– Tennis Champion Serena Williams has married Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian on Thursday in a Beauty and the Beast-themed ceremony in New Orleans
– Serena wore a stunning white lace dress designed by Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen’s creative director
– On Friday, the bride revealed the fairytale dress to the public for the first time on Instagram
-The wedding was followed up by a six-hour close-friends-and-family brunch at the boutique Ace Hotel
– Vogue Magazine had the exclusive rights to the the photos
Tennis champions Serena Williams married Reddit co founder Alexis Ohanian in a Beauty and the Beast themed wedding yesterday.
The WEDDING took place at the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, with the pair surrounded by a bevy of friends, families and A-listers for the Beauty and the Beast-themed bash.
Photos of the event taken exclusively by Vogue magazine show Williams, 36 looking radiant in the flowing, lacy white Alexander McQueen dress, which was crafted by creative director Sarah Burton.
Williams then swapped that for a shorter, though no less beautiful, Versace number for the first dance, which saw the newlywed couple dancing to ‘Tale As Old As Time’ – a tune in line with the wedding’s theme, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The groom Alexis Ohanian, 34 also looked exceptionally dapper suited up in Armani.
In addition to Serena’s beautiful dresses, the renown sports woman sparkled in jewelry by XIV Karats, worth $3.5 million.
The wedding had in attendance star guests including Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Kelly Rowland, Ciara, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Lala Anthony etc.
Sadly, one family member who was there only in spirit was Ohanian’s mother, who passed away nine years ago. The couple acknowledged her by holding the event on November 16 – her birthday.
‘It is her birthday, and we wanted her to be represented at the wedding,’ Serena said.
‘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.’
The proposal – which came 18 months after the pair met by chance at a cafe in Rome – was just as thoughtfully organized.
‘I came home one day to find my bags already packed for me, and I had absolutely no idea where I was going until I got on the flight,’ Serena told Vogue.
‘Alexis flew me out to Rome, back to the exact table where we’d met. We were both really nervous but also excited to take this huge step. It was such a beautiful moment.’
As Serena walked the final dress – a princess gown with Disney-appropriate cape, with $3.5 million of diamond jewelry to accompany it – down the aisle, she was watched by a celebrity-packed audience.
Kim Kardashian, Ciara, Beyoncé – and Jay-Z, who flew in to pay his respects but then had to immediately fly out to North Carolina for a concert – and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour were all spotted sitting on sofas facing the aisle.
‘I wanted the whole thing to be as nontraditional as possible,’ Serena told Vogue. ‘We did sofas instead of chairs, with everything facing the aisle instead of the altar.’
Each of the guests was gifted one of Williams’ unique golden-trophy party favors; each table at the event had been named after one of 12 of Williams’ grand slam titles, and her favors were recreations of the trophies she received for each corresponding title.
The couple wrote their own vows for the ceremony, with Alexis calling Serena his queen and promising to spend his life taking care of her and their ‘princess’, two-month-old Alexis Ohanian Jr.
”You are the greatest of all time, not just in sport,’ he said. ‘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.’
‘I’ve known Serena for so long and am so happy she’s found her prince,’ Kim Kardashian 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.
‘You just know it is so real. He makes her so happy and that just makes her friends happy.’
For their post-party bash, the new couple – called ‘Alexena’ by their pals – rented several floors of New Orleans’ upscale, boutique Ace Hotel for a brunch bash with friends and family on Friday afternoon.
The shindig was intended to run from noon to 4pm, but the pair were seen dancing wildly until about 6pm, with Serena wearing a tight, short white dress as she grooved next to her sister, Venus.
The party included a buffet, Gatorade and a classic video game arcade with machines including Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros.
As the party wound down, the couple repeated their stealthy wedding departure, slipping out of the back doors and into a limousine that whisked them away to their airport.
Check out more photos below:
Here’s wishing the couple a happy married life.