A day after his company went public, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg updated his Facebook status to “married.” Zuckerberg wed 27-year-old Priscilla Chan, his girlfriend of nearly a decade, in a surprise ceremony in Palo Alto.
The couple married at Zuckerberg’s California home in front of fewer than 100 stunned guests who thought they would be attending a party to celebrate Chan's graduation from medical school.
Zuckerberg gave his new bride a ring he had designed with a “very simple ruby” to end an incredibly eventful week, according to a guest authorized to speak for the couple.
On Monday, Zuckerberg turned 28 and Chan graduated from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, where she studied pediatrics.
The seemingly well-coordinated timing was largely a coincidence, the guest said. The wedding had been planned for months and the couple was waiting for Chan to finish medical school, but the date of the IPO was a “moving target” not known when the wedding was set.
Attendees, including Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, were told after they arrived that they were not mere party guests, but actually wedding guests.
Ditching his trademark hoodie and sneakers, Zuckerberg sported a dark blue suit and tie with a white shirt for the ceremony, while Chan wore a traditional white wedding dress with veil and lace. Food was served family-style and included dishes from the couple's favorite Palo Alto sushi restaurant.
Zuckerberg met Chan at Harvard, where he founded Facebook in a dorm room in 2004, and the two have been together for more than nine years. Chan graduated Harvard in 2007 then taught science to fourth and fifth graders at the Harker School in San Jose for two years before starting medical school.
Facebook debuted in share trading on the US platform for IT companies, Nasdaq, on May 18.
Even after the IPO, Zuckerberg remains Facebook's single largest shareholder, with 503.6 million shares, and he controls the company with 56 per cent of its voting stock.
The site has grown into a worldwide network of almost a billion people and made its founder, Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2010, one of the most famous businessmen of the internet age.