Serena Williams was a stunning bride when she walked down the aisle at her Nov. 16 wedding to Alexis Ohanian. However, her father, Richard Williams, was not by her side.
The tennis star revealed in the third episode of the HBO documentary Being Serena that Richard told her via text just one hour before the ceremony that he didn’t feel able to escort her on her wedding day.
“He was in New Orleans, he had a suit, and I know he was really excited,” she explained. “But then he wrote me and said: ‘Serena, I don’t want you to be mad at me, but I just can’t walk you down the aisle. I’m not myself anymore. I’m just too nervous.’ ”
Serena reacted with complete understanding, writing back, “Daddy, it’s okay, if you don’t want to come to the wedding at all, that’s okay too. I’m not going to be upset with you about it, so I don’t want you to be upset about it.”
#beingserena @hbo Wednesday nights 10pm pic.twitter.com/mz8KnVf5Fi
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 15, 2018
The 36-year-old athlete — who welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia just two months before tying the knot with the Reddit co-founder — explained that she recognized why her father felt uncomfortable.
“Maybe a lot of daughters wouldn’t react the same way, but I know the struggles he’s had these last few years. His health is better now, but I know he still doesn’t feel like himself, doesn’t feel like he’s perfect,” Serena said. “And if he doesn’t want to be up there in front of a lot of people, I completely understand. Look, when we first came on the scene, there were a lot of people who didn’t get him. I don’t think a lot of them wanted to get him. I don’t think a lot of him could have anyway.”
She continued, “Our family knows what we have. We just want each other to be happy. That’s what matters. I don’t think anything could ever change that.”
Serena ended up walking down the aisle at the Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans solo as violinists performed “How Far I’ll Go” from the movie Moana.
Alexandra Macon, a Vogue editor who covered the wedding for the magazine, revealed that Serena completely kept her composure despite the sudden change of plans.
“I can only imagine how all over the place her emotions must have been, but she radiated a sense of calm, even when things …
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