After more than a dozen years in New York City, actress Emma Myles admits that she was ready to move home in August of 2012. In fact, she had already packed her bags and bought a one-way ticket home to California. Then, she met Darcy Cadman...and then, she booked Orange is the New Black. "I cancelled my plane ticket, and we went on our first date the week before I started shooting," she says. "And we got married the week after the series finale premiere. Talk about bookends!"
And what a story the couple—she's the actress who played Leanne Taylor on Orange is the New Black, and he's an actor and writer—has had. After meeting that summer, Emma and Darcy dated for five-and-a-half years before Darcy proposed with his great grandmother's engagement ring on January 1, 2018. "He got down on one knee and asked if I would spend the rest of 2018 with him," Emma recalls. "I laughed and said, 'Sure I can handle a year!' He then corrected himself and said also the rest of our lives."
For their wedding, the couple knew they wanted to say "I do" in the city where they met and fell in love, but wanted to be surrounded by nature as well. They found both city and nature vibes at Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm at Brooklyn Navy Pier, setting a date for August 3, 2019. "It's like someone reached into my dream world and pulled out my perfect scenario," Emma explains. "We had sunflowers and bees and butterflies and an insane sunset and the most beautiful views of the city. I still can’t believe this place exists in the city."
Keep reading to see how Emma's dream became a reality thanks to an abundance of colorful wildflowers, the couple's favorite foods (think tacos and hot wings!), and the bride's OITNB costars. Emilia Aghamirzai of FatChix, Inc. was on hand to capture every hilarious moment and beautiful detail.
The couple chose to marry at Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, a venue with views of the New York City skyline. As for the planning process, Emma says they always had this idea of “high brow/low brow" moment. "That’s just kind of how we are as a couple, and as people," she says. "We wanted things to be relatable, funny, and really laid back, but we also wanted there to be a touch of metropolitan class; the best of both worlds."
The bride took on the wedding's design and decor herself—"I just wanted an explosion of flowers," she says—but leaned on friends to hash out the logistics. "Our friend, Jack Elliot, helped keep the schedule going smoothly, and our friend and photographer Emilia Aghamirzai is 1000 percent responsible for coordinating our morning haul to the Grange to drop off our decorations. Our friends really stepped up!"
"I always knew that I did not want white. I am not a traditional bride and I wanted my dress to match my personality," Emma says of choosing a colorful gown. Though she was certain she would not wear white, Emma admits that finding "The One" proved to be a bit of challenge. She first spotted the "dress of her dreams" in an ad on Instagram but soon discovered it was Marchesa Notte from a past season, meaning it was not available for purchase.
"I spent five months combing the Internet for the dress. I became obsessed. I put this thing into Google images every hour for weeks," she admits. "I started following the Marchesa hashtag on Instagram, and someone posted a picture of the dress but not any way of purchasing it. So I commented and said 'If anyone knows where this dress is, please let me know.' Someone DM’d me with a link to a website I had already checked. I decided I would check one last time, and it was there. I bought it in five seconds flat!"
Once Emma finally had her hands on the gown, she paired it with rose-adorned sandals by Manolo Blahnik and a coordinating veil that she found on Etsy. "It was just too perfect and went with my dress like they were made to go together," she says.
Emma completed her look with a rhinestone-embellished belt and headband from Bride La Boheme. Her manicure also coordinated with her gown.
The bride did her own makeup and tapped her cousin, Sara, to do her hair.
Emma asked her bridesmaids, including maid of honor Jenna Leigh Green, to wear florals. "I just told everyone florals; preferably pastel florals, but some variation of florals, whatever that meant to them," she says. "I basically had everyone sending me options, and then we put them into a collage side-by-side and checked to see if they looked right together." They did, and the women all carried long-stemmed bouquets of roses and wildflowers to further coordinate on the big day.
