- Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade first met in 2007, and eventually tied the knot in 2014.
- In November, Union became a first-time mom via surrogate, welcoming baby Kaavia James with Wade.
- Ahead of their five-year wedding anniversary, we’re revisiting their love story, from the proposal to their wedding.
Being Mary Jane actress Gabrielle Union and former Miami Heat basketball player Dwyane Wade are the epitome of relationship goals. The head-over-heels couple met in 2007 and later married in August 2014. But their union (no pun intended) hasn’t been without its ups and downs. Union, 46, and Wade, 37, have dealt with everything from infertility and infidelity to a custody battle and a shocking breakup. Because of their obvious love for each other, they’ve managed to overcome the greatest of challenges on their road to the altar.
In addition to celebrating the newest addition to their family, baby Kaavia James, the adorable pair are preparing to celebrate their five-year wedding anniversary in August. Below, we look back on how Union and Wade went from friends to happily ever after.
February 2007: Union and Wade meet at a Super Bowl event.
The two first met while co-hosting a sponsored Super Bowl party. Union had just divorced her husband of five years Chris Howard in 2006. Wade, at the time, was still married to Siohvaughn Funches, who he later separated and filed for divorced from in June 2007. At the time of their separation, Funches had just given birth to their second son, Zion, a month earlier on May 29. Funches and Wade already shared an older son name Zaire, who is now 17.
“When I met Dwyane, his résumé looked like crap: athlete, going through a divorce, nine years younger than me,” Union said during a January 2014 interview with Glamour. “None of that screamed, ‘Let’s have a lasting relationship.’ Then, after I had a heart-crushing breakup with yet another immature jerk, I thought, it can’t be any worse if I date a fetus [referring to their age difference].”
July 2010: Union and Wade attend their first event together.
For his annual philanthropic event, The Summer Groove, which benefits basketball star Alonzo Mourning’s charities and Wade’s World Foundation, Wade invited Union as his guest to the dinner. Despite posing for photographs together, Union and Wade still had not confirmed whether they were officially a couple.
“He had wisdom that comes with facing an insane amount of adversity,” Union recalled in her 2014 interview with Glamour. “He’s sweet, funny, honest about his shortcomings. When I put my preconceived notions to the side, I found someone cool.”
Their appearances throughout the five-day event sparked backlash online with Union being labeled as a homewrecker, considering Funches and Wade’s divorce was finalized just one month before on June 25, 2010. The exes didn’t split amicably, as Funches shared some choice words for her ex and Union on social media and on The Dr. Phil Show. Funches even went so far as to sue Union for “emotional distress” in May 2010. The case was later dismissed.
“I fought it [the lawsuit],” said Union in a 2012 Jet cover story. “My life is just too easy to track. So, we were submitting plenty of proof for the times she said I was in Miami. So, it was like, obviously you’re not telling the truth. And then the courts dismissed the case.”
And in March 2011, a Chicago court, where Wade is originally from, awarded the former Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat player sole custody for his two children.
January 2012: Union and Wade appear on their first magazine cover together.
In a joint interview for Essence, the couple opened up about marriage.
“We’re not rushing it,” said Wade. “Both of us have been married before, and we understand that if we choose to marry again, we want it to be right. We both took failing at marriage hard. The next time it’s gotta be forever.”
June 2012: Union cheers on Wade courtside at the NBA Finals.
During the 2012 NBA finals, where the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder team, Wade’s number one fan was spotted in the crowd. The two shared a victory smooch at the end of the championship game.
January 2013: The couple briefly split.
Union and Wade temporarily broke up in January 2013. She later cited “distance” and “scheduling” as factors that contributed to their breakup.
“When you’re debating whether to go backward or forward, you have to look at the original issue,” she said in Glamour. “[When Dwyane and I broke up briefly in 2013], it was because of distance and scheduling. I finished filming the show, then I flew to Vegas right away to start shooting Think Like a Man Too. I couldn’t take time off, and I missed some quality togetherness we desperately needed.”
She added: “Over the summer, I reassessed priorities. I’d always wanted an awesome career with back-to-back projects, but I realized I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my relationship for it. Moving forward, I decided my work schedule has to make sense for our family.”
December 2013: Wade proposes to Union.
With the help of his boys, Wade popped the big question to Union right before Christmas. The pair discussed the adorable moment with Oprah in December 2018 during a televised special on OWN.
