“I was so surprised that someone was so prepared to love me so much during that process,” she said.
In May 2021, Ms. Woodfork and Ms. Ziegler went on vacation for 10 days in St. Lucia. “We really just enjoyed listening to Ella Fitzgerald and being in the pool all day and cooking together,” Ms. Woodfork said. “That’s where we fell in love.”
After the trip, Ms. Woodfork flew to New York with Ms. Ziegler. The couple, who are mixed race, were pleasantly surprised by the reactions they received in the streets of the city. “People would come up to us to say, ‘You guys are beautiful,’” Ms. Woodfork said. “I felt like we were leading by example.”
In New York, she prepared to leave for Atlanta for at least six months to work on a film. For nearly a decade, Ms. Woodfork had been methodically building her career in film and TV, jumping from one set and one city to another, where she would work 80 to 90 hours per week.
“Finding time for another person wasn’t something I even thought about,” she said.
But the trip to St. Lucia — her first vacation in years — made her realize that she needed a break from her profession so she could focus on her personal life. She backed out of the job, and spent the summer with Ms. Ziegler in Provincetown, Mass. “Early in the relationship you need water and sunlight,” she said. “It was the best decision I made. I don’t know if we would be here otherwise.”
In early fall 2022, Ms. Woodfork and Ms. Ziegler decided they wanted to get married, so they designed their engagement rings: platinum with diamonds. Afterward, Ms. Woodfork took the rings and said to Ms. Ziegler, “You won’t know when or how, but we’ll get engaged.”
Binge more Vows columns here and read all our wedding, relationship and divorce coverage here.
On Dec. 11, Ms. Woodfork brought Ms. Ziegler to Central Park.