Over the weekend of October 15, Jennifer Gates, daughter of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, got married to Nayel Nassar, son of Iman Harby and Fouad Nassar. The couple, who said their i-do’s in a ceremony with a reported 300 guests at their farm in Westchester County, New York, got engaged in January of 2020. Vogue had the exclusive coverage of the wedding of one of the world’s richest man’s eldest daughter and we couldn’t help but be proud of the Chicago connection.
The ceremony held in Westchester County, New York had a lot of fancy touches including the very in demand, uber talented top tier wedding designer based here in Chicago. The weekend’s festivities was nothing short of beautiful and that could be in part due to the magic touch of HMR Design’s Rishi Patel who did all of the florals for the wedding.
Mr. Patel, noted in his instagram post that Jennifer Gates, “carried a splendid, classic bouquet of lily of the valley (with a multitude of size options), to ensure that it was the perfect accessory to her incredible fashion in haute Vera Wang. I loved adding a collar of lily of the valley foliage to add a slight contrast as well as pay homage to my favorite bloom for bouquets. Of course, all bundled together perfectly with a raw-edged bone silk ribbon. Absolute perfection!”
Another Chicago connection? The groom Nayel Nassar, a winning equestrian, was actually born in Chicago though he was raised in Kuwait. The wedding of Jennifer Gates to Nayel Nassar feature a top tier vendor selection including Mario Dedivanovic aka MakeupMario bka as Kim Kardashian’s best makeup artist. Styling by Laura Lovett and and Priscilla Poelmans. Their 6 tier wedding cake was done by none other than THEE Sylvia Weinstock pour Ladurée. The two dresses she wore were by Vera Wang Haute with photos by Allan Zepeda photos and the entire weekend planned by Marcy Blum Events.
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The wedding per Vogue:
The couple’s wedding took place this past weekend at their farm in Westchester County, New York. The invitation suite was created by Cheree Berry Paper, and Jenn and Nayel worked with Marcy Blum Events to plan everything, while Rishi Patel of HMR Designs did all of the florals. They also relied on creative support and styling from Laura Lovett and Priscilla Poelmans. “Planning a wedding while I was in medical school rotations and Nayel was preparing for the Olympics was no small feat,” Jenn admits. “But it was so worth it to share such a special day with those closest to us. We feel so grateful for everyone involved who kept us on track and helped make our vision come to life. One piece of advice we were given [throughout the planning process] was to remember that this day is about us and our love. I think we really kept that at the center of our minds while planning, and we also tried to ensure that our families and friends were able to enjoy themselves.”
While the couple obviously wanted to be able to celebrate with their close friends and family, they wanted to ensure the event would be safe. “Which is why we made the decision that all guests must be fully vaccinated and receive a negative test result prior to the wedding,” Jenn says. “We also made masks available. We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to gather with our loved ones safely. We know others aren’t as lucky, especially as the pandemic continues to devastate communities in the United States and around the world.”
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The wedding weekend began with a Katb el Kitab, or the Islamic marriage ceremony, on Friday with just Jenn and Nayel’s immediate families present. “Our main ceremony took place on Saturday,” Jenn says. “It was a beautiful fall day, and we had just finished taking photos when the rain started. The ceremony was facilitated by a longtime family friend, and we both wrote our own vows. It was a really special and intimate moment.”
The bride wore a custom ivory long-sleeve A-line Vera Wang Haute gown with hand appliqué French macrame lace on the bodice, sleeves, and flowing onto a light ivory and champagne Italian tulle skirt to walk down the aisle—which was lined with white hybrid Dutch delphinium flowers—for the outdoor ceremony on Saturday. A light ivory Italian tulle chapel length veil trimmed in hand-appliqué French macrame lace complemented the dress. “Vera and her whole team were so wonderful to work with, and made my dream dress come true,” Jenn says. “She is an icon in the fashion industry and a trailblazer as a woman who changed careers late and followed her passions. From our first meeting, I knew that I was in such good hands.” The groom looked dapper in a classic Armani tux with a Lily of the Valley boutonniere—to match the bride’s bouquet—pinned to his lapel.
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After the service, guests moved into the tent for the reception. For this portion of the evening, Jenn changed into a second gown by Vera Wang Haute, this one with a square neckline, lined in nude tulle and embellished with hand appliqué French macrame lace on the skirt and straps.
The newlyweds kicked off the festivities with a first dance to “Yellow Lights,” which was written and performed by their friend and artist Harry Hudson. “After such a meaningful ceremony, we wanted our friends and family to enjoy great food and entertainment,” Jenn says. “It was a beautiful evening and a dream come true for both of us!” Dinner was by Jean Georges and Creative Edge Catering and the six layer floral-adorned cake was a Sylvia Weinstock for Ladurée creation.
“It’s been a challenging year, both collectively with the pandemic and for our families going through transitions,” Jenn says. “But our love for one another has been a constant. Being able to celebrate our wedding with our closest friends and family was a dream come true.”
We wish the couple a lifetime of joy, good communication, laughter and love.
All photos via Vogue.com/ Allan Zepeda
pronounced: Boh-la-jee, like the Bellagio but w/o the O. SLC Founder and Editor, loves to write about topics at the intersection of career and lifestyle for today's young professional and future leaders.