Bill and Melinda Gates Reveal the One Wedding Gift That Helped Their Marriage

Bill Melinda GatesBill and Melinda Gates pose in front of the Elysee Palace before receiving the award of Commander of the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Hollande on April 21, 2017 in Paris, France. French President Fran?ois Hollande awarded the Honorary Commander of the Legion of Honor to Bill and Melinda Gates as the highest national award under the partnership between France and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which have been unavoidable actors for several years Of development assistance and health in the world. (Photo by Frederic Stevens/Getty Images)

Take it from Bill and Melinda Gates. The billionaire philanthropists recently joined Lin-Manuel Miranda for a thoughtful panel discussion, tackling tough questions like: “What happens when the two of you disagree?”

The power couple, who famously work together on their foundation, also parent three kids, daughters Jennifer and Phoebe and son Rory. “Working together as well as raising a family together, there’s a certain intensity to that,” Bill told the Hamilton standout (via CNBC). “But we’re very lucky because we mostly see things the same way. The goals are very much the same.”

Something that keeps them grounded, however, is a simple reminder of teamwork—in the form of a sweet wedding gift from Bill’s parents. That cherished present, in fact, is a sculpture of two birds hanging out side by side.

“What we love about it so much is that it’s these two birds who are looking forward together,” Melinda added. “What it reminds us is, these two birds, who presumably are mates, have a shared view out into the world.”

The gift remains in front of the couple’s home. Ultimately, though, the two will still face disagreements. “There’s definitely some tactical day-to-day pieces where you may not always agree,” Melinda shared in the frank discussion. “But I would say this: Neither of us are afraid of a little bit of grist in the system, neither in business nor in our marriage. That’s how you actually grow. And so we will have tough conversations.”

The couple married in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. The scenic, private island only recently opened its grounds for wedding-related bookings.

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About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.