Serena Williams had very good 2017. After winning her 23rd grand slam in January, she gave birth to her first child with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian on Sept. 1. On Nov. 16, the couple tied knot during a ceremony at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. The pair chose to say their nuptials in the Crescent City because it is one of Ohanian’s favorite places in the world, and they picked a venue that they both absolutely loved.
Williams wanted a certain something to make her day perfect and spared no expense to make sure that happened and that their entire wedding went off without a hitch. Here are all the details from their big day and the one thing Williams had to have.
She chose the birthdate of Ohanian’s late mother
@serenawilliams: You are the greatest of all time, not just in sport–I’m talking about as a mother and as a wife. I am so excited to write so many more chapters of our fairy tale together. And my whole life I didn’t even realize it, but I was waiting for this moment. And everything that I have done, everything that I am so proud of in my career, and in my life, for the last 34 years, pales in comparison to what we’re doing today. And I am so grateful, and I am so in love. @mistadubb @ericamelissa_
“It is her birthday, and we wanted her to be represented at the wedding,” Williams told Vogue. “Obviously, we wish that she could be here for this, but choosing her birthday as our wedding date was a nice way of making sure she’s still involved and made us feel more connected to her on our day.”
Three different dresses, sneakers for the reception
For her walk down the aisle, Williams was a vision in strapless ball gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
When it came to the reception, the tennis star had a few stunning looks she changed into as well. She paired a short, feathered dress by Versace with sparkling sneakers and also wore another gorgeous frock by Versace.
Star-studded guest list
Around 200 guests attended the wedding and it was a star-studded affair. Williams’ sister, Venus Williams, served as a bridesmaid and the guest list of celebrities included Jay Z and Beyoncé (who documented her outfit above), Kelly Rowland, Kim Kardashian West, Ciara, Eva Longoria, Anna Wintour, and La La Anthony.
“I’ve known Serena for so long and am so happy she’s found her prince,” Kardashian West said. “From the moment she told me she met Alexis in Rome, it was like … she’s been so happy and has this light about her that is so special to see … He makes her so happy and that just makes her friends happy.”
Disney fairytale theme
Williams loves Disney, so she definitely had to have a fairy tale-themed wedding. She and Ohanian chose a Beauty and the Beast theme, and those in attendance were treated to a spectacular ball from the decor right down to the tunes of “Be Our Guest” and “Tale as Old as Time,” which was the couple’s first dance.
Williams’ Grand Slam wins inspired the names of the tables
The space where everyone gathered for an around-the-world-themed dinner had chandeliers encased in gold birdcages, four long tables draped in lamé fabric, blue and yellow florals, and gold throne-like chairs for the bride and groom. There were also trophy-style place cards, named after Williams’ Grand Slam wins.
Surprise performance by New Edition
After dinner, the party really got going with some surprise performances by Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo as well as the group New Edition, who Williams and Ohanian joined for a rehearsed dance routine. The number was so good that it had Queen Bey and Ciara cheering.
All-white carousel surprise
To top off the amazing night, Ohanian had one major surprise for his bride. He took the microphone and directed everyone’s attention to a curtain, which dropped to reveal an all-white illuminated carousel. Guests boarded the ride and danced to Ginuwine’s hit “Pony” while the newlyweds sat on a bench and shared a sweet kiss.
Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.
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