Second best day of his life? Mark Zuckerberg surprises friends with secret wedding

Fresh from making $20bn in US flotation, Facebook founder marries his long-term girlfriend

They will surely rank among Facebook's most envy-inducing updates, and they came from the website's founder himself. On Friday, Mark Zuckerberg, also the social network's chief executive, posted "Mark listed FB on Nasdaq".

The public offering of the company started in his Harvard University dormitory eight years ago, netted him $20bn (£12.5bn) personally – making him about the 23rd richest man and valuing the company at $104bn.

Barely a day later, to the surprise of his 14 million Facebook followers and elevating the term "status update" even further, Mr Zuckerberg added another life event: "Married Priscilla Chan."

The couple, who met at Harvard, tied the knot in their backyard in Palo Alto, California, in front of fewer than 100 guests, who thought they were there to celebrate Ms Chan's graduation. The pair had in fact planned the wedding for four months. The 28-year-old – who somewhat ironically guards his privacy closely – naturally chose to announce the nuptials through a status update, which, to the groom's delight, immediately got people talking on Facebook.

Mr Zuckerberg's sister, Arielle Zuckerberg, posted: "Balls. Now I'm the only unmarried Zuckerberg..." and last night close to 800,000 people had "liked" Mr Zuckerberg's status change, which was accompanied by a photo in which the famously casual Mr Zuckerberg ditched his hoodie for a navy suit and tie.

The menu included sushi from the couple's favourite restaurant and mouse-shaped chocolates – a nod to a snack the pair ate on their first date nine years ago. A Facebook spokeswoman said Mr Zuckerberg designed Ms Chan's ring, featuring a simple ruby. The marriage crowned a monumental week for Ivy League school dropout Mr Zuckerberg, and Ms Chan, who last Monday graduated from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco.

Mr Zuckerberg, whose shares are worth nearly $20bn and who retains voting control of Facebook, marked the debut of his company's stock at Facebook's Silicon Valley campus on Friday, symbolically ringing the opening bell for stock trading.

The Nasdaq listing did not go as well as the company hoped, with shares closing marginally above the offering price of $38 a share after trading glitches. Despite that, more than 576m shares changed hands, setting a trading volume record for US market debuts. Facebook, which has more than 900 million users worldwide, posted $3.7bn in revenue in 2011 and $1bn in profit.

Today promises to be a quieter day for Mr Zuckerberg, who, as a married man, begins the first week of having his authority challenged – outside the boardroom at least. As one well-wisher pointed out: "Now meet the real boss."

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits