Former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens, 34, is preparing to marry professional baseball player Cole Tucker, 27. The couple — who got together in 2020 — announced their engagement in February 2023.
Since then, the "High School Music" and "The Princess Switch" franchise star has been slowly but surely working on wedding plans, but things haven't been entirely smooth.
In a September interview with People magazine to promote her Caliwater beverage campaign, Vanessa shared how there's so, so much that goes into planning a wedding that she wasn't expecting.
"It's wild," she said. "It's crazy, the industry of weddings." Planning their nuptials has been "kind of mind-blowing" so far, she told People, as there are just more decisions to make and bigger expenses than she'd anticipated.
"My best friend is getting married as well," the "Grease Live!" singer-actress — who's worth an estimated $18 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth — "and she's going through it and I was just like, 'My God, dresses are so expensive.' It's nuts."
Keep reading for more on what she's had to say about wedding planning and more about their relationship…
Fantasies about eloping
In April 2023 — just a few months after Vanessa Hudgens and Cole Tucker announced their engagement — the actress, singer and host told People magazine that she was already overwhelmed by wedding planning despite just getting started.
"It's a big daunting thing — so much goes into it," she said. "Like Gwen Stefani said [in her song 'Hollaback Girl'], this s*** is bananas."
A month later during a May visit to "The Drew Barrymore Show," Vanessa again marveled about how much wedding planning entailed and how stressful it could be, admitting, "It's hard. I don't know, finding a venue is tough. I kinda just want to elope. I'm lost."
She said Cole is leaving the decisions to her. "He just wants to get married to me," Vanessa added. "He's like, 'Whatever you want, babe.'"
The proposal — and the ring
He reportedly popped the question sometime in late 2022. On Feb. 9, the actress took to Instagram to publicly confirm their happy news — and to share a photo of her gorgeous diamond ring snapped against a Paris backdrop. "YES. We couldn't be happier," she captioned the shot.
She really, really likes her engagement ring. "It's gorgeous," she gushed to People magazine in March. "I love it. I get distracted by it all the time."
She said she knew she and Cole would get engaged at some point, but she didn't see his proposal coming. "I was extremely surprised," she told People. "We had definitely talked about it, but I did not expect it to happen the way that it happened and the moment that it happened. It definitely caught me off guard and I was bawling my eyes out."
She knew he was different
In an April interview on the "Today" show, Vanessa Hudgens — who before Cole Tucker was in high-profile and long-term relationships with actors Zac Efron and Austin Butler — opened up about how it felt to be newly engaged.
"It feels amazing. It's so funny, I was talking about this with Cole… People are always like, 'Does it feel different? [Do] things feel different [getting engaged]?'" she said. "That was always my question normally, but now I get to be asked it.
"And you know what, it actually does," she explained. "There's a sense of security. You feel so safe. It's the best thing ever. I love being a fiancée."
She said she knew something was different about him. "I knew. After our first weekend together, I called my sister and was like, 'I think I just found my future husband,'" Vanessa said, explaining that she was drawn in immediately by "who he is."
How they met
"Me and Cole met on a Zoom meditation group," she told "Entertainment Tonight" in April 2021. "Very random … Zoom, you've got to love it."
A few weeks later during an appearance on "The Drew Barrymore Show," Vanessa shared what happened next. "I get on the Zoom, and I'm like, 'Who is that?' I found him, and we started talking," she said, explaining that she made that happen by making the first move herself.
"I think I still have that stigma that the man is supposed to do that initial step. If I want something or someone, I'm going after them," the "High School Musical" alum said. "I fully just slid into his DMs and was like, 'Hey, it was nice to meet you.' So I think there is no shame in making the first move. Why wait for someone else to give you what you want?"