Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com/Getty Images for People.com
Alexis Ohanian (left) and Serena Williams were married in New Orleans Thursday. Vogue spoke to Williams about her big day and shared dozens of photos.
Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Tennis icon Serena Williams married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans Thursday, and gave the first official photos to Vogue magazine to share.
The ceremony was in front of 200 guests made up of family and friends -- Venus Williams, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian Anna Wintour, Ciara and the newlyweds’ 2-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. among them.
Williams detailed her big day for Vogue in a story published Friday.
“Alexis really wanted to do New Orleans. It’s his favorite city besides Brooklyn,” Williams said. “It’s got a heavy European influence; it’s fun and has amazing food. He just loves the vibe. The venue—the Contemporary Arts 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 wedding date -- Nov. 16 -- held special importance for both as it was Ohanian’s late mother’s birthday.
“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,” Williams told Vogue.
The “Beauty and the Beast” themed wedding included a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen ball gown that Williams walked down the aisle in. The venue was designed similar to a fashion show.
“I wanted the whole thing to be as nontraditional as possible,” Williams said. “We did sofas instead of chairs, with everything facing the aisle instead of the altar.”
Baby Alexis was carried down the aisle by Williams’ mother, Oracene Price, and Williams’ best friend, Val Vogt, carried the athletes Yorkshire terrier, Chip, down the aisle. The dog, which Williams has referred to as her son, wore a tiny tuxedo and top hat.
The two exchanged personally written vows to each other before changing outfits for the reception. In between the ceremony and reception, guests were at a cocktail hour outside. A second line parade brought guests back inside, where guests dined on Southern, Armenian and Italian food at four long tables named after Williams’ Grand Slam wins.
“Serena wanted a ball, but she wanted a modern ball, not anything that was too stuffy,” event designer Preston Bailey said of the reception.
Williams changed into a custom feathered and beaded Versace dress after the couple was introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Alexis Ohanian. The newlyweds did a choreographed first dance and later in the evening danced on stage as New Edition performed.