NEW ORLEANS — Palm Beach Gardens’ own Serena Williams—dressed in a sparkling white Versace gown—stepped out with family and friends in New Orleans on Wednesday night for a rehearsal dinner for her big wedding the next day.
Williams, 36, is due to wed Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian at The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans in a ceremony later today that’s sure to wow all in attendance. Preparations at the venue abounded, with air-conditioned tents, cases of Chateau Smith wine and even a giant carousel being trotted out.
Notable attendees of the rehearsal dinner were Serena’s mother Oracene Price and sisters Venus, Isha and Lyndrea, as well as famous friends Eva Longoria, Cynthia Erivo and Selita Ebanks. Another celebrity love story—actors Nicole Ari Parker and her husband Boris Kodjoe—also made the scene. The dinner was held at Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant “Meril” and the legendary chef oversaw the cuisine himself.
The actual nuptials themselves are due to be presented in Vogue Magazine, and while they’re certain to be glamorous in the extreme, the rehearsal dinner was a more laid-back affair, as evidenced by Serena wearing Nike tennis shoes with her pricey gown.
Guests began arriving at about 9:00 p.m., and Serena departed the happy event just after midnight.
As to what actually occurred at the dinner, privacy was strictly enforced. The bride and groom had rented out the entire establishment, and employees were forbidden to reveal anything.
“We’re all sworn to secrecy,” one staff member said. “The confidentiality agreements are pretty tight.”
The menu, however, was not so much of a secret: Guests enjoyed yellow fin tuna wraps, shrimp tacos and pork in the form of candied pork ribs and smoked pork belly.
Other famous guests—including Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Ciara—are expected at the actual event, as well as (in the eyes of the bride and groom, at least) the most important guest: daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr.!
“Both parents wouldn’t dream of not having her there,” a source close to the family said. “She will be a part of the wedding as much as possible for an 11-week-old. They are totally and utterly besotted with her.”
In total, the wedding is expected to have upwards of 200 guests and carries a price tag of about $1,000,000.