Strange facts about Russell Wilson and Ciara's marriage

R&B songstress Ciara (real name Ciara Princess Harris) and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson make up one of our favorite power couples. Best known for an endless list of hits, including "1, 2 Step," "I Bet," and "Level Up," Ciara has been making waves in the music industry ever since her debut album, Goodies, dropped in 2004. With five Grammy nods and one win under her belt to date, the singer-songwriter is also well-known for her charitable work. Since kicking off his career in football with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012, Russell Wilson has led the Emerald City's team to two Super Bowls, including a 2014 win against the Denver Broncos. According to NFL.com, this champ became the highest-paid player in the league after signing a four-year, $140 million contract extension in April 2019.

Basically, Russell Wilson and Ciara are beautiful, talented, and totally in love, but that doesn't mean certain quirks in their seemingly perfect relationship haven't raised a few eyebrows over the years. How much do you really know about this duo? Here are some of the stranger facts about Russell Wilson and Ciara's marriage.

They ended serious relationships right before they met

The year 2014 was a tumultuous one for these lovebirds. Ciara called it quits with her fiancé, rapper Future, in December 2014 — months after he was hit with cheating allegations. While the "1, 2 Step" singer refused to publicly comment on the alleged infidelity at the time, E! News sources claimed she was "humiliated" but initially wanted to try to make things work "for her family." Their son, Future Zahir, was 6 months old when the two broke up.

When the singer dropped her next single, "I Bet," in January 2015, fans widely speculated that the song was about her ex's betrayal. With lyrics such as, "I bet you start loving me as soon as I start loving someone else / Somebody better than you... / You know that it hurts your pride / But you thought the grass was greener on the other side," that interpretation seems reasonable.

Meanwhile, Russell Wilson filed for divorce from his first wife, Ashton Meem, in April 2014, after two years of marriage. The quarterback issued a statement that said, in part. "Clearly, decisions like these don't come easy. Ashton and I respectfully ask for prayers, understanding and privacy during this difficult time."

Ciara didn't expect to fall in love again

Following her very public split with Future, Ciara wasn't expecting to find love again — at least, not so soon. "[The breakup] wasn't necessarily part of my vision," she told Essence in 2016. "But the moment I realized I was going to be a single mother, I had to reflect and reorganize my thoughts. I decided to trust that God had a plan for me, and move forward one day at a time." 

The "Paint It, Black" singer decided to "put all [her] love and focus on [her 1-year-old] son," Future Zahir (via People). But that doesn't mean she didn't have hopes for her romantic future. "I remember telling my friend the kind of guy I wanted: a God-fearing man with a very fun spirit who loves kids and would really, truly care for me. I was very specific because I do believe you can have it all," Ciara said. "Marriage is something I look forward to. I believe in family, and the beauty of two people committing to spend their lives together."

They moved really fast

As sweet as their romance is, Ciara and Wilson's relationship timeline was certainly speedy. Just four months after her tumultuous breakup with Future, she publicly debuted her relationship with the football pro when they held hands at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in April 2015. The following March, the cute pair announced its engagement after Wilson surprised her with a vacation to the Seychelles. "She said Yes!!!" the groom-to-be captioned an Instagram video about the proposal. "Since Day 1 knew you were the one. No Greater feeling #TrueLove." Following a short, three-month engagement, they married in a fairy tale wedding — but more on that in a minute! 

To be fair, moving fast certainly seems to be working out for these two. They both took to social media on Valentine's Day 2019 to list the reasons they're each other's "greatest love." In an Instagram video, Ciara said, in part, "You are the best partner in life I could ever hope for. I'll ride for you, I'd die for you, I love you so much." Wilson responded with a clip of his own celebrating Ciara. He tells his wifey (and all of Instagram) that she inspires him. "You make me a better man," he says and "make the world a better place." He also noted that she's "the sexiest woman on the planet." 

Their Future feud

Even though their 2014 split ranked among some of the most brutal celeb breakups, it was still surprising when, five years later, rapper Future drummed up some public beef with ex-fiancée Ciara and Russell Wilson. "He do exactly what she tell him to do," Future said of Wilson on Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio in January 2019 (via People). He went on to call Wilson out for "not being a man" in his marriage and rambled on and on.

For their part, Ciara and Wilson refused to play into the feud and instead seemed to indirectly respond to the drama on social media. "Rise Above," she said alongside a snapshot of herself on Instagram. Meanwhile, Wilson captioned a sweet pic of stepson Future Zahir and daughter Sienna with: "All that matters. #Love." After the married couple took the high road, Future seemed to backtrack on his comments. According to E! News, the rapper told the Durtty Boyz Show that there were "no problems" between the trio and he's "happy" for Wilson. 

