The star of Orange Is the New Black Samira Wiley and her longtime partner Lauren Morelli are officially married. The gay couple tied the knot on Saturday afternoon in Palm Springs, California. The intimate ceremony was attended by their family and close friends.
According to Martha Stewart Weddings, the outdoor ceremony was officiated by Samira’s parents and the recession music was the classic Montell Jordan hit “This Is How We Do It.” The newlyweds made a grand entrance to the reception with the song “Baby” by Justin Bieber.
Wiley and Morelli both wore a white ensemble designed by Christian Siriano. The guests reportedly enjoyed dinner under colorful garlands and strands of lights, with vibrant floral and citrus centerpieces dotting wood tables set with graphic black and white plates, sleek white and gold flatware, and colorful, mismatched glassware. Confetti exploded during the newlywed’s first dance.
Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli, who first met on the set of Orange Is the New Black in 2014, chose the wedding location because that’s where the writer proposed to the actress back in October 2016. The 29-year-old model shared a photo of their engagement on Instagram. Both looked really happy as she showed off her ring.
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Unlike other gay couples, Samira and Lauren are really open about their relationship. Morelli, who is the writer and producer of the Netflix original series, confessed that she immediately had a crush on Wiley when she saw her audition tape. However, she was still married to TV producer Stephen Basilone at that time, which made things complicated.
“I was still very confused, but I knew the attraction between us felt magnetic,” the Orange Is the New Black writer told Out. “On set it’s a bunch of women, so everyone’s hugging and touching. It’s a very affectionate place. I’d fallen into this alternate universe, but I thought I’d go home and it’d disappear. But Samira was still so present for me.”
Samira admitted getting hurt when she found out that Lauren was married because she started falling in love with her when they were together. She confided to her mother, which she rarely does, and confessed how lost she felt. The actress started sharing her coming out story while the writer talked about what she was discovering about herself.
Wiley confessed loving Morelli as a friend first, but after a while, she realized that it was more than that. After going to couples therapy, the TV producer opened up to her husband about her sexuality. They finally got separated and she started dating the actress – and she’s ready to let the public know about it.
“I’m very aware of being visible and how important that is. Even being in a liberal, safe place like New York, holding her hand while walking down the street still feels like a political choice,” Lauren said. “It had been such a journey to discover my sexuality, and to claim it in this public way was incredible for me.”
After Samira’s stint for Orange Is the New Black, she moved to Los Angeles to be with her partner. Lauren thought to herself that she will wait for their third-year anniversary as a couple before she proposes to her. But she realized that there’s no need to wait because she wanted her girlfriend to be her wife and spend the rest of her life with her.
While Wiley filmed The Handmaid’s Tale in Toronto and Morelli was shooting Orange Is the New Black in New York, they planned this trip to Palm Springs where she decided to do the proposal. The former model reportedly couldn’t stop crying and she was also hyperventilating. The writer claimed it was the most magical day of her life. They both had learned a lot from their relationship since it is not easy being openly gay.
“I think — I know — I would not be where I am without Lauren,” Samira confessed. “When I was first being thrust into the public eye, I wouldn’t talk about my orientation. Being with Lauren taught me self-love.”
[Featured Image by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]