“I decided that she wasn’t just marrying me, she was marrying all of us,” Wade explained to Oprah. “So I had them down by the pool, and I had them make their own signs. I had each one say, ‘Will you marry us?’ I took her outside to look at the water, and at first, she’s like, ‘What is going on?’ I get behind her, and I get on a yoga mat because I couldn’t put my knees down. I’m sitting there waiting for her to turn around and she’s reading the boys’ signs, and the boys said, ‘Will you marry us?'”
August 2014: Wade and Union get married.
Union and Wade tied the knot on August 30, 2014 in an extravagant Miami ceremony. Union wore a white strapless gown. Wade’s two sons and his nephew were included in the wedding party, and notable attendees included Being Mary Jane co-creators Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil, plus Kevin and Eniko Hart, rapper Ludacris and his wife Eudoxie, and Wade’s former Miami Heat teammate, Chris Bosh and his wife, Adrienne.
According to ABC News, their post-wedding destination trip was to the Maldives. Union even posted a few photos of their honeymoon on Instagram.
2017: The two embark on their annual summer vacations.
Beyond their awe-inspiring love story, Wade and Union’s “baecations” are often the talk on social media. Whether the stylish globetrotters are traveling to Europe or China, they always look like they’re having more fun in the sun than the rest of us.
October 2017: Union reveals she suffered “eight or nine miscarriages.”
In her memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True, Union wrote about her miscarriages and fertility issues. But the upcoming L.A.’s Finest star also opened up about not wanting kids until she became a stepmom to Wade’s sons Zaire, Zion, Xavier, and his nephew, Dahveon Morris, 17.
“We had done about three IVFs at this point, and it implanted two embryos—one took,” Union explained to Oprah about her first marriage. “We get the pregnancy test. We’re very excited. We get the positive results. The doctor gives us this call during All-Star weekend in New York. I’m shaking. Everyone who is around me, we’re all just crying. It was the best few days I’ve ever had in life, and then you go back in for additional testing, and they’re gone.”
November 2018: Union and Wade welcome a baby girl into the family.
Wade and Union welcomed their first daughter, Kaavia James, into the world via surrogacy on November 7. They announced their “miracle baby’s” arrival on Instagram as a day that will “forever be etched” in their hearts. Wade also got a tattoo of his daughter’s full name, Kaavia James Union Wade, in China.
December 2018: Union and Wade sit down for a revelatory interview with Oprah.
During the OWN special, Oprah at Home with Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Their New Baby, the celebrity couple opened up in an hour-long interview with the O of O about their relationship, infertility, mommy shaming, and their hopes for baby Kaavia in the future.
“We want her [Kaavia] to understand that she was so loved, wanted, desired, protected, and nurtured when she was just a thought,” Union shared. “We want her to know everything it took to bring her into this world, usually around the time she starts talking back. We want her to really understand what we went through. Luckily, she’ll have this special.”
January 2019: The Wade family channel Miami Vice in their New Year’s photo.
To ring in the new year, the Wade family dressed up in the vein of characters from the ’80s and ’90s crime drama, Miami Vice. The photo served as a homage to the city and the Miami Heat basketball team he played on for 16 years.
April 2019: Union posts a heartfelt video to Wade after his final NBA game with the Miami Heat.
Following his final home game with the Miami Heat in April, Union shared a video on Instagram and wrote this sweet caption to her husband: “Our hero. Bigger Than Basketball.”
April 2019: Union and Wade support their son at the Miami Beach Pride parade.
When critics called out Wade for allowing his 11-year-old son, Zion, to attend an LGBTQ event at such a young age, both Union and Wade spoke up in defense of Zion’s decision.
“People talk a lot about diversity and inclusion, but they don’t actually mean it,” Union told Us Weekly. “In our household, we mean that, and that’s why the entire household went to Pride.”
Wade also responded via Instagram stories: “We support each other with Pride! Zion had his [own] cheering section today. Wish I was there to see you smile kid!”
May 2019: The couple grace the pink red carpet at the Met Gala.
On the biggest night of fashion at the 2019 Met Gala, Wade and Union hit the pink flamingo carpet wearing matching ensembles and tongue-in-cheek swim caps to coincide with this year’s theme: “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” Union rocked a custom hand-embroidered paillettes gown and floor-length cardigan by Dundas, complete with black leather gloves. Wade, twinning his wife, wore a black tuxedo suit by Adrien Sauvage and embellished Dundas hood.
For more ways to live your best life plus all things Oprah, sign up for our newsletter!