fountains were set up inside.
Two guitars, a piano and string quartet were placed around a stage, where workers were performing a sound check.
‘Somebody important is here, keep the music appropriate,’ one staff member warned.
‘We’re listening to Randy Newman radio,’ another employee replied, satisfying his boss.
The band could be heard practicing party favorites including Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody and Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight.
An elaborate tent city has been set up on the property, and on Thursday potted trees were hauled in to block views of the venue from the roadway and give them some semblance of privacy
Large trucks carrying deliveries and dozens of boxes were seen being coming in and out of the venue since the beginning of the week
The police chief, fire chief and town officials stopped by to see the progress. Several cops were stationed alongside the property, along with private security officers who were on hand to protect VIP guests and keep traffic flowing
The wedding has caused a surge in business for some local merchants, including the local pizza joint, Salem Pizza and Pasta, that had to shut down for an hour at lunchtime to fill a last-minute order for staff working the party
They also played more contemporary dance hits by Beyonce, Michael Buble, and Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger.
Meanwhile, some workers hired to deliver event supplies or installations have been purposely kept in the dark about the party.
‘Who owns this property?’ one worker from Haiti asked a DailyMail.com reporter as he directed traffic into the secondary village. ‘All they tell me is they have something tonight and the wedding is tomorrow,’ he said.
The father of the bride arrived in New York City ahead of his daughter Jennifer’s wedding this weekend to fellow equestrian Nayel Nassar.
Gates landed in Newark in his private jet, then transferred to Manhattan via helicopter.
He was accompanied by his stepmother Mimi Gardner Gates, 79, who was married to Bill Gates Sr until his death in September 2020, aged 94.
Gardner Gates, a celebrated art historian, was sporting a jaunty hat with an orange pom-pom and beamed happily as she landed in New York.
She married Bill Gates Sr in 1996 and was director of the Seattle Art Museum for fifteen years and is now director emerita, overseeing the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas.
Gates, worth an estimated $132billion according to Forbes, was carrying a brown leather holdall as he disembarked.
The father of the bride was casually dressed in a polo shirt and chinos, ahead of Saturday’s $2million celebration.
His ex-wife Melinda, has been in New York City since Monday, and the bride-to-be, Jennifer, since Tuesday.
Bill Gates, whose daughter Jennifer will get married on Saturday at the horse farm she owns north of New York City, touched down in Manhattan on Thursday, with his stepmother Mimi following closely behind with a dramatic pom-pom hat
Gates, whose divorce from Melinda – his wife of 27 years – was finalized in August, arrived in Manhattan several days after his ex-wife. Melinda Gates has been enjoying some pampering time with their daughter Jennifer since she arrived in the city on Monday
Preparations for the wedding on Thursday were continuing apace, with Jennifer’s horse farm a flurry of activity.
The site was abuzz with workmen, supervised by crowds of people.
Trucks carrying supplies were seen arriving at the home, and workmen carried sofas onto the site and erected what appeared to be a wooden platform – possibly a dance floor.
Another team were carrying large trees, giving rise to speculation that the Gateses could have followed in Prince William and Kate Middleton’s footsteps, and requested a woodland canopy for their nuptials.
New York state troopers were seen at the house, and public safety officials were spotted inspecting the site before the high-profile guests arrived.
Jennifer treated herself to some pre-wedding pampering in New York City on Thursday as she prepares to walk down the aisle in an extravagant ceremony this weekend.
The bride-to-be was seen leaving the ritzy Greenwich Hotel in downtown Manhattan early on Thursday morning before heading off to a salon in Tribeca for a bridal manicure and pedicure with her mother and friends.
Workers were seen at Jennifer’s farm on Thursday, erecting what appeared to be a wooden platform or dancefloor, created around the trees
Those on the grounds were all smiles on Thursday, ahead of Saturday’s big event
Jennifer, 25, said yes to Nassar in January 2020 and so preparations for their big day have been many months in the making. On Thursday a group of people were seen negotiating the plans and preparations
Workmen are seen on Thursday carrying what appeared to be a sofa towards the site of Saturday’s celebrations
The roads around the Gates property were being tightly monitored on Thursday
A public safety official is seen on site on Thursday, inspecting the preparations for the lavish bash
Workmen were seen on Thursday manhandling huge trees, giving rise to speculation that the bride and groom could follow in the footsteps of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and deck the venue with branches
The 25-year-old, who will tie the knot with 30-year-old millionaire equestrian Nayel Nassar on Saturday, looked elegant as she stepped out in a black face mask and got into the back of a black SUV.
Jennifer wore a cream-colored duster coat, white turtleneck, jeans, a chain-strap purse and was sporting bare nails.
She was assisted by her chauffeur with loading her designer baggage into the trunk. A hotel porter was also seen packing a second vehicle with several garment bags, including one that may have been carrying the bride’s wedding gown.
She then headed down to Salon M in Tribeca where she met her mother and couple girlfriends and spent a few hours getting dolled up.
Melinda was seen arriving separately wearing a white frill sleeve top, black skinny pants, and black ballet flats.
Jennifer chose a bright red manicure to match her toenails while Melinda opted for a soft pink pedicure only, with a back massage. Both later changed into flip-flops to protect their fresh nails.
They shared a hug inside before saying goodbye, with Jennifer returning to her hotel and Melinda heading out of the city.
Pre-wedding pampering: Jennifer Gates emerged from a Manhattan salon on Thursday with a fresh red mani-pedi ahead of her big day
The bride-to-be stopped by Salon M in Tribeca where she met up with mom Melinda and a few girlfriends for some beauty services
Gates showed off her bright red fingernails that complemented her diamond engagement ring and her matching pedicure
Mom Melinda Gates was seen arriving separately in a white frill sleeve top, black pants, and flats
The eldest daughter of billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates has had a busy few days in Manhattan preparing for her nuptials which will take place on Saturday at her 124-acre, $16million North Salem farm that her parents purchased for her in 2018, shortly after her graduation from Stanford University.
Aerial photos of the property have offered a glimpse of the scale of the lavish wedding celebration that is rumored to cost $2million.
Acquaintances of the 25-year-old champion equestrian tell DailyMail.com that ‘everything is being tastefully done, even the port-a-potties are beautifully designed’ for her wedding to fellow sportsman.
Melinda also opted for a back massage to relieve the wedding stress while she got a pedicure
Melinda Gates gets pampered up at a New York salon, Thursday, ahead of her daughter Jennifer’s extravagant wedding this coming weekend
Melinda Gates and daughter Jennifer go for a Mani Pedi before Jennifer’s wedding day
Melinda swapped her black ballet flats for platform sandals to protect her freshly painted nails
Melinda showed off her freshly painted nails before her daughter’s wedding day
Amid the wedding preparations Thursday, Jennifer still took some time to take care of some housekeeping, including taking her dog out for a walk later in the afternoon.
A day earlier Jennifer was spotted stepping out in New York City for some quality time with her mom.
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show the mother-daughter duo all dolled up as they entered Manhattan’s iconic Plaza Hotel.
Jennifer wore an all white lace gown and her ginger locks were down and curled, while her mother wore a pink dress with a matching wrap and heels.
On Tuesday night, DailyMail.com spotted the bride and groom getting out of black SUVs before checking into the luxury Greenwich Hotel in Manhattan, where rooms range from $850 to $2,500 per night.
Jennifer, the eldest daughter of the Gateses, and Nassar were accompanied by a heavy security detail, consisting of seven guards and four vehicles.
Nayel appeared in high spirits as he was seen laughing with security.
Before getting pampered with her mother on Wednesday, Jennifer was seen grabbing coffee in Manhattan with an unidentified blond friend.
She strolled the city streets before heading into Sania’s Brow Bar, where she stayed for about 20 minutes and then returned to her hotel.
Bride-to-be! Jennifer Gates was seen leaving the Greenwich Hotel Thursday morning before heading upstate ahead of her extravagant wedding this weekend
The 25-year-old, who is due to tie the knot in North Salem, New York on Saturday, looked elegant in a cream-colored duster coat, white turtleneck, blue jeans and chain-strap purse
A porter was seen helping load Jennifer’s baggage onto the back of a black SUV after she checked out of the ritzy hotel
Bill and Melinda Gates’s eldest daughter seem has had a busy few days in Manhattan in the lead up to her wedding that will take place at her $16million horse farm in Westchester County
However, not everyone is pleased with the weekend arrangements.
‘It’s totally over-the-top. Just incredible extravagance and unpleasant for the neighbors and the wildlife that made their home on the farm,’ an insider said.
‘Trucks are constantly coming and going into a field on the farm where deer used to graze. There’s a noisy forklift and dozens of workers are driving around on ATVs.’
One neighbor told DailyMail.com that the ceremony will be held at the farm.
