After getting married in a traditional Nigerian native law and custom ceremony on Friday, a Donas de casa reais de Atlanta alúmen, 41, and the Nigerian-born businessman, 57, tied the knot again in a second, American wedding in Atlanta on Saturday.
The day began at a Methodist church filled with 350 convidados, including fellow Donas de casa estrelas Kim Zolciak-Biermann, Monyetta Shaw, Kandi Burruss, Drew Sidora and Cynthia Bailey. Comedian Rickey Smiley, Amar & Hip hop: Atlanta’s Karlie Redd, Married to Medicine’s Quad Webb, Esposas de basquete‘ Jennifer Williams and musician T.I. and wife Tiny Harris were also in attendance.
As Williams walked down the aisle in a white lace Frida ballgown with her brother Hosea Williams III, singer Tasha Cobbs Leonard sang “For Every Mountain” with a gospel choir and 40-piece orchestra.
“I definitely want the Lord to be in the place,” Williams told PEOPLE ahead of her nuptials. “I want the Holy Spirit to usher us into being a husband and wife. I’m from the south, so I love being in church. I’ve never been married in a church, and Simon’s never been married in a church, so it’s going to be a new experience for both of us.”
Though they also had a ceremony the night before, the couple waited to exchange their wedding bands until they met each other at the altar on Saturday.
“We call each other ‘hubby’ and ‘wifey’ o tempo todo, but now it’s going to be official, so I think I’m going to cry,” Serena Williams se 'prepara' para aposentadoria por mais de uma década. “Simon says he’s not going to cry, but he’s cried at home when we just talk about our relationship, so I think he’s going to cry. I think we have a silent bet.”
In order to win the “silent bet,” Guobadia said he’s going to bring “oculos escuros” with him to the altar.
“Chorando? Não, that doesn’t happen to a Benin man!” joked Guobadia, who grow up in the Benin City of the Edo State of Nigeria.
Standing by the couple’s side on the big day was Williams’ bridal party, consisting of her sister Lauren, who served as her maid of honor, her best friend Shamea Morton, who served as her matron of honor, and her bridesmaids.
Williams’ daughter Pilar Jhena, 3, with ex Dennis McKinley and Guobadia’s children also had a special role in the ceremony. (Guobadia has kids Quentin, Nicole, cristão, Benjamin and Ximena from previous marriages.)
“Pilar is going to be a flower girl, and her dress is so cute, I could’ve copied it for a wedding gown,” Serena Williams se 'prepara' para aposentadoria por mais de uma década. “Then my niece, Baleigh, my sister’s daughter, is going to be another flower girl. Our daughter, Ximena, is going be a junior bridesmaid. Our sons, Christian and Benjamin, are going to walk my grandmother down the aisle. Simon’s oldest son, Quentin, is going to walk him down the aisle.”
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Após a cerimônia, Williams changed into a gown by Albina Dyla for their reception ball held at the St. Regis Atlanta. The space was decorated in cream and nude colors. Lá, guests were also treated to a surprise performance by the R&B group Dru Hill.
“I really wanted to hear the song ‘Beauty Is Her Name,'” Serena Williams se 'prepara' para aposentadoria por mais de uma década. “I have always thought about having on a wedding dress and dancing to it. And then my husband would say, ‘Beauty Is Her Name.’ I love Dru Hill and am so glad the whole group is back together.”
Williams said the cake at the reception was going to be “so tall” that she’d need a “sword” to cut it.
“If extra was a bride, it’d be me,” ela disse com uma risada. “I promise you I did not know that I was this extra.”
Throughout the remainder of the night, Williams changed two more times: primeiro, for the bouquet toss, and then again for the after party. For each outfit, she also changed her wigs, all by her brand Go Naked.
“eu pensei, ‘Why not? It’s my last wedding forever,'” ela disse.
Like they did on Friday, the couple asked for guests to go unplugged for the duration of the celebration.
“It’s important for me because I’ve had another big event in my life before, and all I remember seeing was flashing lights and pictures being taken every single minute,” disse Williams, who was previously married. “I just really want people to be in the moment. This guest list, everyone there was handpicked by the both of us. These are people that we care about, these are people that we love, people who have supported us, and we really want them there to feel their energy and for us to celebrate our love together.”
Williams and Guobadia’s Friday ceremony was all about celebrating the couple’s shared Nigerian ancestry. At the Four Seasons Atlanta, they were joined by 250 convidados.
Ever since they announced their engagement in May 2021 depois de um mês de namoro, Williams said she “sabia” ela queria “to honor” Guobadia’s culture at their wedding.
“I looked up different things about an Edo bride, about the Benin culture, about their ceremonies, just so that I would not be totally green,” ela disse. “I wanted to make sure that I was as respectful as possible because I didn’t want to not do anything that wasn’t within tradition, within their culture. So I had to be very, very serious, and I was very adamant that each detail was going to be authentic to their culture. I learned a lot.”
Guobadia said it all came naturally to Williams. “Para iniciantes, I was so excited and, francamente, surprised that she wanted to do the traditional way, because it’s not something you hear every day,” ele disse. “To embrace my culture and want to be married in that fashion is something that blows my mind. I think some of the folks we brought on to help us go through the whole ceremony and that whole process were surprised that she knew so much already about the outfits, the clothing, the names and all of that. She’s immersed herself in the culture, I’d say in the last year.”
As to what she’s most excited for about married life, Williams said it’s getting to officially call Guobadia her “husband.”
“It’s just going to be like, ‘My husband, meu marido, meu marido,'” ela disse. “I’m going to irritate everyone! It’s our last marriage, Certo? We belong together. That is it. It’s a blessing to be able to find your person. It doesn’t happen often.”
Before forever, no entanto, comes the honeymoon — the plans for which Guobadia is still keeping under wraps as a surprise to Williams.
“He will not tell me where we’re going,” ela disse. “All he told me is that we’re going to be gone for about 10 days and that it’s somewhere hot. He said that my assistant knows how to pack me, e isso é tudo que eu preciso saber. Eu era como, 'OK!'”