Saturday 24 August 2019

Belle of the ball: See inside Serena Williams' star-studded Disney themed wedding

All the details on the big day, from the bride's three designer dresses to the surprise carousel

Serena Williams, Instagram
Serena Williams, Instagram
Karen Birney

Karen Birney

Sports superstar Serena Williams tied the knot with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in a star-studded wedding in New Orleans earlier this week.

Beyonce, Eva Longoria, Ciara and Kim Kardashian were all present at the 'Beauty and the Beast themed' bash, where the tennis ace married her millionaire fiancé in a strictly private ceremony at the city's Contemporary Arts Cente.

Security was tight on the day - an entire block was reported to have been closed down for the A-listers' arrivals - and while some paparazzi managed to snap some of the guests as they descended on the jazz capital, Serena in her wedding dress eluded the surrounding lenses.

However Serena has shared a personal moment from the day which shows her gorgeous Alexander McQueen gown in all its glory, and fashion bible Vogue has revealed other highlights from the day - including a gorgeous family portrait of husband, wife and new baby girl.

The bride's extravagant princess-style ball gown features strapless sleeves, and was crafted by Sarah Burton - a designer most people now associate with the creation of Kate Middleton's stunning long sleeved lace wedding dress.

For the ceremony, the stylish star wore a striking pearl-encrusted sheer cape, simple matching diamond droplet earrings and diamond bracelet and wore her hair in a side chignon, which she topped off with a long veil.

After the ceremony, Serena debuted a very different dress - a long beaded A-line Versace gown with feather embellishments, which she wore with a feather cape.

For the reception the bride changed into a cute short number, which featured feathers on the skirt.

The couple's daughter Olympia donned a tiny ballgown which featured pearl and stone beading on the sleeves and around the waist. It had a big bow at the back and was worn with tiny knitted pumps with rhinestone detail.

Groom Alexis went chic in black tie and wore a suit by Georgio Armani. For the ceremony he donned a midnight blue velvet jacket and changed into a more traditional black jacket for the reception.

Serena's bridesmaids wore mismatched gowns, with two maids in gold beaded gowns (and one in a jumpsuit) and maid of honour Venus in a long white custom-made Galia Lahav gown with a sheer deep V-neck.

In photos shared by Vogue, Beyonce can be seen looking radiant in long emerald green wrap dress and her hair in a low ponytail. Fellow Destiny's Child bandmate Kelly Roland wore a beautiful pink sequinned gown.

Kim Kardashian can also be spotted among the guests, wearing a simple spaghetti strap black dress, her blond hair in a low ponytail accentuating her dark roots.

The Beauty and the Beast themed wedding featured Disney style decor, complete with a gold arch of flowers at the end of the aisle. Each table was named after one of Serena's Grand Slam wins.

The couple's first dance was choreographed to Tale as Old as Time, according to Vogue and Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo did an impromptu performance of A Natural Woman.

At the end of the night, they surprised guests with a carousel, which Beyonce can be seen posing on in one photo posted by Vogue.

Guests went home with photos from the couple's featured photo booth, and treats from their extravagant dessert table, as well as personalised trophies for favours.

Both the bride and groom shared photos to their social media accounts, with Alexis captioning a photo of them sharing a kiss with a sweet tribute to his new wife.

"You are the greatest of all time, not just in sport--I’m talking about as a mother and as a wife," he wrote.

"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."

The couple met at breakfast at a hotel in Rome, where Serena was playing the Italian Open and Alexis was speaking at a conference. Serena apparently didn't know what Reddit was at the time, and her husband-to-be had never seen her play a tennis match.

Alexis proposed to Serena at the same table they met 18 months previous, and Serena announced the news with a poem posted to Reddit.

Serena gave birth to the couple's first child, Alexis “Olympia” Ohanian, Jr., in September this year.

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