Their shared faith led to a crazy rumor

Ciara and Russell are both devout Christians. "It's pretty unbelievable how the Lord works," he told My Northwest in 2012, explaining that God is the foundation for his life and family. His Twitter bio reads: "I want to Love like Jesus!"

While some would consider their shared faith to be a beautiful thing, it's actually led to some pretty wild rumors. In 2016, Celeb Dirty Laundry alleged that Ciara had turned into a "Stepford wife" and had been "brainwashed" by her husband's Christian lifestyle. "The singer is no longer in contact with some of her closest friends, including Kim Kardashian and isn't provocatively dancing and giving fans lap dances during her performances like she used to," the gossip rag reported. "Ciara might have made a lot of changes to help please her husband Russell Wilson, but will it take long for the cracks to show in the façade before she goes back to her old habits?" (Let's hope the haters weren't holding their breath.)

Their wedding plans were (literally) all over the place

Ciara and Wilson were so eager to get married that wedding planning turned out to be a bit of a hassle — three times over! "I did the whole thing — three times," the couple's wedding planner, Mindy Weiss, told The Knot in 2016. "They were first getting married in North Carolina, but they called it off due to the transgender bathroom laws. They were gonna go to Paris and it ended up being [Couture] Fashion Week and it was really difficult." Planning one wedding three times sounds like a nightmare, but luckily, it all worked out in the end. "We ended up in London," Weiss said. "I think my favorite part [of the wedding] was the ceremony because they were so happy. They really are a very cool couple. I really enjoy their relationship."

Ciara later reflected on her marriage to Wilson in Wonderland Magazine in 2018, saying, "I do feel that I'm a better woman because of him." She added, "Obviously I have my own vision for myself, but my husband definitely makes me better and that's what marriage is about. You both make each other better."

Their extremely private wedding

Despite planning their wedding three times in only three months, Ciara, then 30, and Wilson, then 27, got hitched in a surprise wedding on July 5, 2016. Their big day was cloaked in secrecy, and the two went to extreme lengths to keep it that way. According to TMZ, the couple's closest friends and family met in a central location, sans cell phones, before being transported to the ceremony at Peckforton Castile in England.

"They wanted it to be away. And we found a castle that was an hour out of Liverpool and they had about 110 guests," wedding planner Weiss told The Knot. "Inside the castle, they had a chapel but it was too small because her dress was 13 feet. Her dress in person...was shockingly beautiful." Ciara wore a custom-made Cavalli Couture gown, while the Seahawks star donned a Giorgio Armani tux. The star-studded wedding included bridesmaids Serena Williams, La La Anthony, and Kelly Rowland, and Ciara's BFF, singer Jennifer Hudson, attended as well. The following day, the bride shared a sweet snapshot walking down the aisle. "We are The Wilsons!" she captioned the candid. After the lavish English ceremony, the lovebirds were officially married Stateside in Washington. 

They were really open about pre-marital abstinence

When Ciara and Wilson decided to abstain from sex before marriage, they were very open about it. "She was on tour, she was traveling, and I was looking at her in the mirror...and she was sitting there and God spoke to me and said, 'I need you to lead her,'" Wilson explained in July 2015 (via CBS Seattle). "And so I told her right then and there, what would you do if we took all that extra stuff off the table, and did it Jesus' way?" Wilson said, adding that they could "love each other without that." The quarterback then joked, "I need you to pray for us. I need y'all to pray for me. I know y'all have seen her on the screen. If there's a 10, she's a 15."

"I'm not gonna lie," Ciara told Cosmopolitan in 2016. "I'm human, so it is not easy, especially when I look at him and I think he is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen — that I've ever laid my eyes on, to be honest. I'm like, Look the other way! Look the other way!" She told Cosmopolitan South Africa in 2017 that celibacy strengthened their relationship. "I really believe that when you focus on a friendship, you have the opportunity to build a strong foundation for a relationship," the "Dance Like We're Making Love" singer said (via The Huffington Post). "It kind of sets the tone."

They told the world about their wedding night

If Ciara and Wilson were open and honest about abstaining from sex before getting hitched, they were even more willing to share intimate details from their wedding night with their fans. The newlyweds took to Snapchat the morning after they tied the knot and playfully hinted about consummating their marriage. "So baby, you know what we're doing tonight," the Grammy-winner quipped to her footballer husband, who joked: "From what we did last night, I'm gonna do it multiple times" (via People). Cute? Hilarious? TMI? We'll let you decide. 

Ciara also opened up about the couple's premarital celibacy during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2019. After quipping that the process taught her "patience," she explained, "We dated for a year ... We held it down. We prayed, we talked, we encouraged each other." She added with a laugh, "It was not easy!"

