Ricki Lake Says Her Late Husband Helped Her Find Love Anew

It was. But getting there took a while.

“We had kind of an awkward hug at the end of the date and then neither of us followed up,” Ms. Lake said. For weeks, she was distracted by the resurfacing of a man she previously dated. But when she recognized that relationship was going nowhere, she texted Mr. Burningham. “I said, ‘Are we ever going to go out again?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ ”

That Halloween, Ms. Lake canceled plans to go to a party out of Covid concerns. Then, still in costume as a chameleon, she invited Mr. Burningham over. He told her he would come only if she wanted to make it a sleepover. “You’re going to have to deal with me in the morning,’” he said.

They fell in love that night, under a blue moon. “A light bulb went off,” Ms. Lake said of their connection.

On Feb. 14, 2021, Ms. Lake and Mr. Burningham moved into her Malibu dream home together. As they climbed into their new Jacuzzi, naked, for the first time that night, “I just felt this overwhelming desire to ask her to be my wife,” Mr. Burningham said. Ms. Lake preceded her “yes” with a swear word she said would have offended Mr. Burningham’s devoutly Mormon parents.

“It was just that, every step of this relationship has felt so right and so aligned,” she said.

The date of their Jan. 2 backyard wedding, attended by 23 guests, was picked so all six of their children could be with them. Mandy Ingber, a friend of the couple and a Universal Life Church minister, led the short ceremony with their other friend, Christopher Morris, taking part.

Ms. Lake wore an orange caftan — a reminder of their first date. Mr. Burningham wore a black long-sleeved shirt and khakis.