TMZ, who was first to break the news, reported on Thursday, February 2, that Tucker, 26, popped the question to Hudgens, 34, before the New Year.
Us Weekly exclusively confirmed in January 2020 that Hudgens split from Austin Butler after nine years of dating. Less than a year later, the Disney alum sparked romance rumors with Tucker in November 2020 when they were spotted holding hands in Los Angeles.
Shortly before she was photographed with the athlete, Hudgens got honest about what she was looking for in a partner. “Your girl’s open. I feel like at the end of the day, it’s just about having similar fundamentals and wanting the same things,” the actress told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “I am not picky, really.”
The High School Musical star added: “I know what I want and I’m like, if someone comes into the picture and can give me all those things, then great. It doesn’t matter if they’re in the public eye or not. If anything, I prefer them not to be, but we’ll see.”
The duo didn’t become Instagram official until Valentine’s Day the following year. “It’s you, it’s me, it’s us. @cotuck,” she captioned the photo of herself kissing Tucker in February 2021. She added a series of sweet emojis, including a red heart, lips and the hand sign for “I love you.”
That same month, Tucker professed his love for Hudgens in a gushing interview during MLB training.
“I got a girlfriend and she’s cool. She’s awesome, I love her,” he told reporters at the time. “But I don’t want it to be, ‘Oh, Cole’s dating Vanessa … ’ I don’t want it to be treated any differently than Mitch [Keller] having his wife down, or Ke’Bryan [Hayes] having his girlfriend come down. She’s great. She’ll be around. You will see her, but you saw the headline, it is what it is.”
The MLB star and Princess Switch actress met in a surprising way – over Zoom. When Hudgens appeared on The View in April 2021, she told the story of how she and Tucker got to know each other. “It is literally the ultimate modern-day love story,” the Powerless alum said. “We met over Zoom — over a Zoom meditation group.”
The singer recalled Tucker sending a GIF of himself playing baseball in the group chat. Hudgens didn’t realize the Pittsburgh Pirates player was actually the person in the image and replied, “Hot.” She also revealed her beau was the one who slid into her Instagram DMs.
As their romance continued to heat up, Hudgens spoke about the duo’s compatibility with ET. “We’re just, like, the same, we’re very similar,” Hudgens explained as to why Tucker is her perfect match in September 2021. “We’re such weirdos, it’s wonderful.”
The Spring Breakers star went on to tell Shape one month later that things were going “better than I could have dreamed of” with her then-boyfriend. “My relationship with myself is something I value deeply, even if things don’t always go the way I expected.”
She added, “For instance, my mom got married at 25, so I always thought I was going to be married at 25. That didn’t happen. But I’m in such an amazing, healthy relationship, so it doesn’t matter.”
Before the shortstop popped the question, a source exclusively told Us in December 2021 that Hudgens and Tucker, who had moved in together, were “very in love” and at “the point of their relationship where they have gotten serious and are committed to each other.” According to the insider, the actress was “committed to her career and not in that headspace right now where she’s focusing on marriage,” but Tucker wanted to “get down on one knee and propose” because he is “quite the romantic.”
Hudgens previously dated Zac Efron from 2006 to 2010 before moving on with Butler in 2011.