They wasted no time starting a family

In October 2016, the R&B star shocked fans when she confirmed that the newlyweds were expecting their first child together. On her 31st birthday, Ciara posted a sweet black and white photo with Wilson on Instagram along with the caption: "On this special Birthday I received an abundance of love from friends and family...and I'm excited to Finally share one of the Greatest Gifts of All that God could give." In the photograph, the couple is cradling her baby bump.

The proud parents welcomed daughter Sienna Princess Wilson in April 2017. Ciara took to Instagram to share the exciting news with an aww-worthy message to her baby girl: "Dear Sienna Princess Wilson," she said. "No matter how big the wave, we will always be your calm in the storm. We Love You. Love, Mommy & Daddy."

Ciara and Wilson have since spoken candidly about growing their brood. Calling it an "amazing, incredible adventure," she told E! News that motherhood has been "full of so much life and love." Speaking with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Wilson said, "More than anything, when you have your own family and it continues to grow, it's a special thing ... I'm truly grateful every day to get to come home and it puts a smile on my face every time."

Remember that controversial family pregnancy photo?

Ciara basically broke the internet when she posted an outtake on Twitter from her Harper's Bazaar pregnancy photo shoot. The nude snapshot featured the "I'm Out" singer at seven-months' pregnant holding her then 2-year-old son, Future (from her previous relationship). In the photo, Wilson is posed behind her, placing his hands on his wife's belly. "Just The 4 Of Us," Ciara wrote in the caption. Was the photo touching, confusing, super awkward, or just plain inappropriate? No matter where you fell on the matter, we can all agree that it caused the internet to lose its collective chill.

"Baby Future is way too old to be naked in that photoshoot and Ciara acts like he really doesn't have his own father, it's so disrespectful," one Twitter user wrote, implying that the pic was a diss at Ciara's ex. Others went to bat for the R&B songstress. "Whats wrong with you all? Talkin about Ciara disrespectful to Future? She not posed to be happy?" one fan wrote. Another added, "Ciara's family photo is weird to ppl who 1.) don't know how to define family. 2.) sexualize kids. 3.) assign women to exes. 4.) are weird" (via the New York Daily News).

Suffice it to say, Ciara deleted that tweet and posted another outtake featuring a clothed Future. "Love is Undefeated. #Family," she wrote in that caption.

Who's the better athlete?

From her sick dance routines alone, the world has long known that Ciara is in excellent shape, but did you know our girl is NFL fit? While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter in 2019, the singer-songwriter revealed that she and Wilson often workout together. "I'm an athlete at the core of who I am ... We can both do the same workouts at the same circuits at a very high level," she said, adding, "We push ourselves. It's always fun when we get to work out together. We motivate each other, which is really cool."

All that said, there are some undeniable perks of having an athlete husband. The married pair once made headlines after Ciara shared a video on her Instagram stories of Wilson carrying her heavy Chanel tote. "When your man holding your purse for you, you know it's real!" she quipped in the clip (via Page Six). In response, Wilson jokingly said, "You know I got you, but dang, I got to use all my muscles to carry this thing, how much stuff you got in here?" To which his wife replied, "Gotta be prepared! This is girl life, it's just what we have to do!" (#CanConfirm.)

They got the meme treatment

After striking his four-year, $140 million contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks — a deal that made him the highest-paid player in the NFL — Russell Wilson took an unconventional route when in came to the PR. In lieu of an official press conference, he broke the exciting news in the middle of the night with a sexy Instagram video of him in bed with Ciara. With his thrilled wife curled up at his side, a shirtless Wilson told fans, "Hey Seattle, we got a deal ... Go Hawks! But, I'm gonna see y'all in the morning."

According to USA Today, the clip immediately went viral, was parodied by teammates D.J. Fluker and Tyler Lockett, and was even given the hilarious meme treatment by multiple NFL fans. Of course, the content and timing of the video led to some TMI speculation regarding what went on after that video was shot — a situation Ciara playfully addressed during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live the following night. "After we did that video we went to sleep," she quipped with a laugh. "...but I'm not saying what happened before."

And yet, they're total #RelationshipGoals

This romantic pair may have its share of quirks and controversies, but at the end of the day, Ciara and Russell Wilson are still total #RelationshipGoals. Just look at how they celebrated their one-year anniversary in July 2017. Seriously, we dare you not to aww.

"I tried to plan things for the day, but he wouldn't let me," Ciara captioned a photo of their red rose petal-covered bed, which spelled out "R + C." She added, "'Twas A Perfect Day. The simple things are the sweetest.." She also shared a snapshot of an airplane dragging a banner that said: "Happy 1 year baby, yay!" She captioned that pic: "...I'm Grateful to God for the Love he has given me, by putting you in my life. I have all that I need. Truly 1 of the Best years of my life."

These two certainly know how to celebrate their love in style. We honestly can't even handle the cute!