Last night, Serena Williams officially tied the knot with Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, and this tennis superstar served up a perfect wedding. From the bride's stunning Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding dress to the out-of-this-world entertainment and star-studded guest list, these New Orleans nuptials were the Grand Slam of weddings, and we're living for it.
On November 16, a whole slew of A-listers descended upon the Big Easy for the wedding—a locale that was the perfect choice for this too-cool couple. “Alexis really wanted to do it here,” Serena explained to Vogue. “It’s his favorite city besides Brooklyn. It’s got a heavy European influence, it’s fun, and has amazing food. He just loves the vibe. The venue—the Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans—was a decision we both made. Painting and art is something I’m really passionate about, so it just felt natural and different to do it at a contemporary art museum.”
The bride's wedding dress was a work of art in and of itself. Serena choose a regal ball gown designed by Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen to walk down the aisle in. “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," she said. "I loved the idea of doing a really spectacular ball gown, and it has turned out to be such an incredibly special piece.” Featuring a voluminous tulle skirt and strapless neckline, the princess-worthy gown was completed with a cool cape, brilliantly bedazzled for this superhero bride.
And about that aisle...Serena wanted to keep the ceremony personal and nontraditional—yet still super sweet. “For seating, I wanted the whole thing to be as non-traditional as possible, so we did sofas instead of chairs, and everything is facing the aisle instead of the altar," said Serena. Vogue reports that guests entered the ceremony space at 5:15 p.m., where they were greeted with pre-ceremony cocktails. A video that depicted the bride and groom's love story played on TVs encased in gold frames above the aisle.
Following her bridesmaids in their custom Galia Lahav dresses, Serena made her über-grand entrance in her frothy frock. Carrying a bouquet of white roses and wearing a cool $3.5 million-worth of XIV Karats jewelry, she floated down the aisle to meet her groom who was waiting in a crisp Armani suit. In their handwritten vows, Alexis called Serena his queen, adding that they already have their princess—their young daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. “I will always have bad jokes that make your eyes roll; make you give me the side eye," Alexis told his wife.
“You are the greatest of all time, not just in sport," he continued. "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.”
Following the vows and after everyone dried their eyes, guests headed outside for cocktails. Celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay Z, Kim Kardashian, and others flooded the streets to toast the newlyweds. “I’ve known Serena for so long and am so happy she’s found her prince," Kim Kardashian told Vogue during the cocktail hour. 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.”
Next up on the itinerary? A second line parade—how very New Orleans!—that led everyone back indoors, where the band was already playing “Be Our Guests.” Well, don't mind if we do...
Built around an unmistakable Beauty and the Beast theme, the spectacular space was outfitted with chandeliers encased in gold birdcages, trophy-style place cards, long tables draped in black lamé fabric, opulent florals, and gold throne-like chairs for the newlyweds.
The bride and groom selected all of their wedding music themselves, and guests were even treated to surprise performances by New Edition and Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo. Obviously, Serena needed a wedding dress that she could dance the night away in, so she opted for a quick costume change and slipped into a beaded, feathered dress by Versace for the reception.
Later, Serena appeared in a third dress: a fabulous little frock with a short skirt, also by Versace. It was in this danceable dress that she and Alexis performed their first dance: a one-of-a-kind mashup of "Tale as Old as Time" and "If I Can't Have You."
And if you weren't already wishing that you scored an invite to these nuptials, just wait until you hear about the grand finale: During the lounge-like after-party, Alexis arranged for an illuminated white carousel to appear from behind a dropped curtain as an over-the-top surprise for his bride. Everyone at the wedding got to take a ride; and everyone not at the wedding has never been more jealous.