The 1st of Serena Williams’ 3 Wedding Dresses Is the Most Expensive Celebrity Wedding Gown, Costing $3.5 Million to Make

In 2017, tennis great Serena Williams Beauty and the Beast-themed wedding to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian rivaled that of any princess. The pricey dress she wore down the aisle was created by the same designer Kate Middleton chose when she married Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. According to Vogue, Williams’ wedding gown cost more than Middleton’s, as well as those worn by Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, and Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece.

Following her ceremony, Williams appeared in two additional designer creations. She dined in an elegant beaded gown and later sported a  feathered mini dress and bedazzled Nikes. All the better to dance the night away.

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian were engaged at the hotel where they first met

Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian at Meghan Markle's wedding at St. George's Chapel
Serena Williams and her husband at Meghan Markle’s wedding | ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian met in 2015 while staying at the Cavalieri Hotel in Rome, Italy. Williams was preparing to compete in the Italian Open. Ohanian was speaking at an internet tech conference. When they both missed the hotel’s breakfast buffet, they found themselves at adjacent tables by the pool.

“I was so annoyed that he’d sat down next to me. There were so many empty tables,” Serena related in an interview with Vogue. In a failed attempt to run him off, her assistant told Ohanian he should move because there was a rat near his table. Ohanian was undaunted, and Williams ultimately offered what he termed “an L.A. invite” to her upcoming match in Paris.

“She made me the invite with no intention of actually taking me up on it, ” he told Stephen Colbert. Ohanian lied and said he’d be in Paris that weekend too. “Well, I figured, look, I’m an entrepreneur and you have to sort of default to yes in situations and just trust your instincts.”

Eighteen months after their first date in Paris, Ohanian proposed to her at the same table where they met, adorned with flowers and a plastic rat. Their star-studded wedding took place at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Nov. 16, the birthday of Ohanian’s late mother.

The estimated 12-carat emerald cut diamond Ohanian gave her is valued at around $3 million. Brides ranked it at No. 15 out of “20 of the Most Expensive Celebrity Engagement Rings Ever.”

The Irish women’s website, Her, called the ring “fecking enormous” and posted a pic from baby Olympia Ohanian’s Instagram to prove it. Taken while the baby lounged in leopard print on her mother’s lap, the stone and its fabulous setting are breathtaking. “Daddy knows how much I love leopard print,” the caption states coyly.

Williams walked down the aisle in the most expensive celebrity gown ever worn

Serena Williams’ spectacular gown featured a sweetheart bodice, a full skirt of layered chiffon, and a sparkling cape fit for a princess. SportSkeeda reports that Williams chose the designer on the advice her friend Anna Wintour, the managing editor of Vogue. “For the first dress, when Anna Wintour asked me what I wanted to wear I said, ‘A cape, I just want to wear a cape.’ She said, ‘Well, Sarah Burton with Alexander McQueen is the one for you.'” 

“I flew to London to meet with Sarah and ended up falling in love with the ball gown silhouette, which is completely the opposite of what I ever thought I would choose for myself,” Williams told Vogue. “I loved the idea of doing a really spectacular ball gown, and it has turned out to be such an incredibly special piece.” Williams chose to wear traditional white, carried a bouquet of white roses, and wore jewelry by XIV Karats of Beverly Hills. Sportskeeda valued her attire at $3.5 million.

“Thanks Anna. Thanks Sarah. I felt like a princess and superwoman all at once,” Williams recalled.

Serena Williams wore two different dresses at the reception

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At the reception dinner, Serena Williams appeared in a white Versace gown adorned with beading and feathers. According to Donatella Versace, as reported by Vogue, five embroiderers “worked nonstop to make sure the tiniest details were perfectly taken care of, for a total of 1,500 hours.”

After dinner, Williams changed into a white Versace party dress with a beaded bodice and a short feathered skirt. During a surprise performance by New Edition, she paired it with the sparkling Nike Cortez athletic shoes she reportedly wore down the aisle.

Her wedding party also ditched their long skirts after the ceremony. The executive director of Brides Magazine, Lisa Gooder, told E! News (seen on YouTube), “All of the bridesmaids had convertible dresses. … They were by Galia Lahav. They had a lot of sparkle to them, but then the skirt came off so they were in shorter dresses for the night.”

Other celebrity brides have also chosen shorter wedding dresses and not just for the reception. Hello! reports that Kourtney Kardashian wed Travis Barker in a Dolce & Gabbana lace mini dress. Spice Girls member Emma Bunton took her vows in a mesh-sleeved mini by Miu Miu that also featured a cape. Keira Knightly loved her Chanel mini with its fluttery tulle skirt so much that she’s worn it down the red carpet and down the aisle. Which style do you prefer?