Serena Williams Shares Why Her Dad Dropped Out of Walking Her Down the Aisle

An hour before her ceremony, her dad told her he could no longer walk her down the aisle

Updated 05/17/18

Photo by Mel Barlow & Co. / Allan Zepeda

Meghan Markle isn't the first bride to have wedding day drama. Serena Williams, who tied the knot back in November 2017, recently revealed that much like the royal bride, she had similar wedding drama of her own.

In her biopic HBO TV show, Being Serena, the 36-year-old tennis pro opened up about her big day and revealed that her father and longtime coach, Richard Williams, backed out of walking her down the aisle—just one hour before she was set to exchange vows with husband Alexis Ohanian.

"He was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited,” Serena said in the episode. "But then he wrote me and said: Serena, I don’t want you to be mad at me, but I just can’t walk you down the aisle. I’m not myself anymore. I’m just too nervous."

Williams explained that she wrote back to her dad, "Daddy, it’s okay, if you don’t want to come to the wedding at all, that’s okay too. I’m not going to be upset with you about it, so I don’t want you to be upset about it."

The new mom continued, "Maybe a lot of daughters wouldn’t react the same way, but I know the struggles he’s had these last few years. His health is better now, but I know he still doesn’t feel like himself, doesn’t feel like he’s perfect. And if he doesn’t want to be up there in front of a lot of people, I completely understand. Look, when we first came on the scene, there were a lot of people who didn’t get him. I don’t think a lot of them wanted to get him. I don’t think a lot of him could have anyway. Our family knows what we have. We just want each other to be happy. That’s what matters. I don’t think anything could ever change that.”

The bride didn't let the change of plans ruin her big day. Instead, she walked herself down the aisle to the song "How Far I'll Go" from the Disney movie Moana.

Meghan, who is also a close friend of the pro athlete, has had a similar situation before her big day. Her father, Thomas, has been on and off with his commitment to walking his daughter down the aisle, but officially stated that he will not be attending the ceremony. Thomas recently suffered a heart attack, and in a recent statement, his daughter said she wants what is best for her father's health, even if that means not having her dad give her away. Hey, maybe she'll take a hint from her tennis player friend and walk to the alter herself. If not, there are plenty of other contenders who can take his place.

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