Many brides dream of a so-called ‘fairytale wedding’, with gorgeous outfits and a beautiful venue that immerses you in an impeccable fantasy theme.
These magical weddings hardly ever happen in real life, so it’s certainly a spectacle whenever a rich celebrity couple gets them.
In the case of Serena Williams, her wedding has been praised as one of the most lavish ceremonies in recent history.
Who Is Serena Williams Married To?
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know Serena Williams. This 37-year-old athlete has been hailed as the greatest female tennis player of all time, and possibly the greatest female athlete of all time.
She and her sister Venus Williams are responsible for the height of the popularity of women’s professional tennis, and the rise of ever more powerful female athletes in the sport.
Even today, almost two and a half decades into her career, she remains among the top ranks of the Women’s Tennis Association.
But who is Serena Williams married to? Someone as famous as she is, maybe?
Serena Williams is married to 36-year-old tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian. He’s not quite as much of a celebrity as she is, but he helped found something that is probably even more famous – Reddit. Yes, Serena married the founder of the 6th-most visited website on the Internet.
How Did They Meet?
Serena and Alexis met in Rome on May 12, 2015, when Serena was preparing for her first match in that year’s Italian Open. Alexis, who was in the city as a speaker at the Festival of Media Global conference, sat next to Serena’s group in a hotel entirely by chance. Serena’s friends tried to shoo him away unsuccessfully, and they ended up inviting him to join them.
In a seemingly unromantic twist, Alexis wasn’t a tennis fan at all, and Serena hadn’t even heard of Reddit. But the two got along all the same. They ended up dating, and on December 10, 2016, at the exact same hotel they’d met a year and a half prior, Alexis proposed to Serena in truly romantic fashion, complete with a room full of flowers.
“I knew it was coming. I was like, ‘Serena, you’re 35, you’re ready. This is what you want.” Serena later recounted. Both in their mid-thirties, they were to become each other’s first spouses!
What does it take for you to be asked to ‘save the date’ for Serena Williams?
For her grand wedding in New Orleans on November 16, 2017, Serena chose to invite the who’s who of the celebrity world. Names like Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Anna Wintour, and Eva Longoria are only a few of the big names who were present.
Serena Williams’ wedding itself was a masterclass of design and planning, courtesy of legendary wedding planners Jennifer Zabinski and Preston Bailey. Hosted at the spacious Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, it was given a beautiful Beauty and the Beast theme, complete with stunning fantasy decorations, a live band playing songs from the classic animated film, and invitation boxes labelled ‘Tale as Old as Time’ and designed by Alpine Creative Group.
Almost any other wedding with a similar theme would have come off as tacky, but the expert design and planning involved transformed the whole affair into a paragon of elegance and style. For a $1million event, it definitely looked the part!
And then there was Serena’s dress.
Serena had flown to London to meet Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen’s fashion brand, to work closely with her on the design of the dress. Burton had long made a name for herself with womenswear, having designed dresses for Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, and other famous figures – she even designed Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.
Describing her experience with working with Sarah, Serena said, “I...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. I loved the idea of doing a really spectacular ball gown, and it has turned out to be such an incredibly special piece.”
The result of their collaboration?
Serena Williams’ wedding gown, a magnificent strapless dress, cape billowing in the wind – it was fit for royalty. Serena wore it in a dramatic entrance while dressed top to bottom in jewellery by XIV Karats, including a massive wedding ring that had entire articles written about it.
The whole outfit and her gems cost a grand total of $3.5-million. It certainly made for some of the most amazing wedding photos of all time.
In what could be described as Disney wedding readings, Serena and Alexis had a solemn exchange of vows that spoke of the most earnest feelings possible, with Alexis calling Serena his queen and saying, “I am so excited to write so many more chapters of our fairy tale together... 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.”
Serena had words that were just as loving. “I know everyone says they marry their best friend, but you’re not only my best friend, you make me my best me.”
After The Wedding
The festivities might have ended for all in attendance of the ceremony, but the newlyweds’ fun was only just beginning. The two booked a private island in the Bahamas for their honeymoon. They rented out a four-bedroom, 3,600-square-foot villa with miles of beachfront and a beautiful garden. After a $1-million wedding, this $35,000 a week rental property almost seems like a bargain.
Introducing Alexis Jr
In January 2017, Serena took home the Australian Open while seven weeks pregnant. The young woman who was then forming within her womb is today known as Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Today, the family resides in a $6.7 million Beverly Hills mansion, living a life of wealth and luxury that comes from years of hard work that continues for both Alexis and Serena today.
What is Serena Williams’ married name, though?
She continues to keep the name for which she’s been known professionally. As one of the greatest athletes of all time, it’s only fitting.