‘Jen’s hoping the actual ceremony can be outdoors but in case the weather is bad, they’ve put up huge tents in one of the fields and they’re also rushing to build several state-of-the art, temporary steel-and-glass pavilions,’ they said.
And with billionaire parents, the most wealthy and high-profile guests are expected to attend.
A porter was also spotted loading a second SUV with several garment bags
‘One of Jen’s security guards told me the guest list for the event will include a lot of dignitaries,’ the neighbor added.
‘The guy insisted he didn’t know names but Bill and Melinda are pals with people like Barack Obama. I understand that a request has been made to the town to close the road that goes past the fields so as to give guests ”privacy” during the ceremony.’
Another source estimated that construction costs for the pavilions will be ‘at least $2 million.’
Her wealthy neighbors in North Salem include David Letterman and another riding champion, Georgina Bloomberg, whose father, former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, bought her a horse farm in the town in 2012.
In addition to the horse farm, Bill and Melinda reportedly also purchased a $5million condo for Jennifer near her campus in Manhattan, where she has been studying to be a doctor.
Melinda Gates was seen accompanying her bride-to-be daughter Jennifer, 25, in New York City Wednesday
The 57-year old philanthropist wore a pink dress with a matching wrap, while her daughter wore a white lace dress as they arrived at the Plaza Hotel
The bride wore an all white lace gown and her red locks were down and curled
The equestrian and medical student announced her engagement to Egyptian show jumper Nayel, 30, in January 2020.
The wedding is expected to go off without a hitch, despite her parents’ $130billion divorce.
Bill and Melinda finalized their divorce in August, three months after they announced that they were splitting after 27 years of marriage and three children.
Jennifer is the only one of Bill and Melinda’s children to publicly address their divorce and the impact that it has had on the three siblings, writing on her Instagram Story shortly after their announcement that it had been ‘a challenging stretch of time for the whole family.’
On Monday, Melinda was seen stepping off of a helicopter in New York City ahead of the big day.
The philanthropist carried a Balenciaga tote bag and wore a Givenchy cardigan, black trousers, and Givenchy sneakers.
Jennifer and Melinda were seen walking into the Plaza Hotel on Wednesday
Jennifer is the eldest of Bill and Melinda’s three kids. Her parents finalized their billion dollar divorce in recent months. The family are pictured son Rory (right) is 22, and daughter Phoebe (second from right) is 19
Meanwhile, her ex Bill was on the opposite side of the country Sunday attending the tennis match between Cori Guff and Caroline Garcia of France during the 2021 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
The equestrian and medical student announced her engagement to Egyptian show jumper Nayel Nassar, 30, in January 2020
He attended another match the following day between Pedro Martinez, of Spain, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, of Greece.
Last month, newly-divorced Melinda put her marriage woes aside to throw Jennifer an intimate bridal shower at the $125million lakefront eco-mansion she once shared with ex-husband Bill.
The philanthropist played party host for the celebration, which took place in the grounds of the sprawling 66,000-square-foot property.
Images shared by the bride-to-be showed the group enjoying drinks while overlooking the lake before sitting down for an outdoor meal.
In the photos, the bride and her mother laughed and smiled alongside their guests, with Jennifer praising her mom in her caption, writing: ‘Thank you for this incredibly special celebration, @melindafrenchgates.’
She went on to thank the ‘amazing women’ who attended the party, which included several of her closest friends and family members.
Jennifer’s bachelorette party was at a five-star hotel in Montecito, the California celebrity hotspot which is home to Prince Harry and Meghan.
The ladies stayed at the Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel and even did some beachside yoga.
‘Dreamy bachelorette, thank you to some of my favorite ladies for celebrating. my heart is full’ Jennifer posted on Instagram.
Nassar popped the question in January 2020 during a ski trip.
‘Absolutely swept me off my feet this past weekend, surprising me in the most meaningful location over one of our many shared passions,’ Jennifer captioned the sweet photo of their engagement. ‘I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives learning, growing, laughing and loving together. Yes a million times over.’
Nassar also posted photos of the engagement, writing: ‘SHE SAID YES!!’
‘I’m feeling like the luckiest (and happiest) man in the world right about now,’ he wrote. ‘Jenn, you are everything I could have possibly imagined..and so much more.
‘I can’t wait to keep growing together through this journey called life, and I simply can’t imagine mine without you anymore. Love you more than you can possibly imagine, and thank you for making every single day feel like a dream to me. Here’s to forever!’