A story filled with plot twists, self-discovery, and new beginnings, Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli’s love story is one that is almost too magical to be real. Yet it is. The pair met in 2012, with a meet-cute that out-cutes them all. We take a look at their tale, from then until now.
Wiley, an up and coming actress at the time, met her now-wife, Morelli, a screenwriter, in December 2012, on the set of Orange Is The New Black. Morelli wrote episode six of season one, which saw her visiting the set to meet the actors.
At the time, Morelli was married to a man. Wiley admitted to Out Magazine, that she thought Morelli was gay and would constantly try to find ways to chat to her. In the same interview, Morelli said that she had started questioning her sexuality after being in the writers’ room for this show.
“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,” said Morelli.
“I found out she was married — I assumed to a woman. It was a little dagger in my heart. I remember this whirlwind of me falling in love in those four days. I was also bartending, and I told my coworkers. They said I was crazy. She went back to L.A., and I thought I’d forget about her, but that Christmas I found myself talking to my mother about it,” explained Wiley.
“I never talk to her about anything like this, but I was completely open about how lost I felt. That was the real indicator for me: me talking to my mother about Lauren. Because Lauren was finding out who she was, I became a confidant to her. We’d talk on the phone, me sharing my own coming-out story and her talking about things she was discovering.”
After having Samira as her confidant, and going to couples therapy with her husband which turned out to be futile, Lauren separated from her husband and started dating Samira.
A year into their relationship, the pair took a trip to Thailand, and they both admit that it was a terrible failure. They bickered the entire time. However, they also say that the trip helped them learn about each other, and realise that no matter what, they still wanted to be together.
Soon after, the pair took another trip, this time to Palm Springs. While packing for the trip, Lauren proposed.
“That day, I wanted to be good and get my packing done. She got home and was just not ready to go, and I was confused. She asked me to sit next to her. Then she got me up, and we started dancing together, and she pulled a ring from behind the couch. Lauren has been married before, so I wanted her to tell me she was ready, her to be the one to propose,” Wiley explains of the proposal.
“I didn’t know she was as ready as she was. I was completely shocked. I was crying uncontrollably and kept backing away from her. I asked her after, “Who knows about this?” and she said, “Oh, everyone. Your parents know.” We didn’t tell anyone else for a few days. That was really important to us — to have some time where it was just ours.”
The pair tied the know on March 25, 2017 in Palm Springs. According to Martha Stewart Weddings, the event began with an outdoor ceremony, officiated by Samira’s parents, and led to a grand entrance by the couple, at the reception with Justin Bieber’s “Baby” playing as they made their way in.
Both Samira and Lauren donned custom Christian Siriano ensembles, and guests were served dinner under colourful garlands and strands of lights.
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Wifey for Lifey. (There are approximately one thousand people to thank for making this the best day of my life. But for now: @bethhelmstetter for her insane planning, talent and vision, @csiriano for making me look and feel like a gay superhero queen, @kristinafrisch for making my face look great, @melschaefers for giving me the best hair every day.)
Image: Instagram / @lomorelli