But after their first date, they “talked on the phone every single night, with few exceptions,” Mr. Woods said. “We also met nearly every single weekend,” alternating between Richmond and Washington, he added.
In April 2019, while they were on a trip to New York, Mr. Smith told Mr. Woods he loved him and asked him to be his boyfriend. Mr. Woods, who said yes immediately, told Mr. Smith he loved him the next day when the two visited the Stonewall National Monument in Lower Manhattan.
The following year, in September 2020, Mr. Smith moved to Washington to be closer to Mr. Woods after the couple had started to discuss marriage.
On Dec. 3, 2020, Mr. Woods proposed in Mr. Smith’s new apartment. A few weeks later, Mr. Smith planned a surprise proposal of his own during a trip they took to Hawaii, where he asked Mr. Woods to marry him at the Fête Restaurant in Honolulu on New Year’s Eve. A year after Mr. Smith moved to Washington, in September 2021, he and Mr. Woods moved into a new home together in the city’s Navy Yard neighborhood.
The couple married April 23 at the Yale Club of New York City, where Mr. Woods is a longtime member. Zachary McCoy, the lead pastor at Redemption Church in Houston and a friend of Mr. Woods’s from Yale, officiated at the ceremony in the club’s library before 65 fully vaccinated guests. A cocktail hour on the club’s rooftop followed and, later, dinner and dancing in its main lounge.
The newlyweds have a honeymoon planned for the end of December, when they will spend a week in Kenya, followed by a week in the Maldives.
In the meantime, they look forward to solidifying their partnership and sense of community as they transition into married life. “It’s kind of like a restart in many ways for both of our lives separately and together and in our broader community,” Mr. Smith said.