Tennis star Sloane Stephens sparkled Galia Lahav with glitter at her New Years wedding
Professional tennis player Sloane Stephens and footballer Jozy Altidore have known each other since their childhood in Florida. Sloane’s family had moved to Fort Lauderdale when she was ten so she could pursue a career in tennis. There she and Jozy first crossed paths in the halls of Boca Prep – she was in fifth grade and he in seventh. Sloane moved out later that year, but they kept tabs on social media and watched their careers unfold. The two were no longer in direct communication until 2016, when they met at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. “I was having a scrimmage in the hallway during a United States Men’s National Team camp,” Jozy recalls. “Sloane trained there for the Fed Cup in Hawaii. Sloane turned the corner while having a loud conversation on FaceTime. We crossed our eyes and started talking during the scrum. We exchanged contacts and went to dinner after my match against Iceland. The rest was history.
Four years after starting their relationship, Jozy proposed in April 2019. “We went to church in LA and then I made up an excuse telling Sloane I wanted to see a painting in an art gallery. that I saw on Instagram and was thinking of buying, “recalls Jozy.” When we got to the gallery it was packed with family and friends and instead of paintings the gallery was decorated with Huge canvases of photos of our relationship and all the people who have been a part of Sloane’s life so far. It was really cool that everyone in the photos surrounded us when I asked the question.
“Come to think of it, I should have known something was up! Sloane admits. “Jozy was acting nervously and it’s definitely not an art gallery type, but when we walked in and saw everyone I was completely blown away! It was so surreal when he got down on his knees.
The wedding was scheduled for January 1, 2022 at the St. Regis in Bal Harbor. “I really liked the symbolism of starting a completely fresh new year with a fresh start – and I’m flying to Australia to start my season soon, so that’s what was bound to happen!” said Sloane.
“The date will make our anniversary easy to remember!” Jozy jokes. “As we both grew up in South Florida, Miami was the perfect place to reunite our families, and January is the best time of year to be there.”
Of course, the pandemic has added an element of difficulty to the planning process. “On the contrary, it made us speed up our wedding plans,” Sloane says. “Our training and seasonal schedules are so intense, planning a wedding seemed like a logistical nightmare, but the pandemic has really changed everything for us. The past two years have been incredibly difficult for everyone, including my family with the loss of my grandparents and close friends to COVID-19, and it has reminded us of how nothing is guaranteed. , so we must celebrate and cherish the time that we have. together. Everyone at the wedding was fully immunized and tested several times, and we did our best to adapt to the times and create a safe environment.
“I promised Sloane’s late grandfather that we would get married before our home renovation was complete, and it was really important for me to honor that promise and commitment to him,” says Jozy. “Our house will be finished early next year, so I was feeling the pressure! “
The couple decided to really jump into the US Open in August, so they were definitely running on a condensed wedding planning timeline. They worked with Sara Lowell from Sara Renée Events to bring it all together. “Everyone mobilized to make this happen, however! Sloane said. “As Jozy and I always travel for our work, we have relied heavily on Zola to keep track of everything from registry to RSVPs. It was so convenient for us to log in and know where everything was.
“To be honest, I can’t take a lot of credit here. I just wanted the day and time before our wedding to be what Sloane always wanted, ”says Jozy. “I am so happy that everything went so well and to see the joy it has brought to her and all of our loved ones.”
The weekend included a tennis tournament, a crayfish boil and wine tasting. There was also a gift room where guests could “buy” products from their favorite brands and sponsors. “I know Sloane is the family tennis player so everyone expected big things from her at our tournament, but I practiced and was ready,” said Jozy. “I also really enjoyed the wine tasting. A friend of ours organized it, and each wine came from a year and a place that is important to our career and our relationship.
For her wedding, Sloane wore a custom Galia Lahav couture gown with shoes by Amina Muaddi and a crystal headdress by Maria Elena. From the start, the bride’s goal was to create a regal look. She has done many red carpets in the past and wanted to feel very distinctly like a bride on her wedding day rather than just glamorous. Since the ceremony was at 3:30 p.m. in sunny Florida, and there was a mirrored aisle and altar, Sloane knew she wanted to shine. An abundance of crystals and glitter was practically a prerequisite.
Her something old were the handkerchiefs wrapped around her bouquet of orchids and peonies: they belonged to the two grandparents she had lost to COVID-19. They died less than a week apart just before the Australian Open. Sloane was incredibly close to them, and it was important for her that she felt them with her on her wedding day.
For his part, Jozy opted for a Dior tuxedo and Christian Louboutin shoes. Meanwhile, her seven-year-old son Cameron was head to toe at Dolce & Gabbana.
The creative brief had an emphasis on white and silver and the whole set looked from another world. “The ceremony was more emotional than I expected,” says Jozy. “I thought I was prepared, but I was completely blown away by the feeling of love. Seeing my bride walking down the aisle, surrounded by our families, is a feeling I will never forget.
After the outdoor ceremony, guests moved to the St. Regis for the reception. DJ Rock with you made everyone dance. At this point, the bride transformed into a more streamlined, strapless Galia Lahav ready-to-wear gown. “We had the best party I have ever attended and I want to do it all again next weekend,” jokes Jozy. “Our wedding brought together so many different people in our lives, and it was just amazing to party together and dance like everyone has known each other forever. And to look on the dance floor and think about the that they were all there for us and our love… it’s a feeling we will never forget.
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