Viola Davis just got married—again! The Emmy-winning star of How to Get Away with Murder renewed her marriage vows with husband Julius Tennon on Saturday, Feb. 13th in front of an intimate group of friends in California—Oprah included—and today she gave InStyle the inside scoop about her special day and dress.
“I wanted an experience of feeling alive,” she told us of why she decided to renew her vows. “There’s no better way to feel what life is truly about than the birth of a child and getting married to someone you love—really love. It's a reminder. A wake up. My career is about success but my marriage and my life is about significance.”
When she starred as our cover girl for the January issue, she told us she wore a simple skirt from Express in 2003 when she first married Tennon, and a more traditional look several years later when they renewed their vows for the first time. For their third vow exchange this weekend, nearly 13 years after their original ceremony, she chose a silk design embroidered with geranium-like petals and glass bugle beads custom-made by designer Carmen Marc Valvo.
“This dress shape fits my body type the best,” Davis said of why she gravitated to the design. “It accentuates my waist. It's dramatic, timeless, and romantic. I wanted something that made a statement when I walked in the room but also that didn't look like I was trying too hard.” Her daughter, Genesis, also wore a custom look by Carmen Marc Valvo.
Scroll down to see more views of Davis’s special wedding day look.
1. The Gown
Viola Davis in her custom Carmen Marc Valvo design. “I’ve learned that it’s not always about you,” she said. “Marriage is a dying to yourself, but [also this] renewing and being born into a state of commitment, of understanding the value of partnership in life.”
2. A Closer Look
The dress, made with silk and embroidered with geranium-like petals and glass bugle beads.
3. The Ceremony
Davis and Tennon “jumped over a broom” during the renewal ceremony.
4. The Scene Stealer
Daughter Genesis modeling her Carmen Marc Valvo design.
5. The Family
The husband and wife pose with their daughter.
6. The Prep for the Dress
Carmen Marc Valvo shared this sketch of Davis’s custom gown.
7. The Prep for the Mini Dress
Carmen Marc Valvo also sketched the one-of-a-kind design he made for Davis’s daughter, Genesis.