The groom wore a three-piece checked suit paired with a floral dress shirt and a yellow rose boutonniere (to match Emma's bouquet). "All flowers were assembled from what I could grow on my roof and supplemental flowers we picked up at the deli down the street the night before the wedding," says the bride. "My family came over and we all watched My Best Friend’s Wedding and the Father of The Bride movies and just went to town."
The ceremony took place in the late afternoon, so Darcy and Emma provided parasols to shade their 94 guests from the sun.
The proceedings kicked off with a special music moment coordinated by the bride. "I had this idea to have a kind of musical psych out before the actual ceremony began—something to say, 'Hey, yes, you’re at a wedding, but it’s not your average wedding. Loosen up and get ready for a party,” Emma explains.
To accomplish that affect, they started with the Canadian national anthem (a nod to Darcy's roots!), then did a record scratch-type transition into the "Circle Of Life" from the Lion King. "I loved it because it was so random and abrupt," she says. And, because Emma says comedy works in threes, the final excerpt was from "My Heart Will Go On."
The bride's OITNB castmate Lea DeLaria officiated the wedding and wore a green suit and floral print tie for the occasion.
After the comedic musical prelude, the bride made her grand entrance arm-in-arm with her mother and sister to a cover of "Ho Hey" by Lennon and Maisy Stella. "We’ve all been through a lot together, and it felt only right for them to usher me into the next leg of my life," Emma says. "They walked together, stopped halfway, then I made my way to them and we walked the rest of the way together arms linked."
Darcy and Emma exchanged vows in front of the Manhattan skyline, beneath an arbor that Emma had made herself. After their first kiss, the newlyweds exited to "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys as a way of honoring Emma's late father. "He loved the Beach Boys. It was my way of having him there," she explains.
In addition to the altar itself, the bride DIY-ed the reception decor, notably crafting a wall of silk flowers and vintage fishing net to hold photos taken throughout the night. She also "upgraded" the lavender-filled centerpieces by adding rope and fishing net to each mason jar. Overall, she describes the look as a “Nautical Floral Fairy Dream World."
Guests enjoyed an assortment of the couple's favorite dishes, including buttermilk fried chicken, tacos, and flatbread pizzas catered by BonBite NYC. "They had me locked down with their deviled eggs. There was never another choice," Emma says of choosing the caterer.
The couple had an additional surprise planned for after dinner: Hooters' hot wings! " I was on Twitter joking with a friend of mine and asked if she thought Hooters would be willing to do partial catering for the wedding at the end of the night," Emma recalls. "I tagged them, and they slid into my DMs almost immediately saying they absolutely would. It was in that moment that our high brow/low brow dream came true." The wing excitement was further enhanced by the music selection. "The dance portion of the night was straight up party music that we wanted everyone to be able to get down to," Emma says. "Immediately after our first dance, we went into 'Party in the USA' by Miley Cyrus and then played 'Truth Hurts' by Lizzo when the wings came out."
Several of OITNB co-stars were in attendance, including Danielle Brooks, Lea DeLaria, Dale Soules, Vicky Jeudy, and Kimiko Glenn.
The night ended on a sweet note, with a strawberry shortcake for the bride and chocolate cake for the groom. Looking back on the big day, Emma has this advice to share: "Organize as much as possible so that the days leading up can be as relaxing," she says. "Something will always go wrong so just accept it and go with the flow."
And if that's not enough, feel free to take the below as proof that Emma is a woman of her word. "The easiest part of planning for me was actually working on my DIY projects," she says. "Crafting is just in my blood. It was the only time I was able to truly relax and just focus on what was really important, which was the fact that I was getting married. Everything our guests saw was made with love and dedication."
Emma, those are are words we can get behind—cheers to you, Darcy, and your next chapter!
Venue: Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm
Officiant: Lea DeLaria
Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Hair: Sara Johnson
Bridesmaid Dresses: Lulus
Wedding Bands: Polly Wells
Music: DJ Marcus Ho
Catering: BonBite NYC
Cake: Betty Bakery
Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals
Photography: Emilia Aghamirzai of FatChix, Inc.