The final preparations are underway for Microsoft heiress Jennifer Gates’ spectacular wedding to Egyptian equestrian Nayel Nassar in a lavish ceremony in Westchester, New York.
The outdoor wedding is set to be held on Saturday afternoon in an elaborate tent city erected on the family’s 142-acre estate in North Salem, and just hours before the ceremony workers were racing to put the finishing touches in place.
At Friday night’s rehearsal dinner, father of the bride Bill Gates 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.
Bill and Melinda Gates, who divorced in August after 27 years of marriage, were also seen together mingling with guests at the rehearsal dinner in their first appearance since separating.
As dark clouds formed overhead on Saturday morning, an acapella group was heard rehearsing ‘Shine Your Light on Me’ at the wedding venue.
Father-of-the-bride-to-be Bill Gates listened intently as his daughter, Jennifer Gates, spoke to him just ahead of the rehearsal dinner on Friday night
Final preparations get underway on Saturday morning at the country New York home of Jennifer Gates as Bill and Melinda Gates’ daughter prepares to marry Nayel Nassar later today at her 124-acre, $16 million North Salem farm
The outdoor wedding is set to be held on Saturday afternoon in an elaborate tent city, rumored to have been personally overseen by one of the best tentists on the East Coast
Workers prepare the reception venue of Jennifer Gates’ wedding, which will take place on Saturday afternoon
As dark clouds formed overhead on Saturday morning, an acapella group was heard rehearsing ‘Shine Your Light on Me’
Workers are seen this week completing preparations for the elaborate wedding, set to take place on Saturday in Westchester
The couple posed for pictures on the deck and the driveway where they walked down together dancing and kissing Friday
Meanwhile, trucks kept rolling in, including a Gallucci Catering truck filled with trays of food for the event.
The owner wouldn’t reveal the menu but their prime offerings include Eggplant Imbotitto, Chicken Compagna and scallops with bacon, and less chichi offerings such as franks in a blanket.
Jennifer will marry Nayel Nassar on Saturday afternoon
As the clock ticked down to the vows, workers were scrambling to make last second adjustments. This included a debate over climate control.
‘I’m not sure what temperature to leave the venue so the dance floor doesn’t bubble, and so we don’t kill the trees,’ one crew member warned.
As if on cue, one of the newly-erected trees toppled over onto the dance floor.
‘It’s a bloody mess down here,’ one staffer laughed.
‘I’m on it,’ another replied.
Later on, someone was heard asking to cut the air conditioning down in the artist tent, noting ‘they’re freezing in there.’
Workers were hauling in white flowers in orange Home Depot 5-gallon buckets, to be placed along a walkway leading into the ceremony.
The workers brought in their own catering, boxes of Dunkin Donuts and gallons of coffee.
Five ladies who call themselves ‘the Sisterhood of the Walking Pants’ strolled by the event, where a loud bandsaw hurt their eardrums.
‘Here it’s hours before the wedding and so much still to be done,’ Diane, 80, told DailyMail.com. ‘If I was the mother of the bride, I’d have so much angst.’
They were cracking jokes about crashing the party.
Amy, 62, took out a necklace of cultured pearls and placed it over her Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt. She was on crutches.
‘She came out of rehab for this,’ quipped her friend Joan, 56.
A staging area for an army of workers is seen Saturday as the clock ticked down to the wedding ceremony
The open-air venue was lined with trees in a bid to offer privacy from prying eyes ahead of the wedding ceremony
Deliveries rolled onto the property throughout the day on Saturday as the final preparations were put in place
The complex of elaborate tents erected to protect the guests from the elements resembled greenhouses
Preparations for the multi-million dollar wedding of Jennifer to Nayel Nassar have been underway for much of the week
The outdoor wedding is set to be held on Saturday afternoon on the family’s 142-acre estate in North Salem, New York
Gates wore an elegant white bridal dress while the groom wore a grey suit for the couple’s pre-wedding photos on Friday
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
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
Amy was feeling the love, if not totally thrilled that an open field on the Gates estate has been transformed into a tent city.
‘We’re happy for them,’ Amy said. ‘We just want to have nature preserved.’
‘The only thing I don’t like are the fake trees,’ Diane noted. ‘They’re green and they’re hideous. The trees should have looked like they’re fall trees and not summer trees. Somebody wasn’t thinking.’
Diane whipped out her weather app to see the forecast. Clouds are blocking the sun, with storm clouds expected later in the day. ‘Look at that, a line of thunderstorms coming in at 5:15 pm.’ Diane remarked. ‘Bad timing.’
At the rehearsal dinner on Friday, 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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Developing story, more to follow.