Bride-to-be Jennifer Gates will add a very important piece of jewelry to her hand when she ties the knot with fiance Nayel Nassar on Saturday – but ahead of her wedding, it seems the equestrian has already given her bling collection a boost, in the form of a new engagement ring.
The 25-year-old, who announced her engagement to fellow equestrian Nayel in January 2020, was seen sporting a dazzling new ring on her wedding fingers as she stepped out in New York City this week, just days before she is due to say ‘I do’ in an ‘extravagant’ ceremony, which is rumored to be costing close to $2 million.
When Nayel, 30, popped the question to medical student Jennifer during a ski vacation last year, he did so with a stunning ring that featured a large central diamond, which was flanked by two smaller stones set on a thin, plain band.
But in the past week, Jennifer has been modeling a different design – a chunkier band that features diamonds all around it.
Bling thing! Bride-to-be Jennifer Gates was seen sporting a new diamond ring on her wedding fingers as she stepped out in New York with her mom Melinda ahead of her wedding
Missing in action: The 25-year-old swapped out the stunning – and very large – diamond ring her fiance Nayel Nassar gave to her when he popped the question in January 2020
Something old, something new! The ring that Nayel, 30, proposed with features a large center diamond that is flanked by two smaller stones, while her new ring is a chunky diamond band
On Wednesday, the blushing bride flashed her new sparkler while enjoying a girls’ day with her newly-divorced mother Melinda Gates, 57.
Jennifer looked every inch the bride-to-be in a $1,095 white lace dress from Jonathan Simkhai, which she paired with some simple nude pumps and a white quilted purse from Miu Miu.
Having added some extra dazzle to her look with her new ring, she ramped up the bling even by wearing some chic diamond earrings that were just visible under her long red locks.
She was seen wearing the diamond band once again on Thursday morning, when she headed out of the upscale Greenwich Hotel and made her way to a salon in Tribeca for a few pre-wedding beauty treatments with her mother and some friends.
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show the medical student stepping out in a black face mask before getting into a black SUV. She was assisted by her chauffer in 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.
Happy as can be: Prize-winning showjumper Nayel proposed to Jennifer last year while they were enjoying a ski vacation together
Spotted: Jennifer was seen wearing her original engagement ring when she competed at a horse show in New York back in May
Sparkler: However when she spent time in New York City this week ahead of her wedding on Saturday, she had the chunky diamond band on her left ring finger
In the almost two years since her engagement, Jennifer has been spotted wearing her engagement ring on a number of occasions – including at a horse show in New York back in May.
She has also flaunted the sparkler in several Instagram images posted in the months since Nayel popped the question, most recently while supporting her husband-to-be at a horse show at Greenwich Polo Club last weekend.
It may be that Jennifer has taken her official engagement ring in to be cleaned ahead of her wedding ceremony this weekend – which will be held at her 124-acre, $16million North Salem farm, which her parents purchased for her in 2018 shortly after her graduation from Stanford University.
However Jennifer was not the only member of the Gates family who sported a new ring on that oh-so important finger this week.
Her mother Melinda, who finalized her divorce from billionaire Microsoft founder Bill in August, flashed a statement bauble on her left hand – having removed her own wedding and engagement rings in favor of a large gold design that featured several pearl-topped spikes on it.
Despite Jennifer’s wedding coming so soon after Melinda and Bill, 65, made their divorce official, the event is expected to go off without a hitch – and will see her parents reuniting in order to support their daughter and her new husband.
Mother-daughter time: Medical student Jennifer and her mother Melinda, 57, enjoyed an afternoon at the Plaza Hotel on Wednesday
Ring-a-ding-ding! Newly-divorced Melinda also drew attention to her ring finger, on which she was seen sporting a large statement piece in place of her own wedding and engagement rings
Family: Jennifer is the eldest of Bill and Melinda’s three kids and is sister to Rory (right), 22, and Phoebe (second from right), 19
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 rider Nayel on Saturday.
However, not everyone is pleased at the 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.
‘One of Jen’s security guards told me the guest list for the event will include a lot of dignitaries,’ the neighbor added.
Gettubg ready! Exclusive DailyMail.com photos showed tents being erected at Jennifer’s 124-acre, $16million horse farm in North Salem, New York
Acquaintances of the 25-year-old champion equestrian tell DailyMail.com that ‘everything is being tastefully done’ for her wedding to fellow rider Nayel on Saturday
‘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.
Bill and Melinda first announced that they were splitting after 27 years of marriage and three children back in May.
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.’