Since Jennifer shared her engagement news, the equestrian hasn't been shy about showing her love for Nayel, 30, on Instagram, sharing photos from their engagement shoot, and expressing her excitement to say I do.
Jennifer graduated from the California Ivy League university in the spring of 2018 with a degree in human biology. Meanwhile, her fiancé finished his time at the institution in 2013, earning a degree in economics.
In an interview with Horse Networkduring her college days, Jennifer revealed her interests and course of study.
"I just took a class about children, youth, and the law, so we learned about the juvenile justice system, the foster care system, and all the issues surrounding that," she said. "I’m really interested in children’s wellbeing, especially here in the United States. I find that fascinating."
Jennifer and Nayel are both accomplished equestrians
Jennifer's love of horses began when she was a child.
"I always loved horses," she told CNN Sports. "I convinced my parents to let me start taking lessons at a local barn, and things just progressed from there."
Likewise, her fiancé, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, began in the equestrian sport at age five, before beginning jumping at 10, according to his Global Champions League biography.
Both Jennifer and Nayel have found professional success in the sport, even competing on the Grand Prix circuit, something that came as a surprise to the former.
"I’m not a very confident rider usually," she told Horse Networkin 2016. "I never saw myself jumping these big [Grand Prix] classes ever."
In 2019, though, she told the same outlet about how she's grown up in the sport.
"The level of the sport in the Global Champions League is second to none," she said. "I wanted to get involved because it was the best way for me to push myself as an athlete, to be jumping in these classes against some of the best in the world. Gaining experience over difficult tracks and trying to be competitive against some of the fastest riders has helped me so much in my journey."
"I wouldn’t say I’m more confident than I’ve ever been, but I’m more present than I’ve ever been," she added. "Before, I would have been worrying about having rails or making a mistake on course. But now, I’m not as focused on the results -- instead, I’m thinking about how the horses feel underneath me, trying to support them at every jump."
In her CNN Sports interview, Jennifer also noted, "I never knew that I would be competing at this level today. I always thought it would just be a childhood hobby, but I'm so grateful that it still has a place in my life."
Despite her affection for the sport, Jennifer is transitioning away from it professionally.
"I absolutely love the sport, but have always felt that I wanted to do something else as a primary career," she added to Horse Network. "I enjoy staying busy and pursuing things that I love. Horses will always be part of my life, but medical school will be my priority."
After taking a gap year to focus on horses, Jennifer enrolled at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where she's currently studying.
Though she always thought about attending medical school, Jennifer told Horse Networkthat she "really struggled" during her first quarter of chemistry at Stanford, which made her rethink her plan.
"I thought to myself, I don’t think I’m cut out to be a doctor if I can’t learn this material," she said.
Eventually, though, Jennifer said she "changed into this growth mindset and thought, 'I might not be good at this initially, but if I go to office hours every day, and do extra practice problems every day, and fully dedicate myself to this, then I can be successful.'"
"Chemistry is difficult, and hard for many people to understand at first -- but I realized it is not that I wasn’t good enough, it was just going to take some extra effort to learn," she added.
In an interview with CNN Sports in July 2019, Jennifer expressed excitement about her upcoming venture.
"Med school will, of course, be a new challenge, but I love staying mentally active in whatever I'm doing," she said.
In an interview with CNN Sports, Jennifer revealed how her parents' dedication to philanthropy has bled into her own life.
"They've inspired me to be a lifetime learner but also inspired me to think about ways to give back," she said. "I'm incredibly fortunate to have the resources that I do, so whether that's in the equestrian world or in other pursuits, just thinking of ways to help others is a message that I will carry with me forever."
Bill and Melinda announced that they were ending their 27-year marriage in May 2021 with a joint statement, noting that they had "raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives."
"By now, many of you have heard the news that my parents are separating. It's been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family," she wrote. "I'm still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time, and I am grateful for the space to do so."
While Jennifer told her followers that she wouldn't comment further on her parents split, she noted "your kind words and support mean the world to me."
The former couple's divorce was finalized in August. While details about the divorce agreement are scarce, court docs previously obtained by ET showed that neither party will pay the other spousal support and that Melinda does not plan on changing her name.
Jennifer geared up for her big day with celebrations alongside family and friends. In June, she took a bachelorette trip to Montecito, California, where she and her group stayed at Rosewood Miramar Beach, a five-star hotel.
Following the trip, Jennifer took to Instagram to share a shot of herself smiling, another of her and her group doing yoga on the beach, and a third photo of the women posing together.
"Dreamy bachelorette," she captioned her post. "Thank you to some of my favorite ladies for celebrating. My heart is full."
Three months later, Melinda threw her daughter a bridal shower. "Thank you for this incredibly special celebration, @melindafrenchgates," Jennifer wrote alongside pics from the event. "So deeply grateful for all the amazing women in my life who advise, support, and uplift me. [Cheers] to this new chapter!"
She got her happily ever after
Jennifer and Nayel tied the knot on Oct. 16 at her horse farm in North Salem, New York, which her parents bought her in 2018 after she graduated from Stanford University.
Jennifer wore a custom Vera Wang gown, which featured a tulle skirt and lace long sleeves. The bride and groom held a private Muslim ceremony the night before the 300-guest celebration. Coldplay and Harry Hudson are reportedly performing at the reception.
For more on the Gates family, watch the video below.