An alternative view of Blake Lively (L) and Ryan Reynolds at the "Deadpool" fan event at AMC Empire Theatre on February 8, 2016 in New York City
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Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds: How The Couple Found Forever Love in Hollywood

One of Hollywood's favorite couples for over a decade.

One of Hollywood's funniest and most attractive couples have been lighting up red carpets and gushing over each other for more than a decade. 

What started as an unexpected friendship for Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds has blossomed into years of happiness. It's obvious from social media posts and shared glances between the pair that they're still madly in love. 

Not only are they both wildly successful A-list actors, but they've also both started lucrative businesses that have taken the world by storm. I mean, had anyone heard of the Wrexham Association Football Club in north Wales before Reynolds purchased the team with Rob McElhenney? 

Lively and Reynolds also share their playful senses of humor with the world by constantly trolling each other on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram for their followers' benefit. Can you say #couplegoals?

Now parents of four, the pair certainly seem to have what it takes to last forever. But how did they fall in love? Let's take a look at Lively and Reynolds' beautiful love story:

Not Love At First Sight

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 15: Actors Blake Lively (L) and Ryan Reynolds arrive at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Green Lantern" held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on June 15, 2011 in Hollywood, California.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Reynolds and Lively have been Hollywood mainstays for decades, with both racking up film and TV credits since they were young. But they actually didn't meet until they were both cast in the Green Lantern (2011) film. 

The two play love interests in the movie, but both actors were actually in other relationships during filming in 2009 and 2010. Reynolds was still married to Avengers star Scarlett Johansson, and Lively was dating her Gossip Girls co-star Penn Badgley.

And while the duo didn't fall in love at first sight, Reynolds has said in interviews they became "buddies." 

Filming started and wrapped, and soon the pair went their separate ways but managed to stay in touch as friends. Then, the fall after they finished production, Lively and Badgley called it quits. And a few months after that, Reynolds and Johansson filed for divorce. 

Finally, they were both single at the same time. But, according to Reynolds, it wasn't until the pair went on a double date with other people that they realized something more than friendship might be building beneath the surface.

"I remember it was funny because for about a year after Green Lantern had come and gone and all that stuff, we were both single," Reynolds said to Entertainment Weekly in 2016. "We went on a double date. She was on a date with another guy, and I was on a date with another girl. That was the most awkward date [from their perspective] probably because we were just like fireworks coming across."

And it seemed to move quickly after that. Reynolds told the SmartLess podcast with Jason Bateman in July 2021 that he started trying to see Lively more often. 

"Next thing you know, she was going to Boston, I was going to Boston, and I said, 'Well, I'll ride with you.' We got on the train and rode together," he said, adding jokingly, "I was just begging her to sleep with me. A week later, I was like, 'We should buy a house together.' And we did."

It was more like six months after they started dating, but that's still a quick timeline to buy a house with a new girlfriend. 

A Foundation of Friendship

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 16: In this handout photo provided by Disney Parks, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively meet Mickey Mouse at Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle at Disneyland park December 16, 2016 in Anaheim, California.

Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images

For Lively, she loved becoming friends with Reynolds first. 

"We were such good friends for so long and we both got to know each other as friends. It didn't click for a good year and a half," Lively said in a 2016 episode of The Jess Cagle Interview. "That's what I appreciate about our relationship is that he's my friend first and foremost."

It wasn't until October 2011 that the public began to catch onto their budding romance. Dating rumors began to spread after Lively was spotted leaving Reynolds' apartment with him in Boston multiple times.

And by December, their relationship had obviously become serious enough to meet the family. The new couple was photographed holding hands in Vancouver while visiting Reynolds' big family during the holidays. 

Reynolds says he knew The Age of Adaline star was "the one" at a small restaurant in Tribeca. 

"We were hanging out at this little restaurant in Tribeca that's open really late, and this song came on and I was just like, 'Want to dance?'" he told British GQ in 2016. "No one was in there, so it was just totally empty. And it was just one of those moments where halfway through the dance, it was like, 'Oh, I think I just crossed a line.'"

Then in February 2012, the pair purchased a $2.3 million home in Bedford, New York, just outside the city. 

Even if it wasn't love at first sight for the Green Lantern alums, Lively says she loves that they were able to become friends before getting involved. 

"I knew he would always be my best friend for my whole life," the A Simple Favour star admitted to Marie Claire in 2016. "That was the biggest thing to me. I'd never known anything like the friendship that I had with him. I could like him as much as I loved him."

A Secret Wedding

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 11: Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively depart the Beacon Hotel on June 11, 2022 in New York City.

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On Sept. 10, 2012, the lovebirds married in a secret ceremony in front of their 60 closest friends and family. 

The sun set behind the fields at the Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina as the pair said, "I do," and (biodegradable) floating lanterns dazzled the night sky as they danced the night away. 

According to People's cover story on their wedding, it was certainly a night to remember. Lively wore a custom Marchesa gown, and the groom chose a Burberry suit. 

Chart-topper Florence Welch (of Florence + the Machine) serenaded the couple with the Four Seasons' "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" as Lively walked down the aisle. 

"When Ryan first saw her, his face broke into a huge smile that crinkled his eyes," a source told People. "They just stared at each other with absolute love. Their faces were lit up with candlelight, and it looked like something out of a romance movie."

The pair exchanged self-written vows where they promised to adore and treasure each other as well as make the other laugh — for the rest of their lives. 

At one point, Lively was so enthralled with Florence's performance that she accidentally burned a hole in her custom gown with a sparkler. Years later, she told Harper's Bazaar that she was devastated about ruining the dress, but Reynolds changed her mind.

"My dress was hanging up and Ryan said, 'Isn't that beautiful?' I said, 'What?' And he pointed to the burn," the Gossip Girl star said. "My heart just stopped, because it was such a sensitive little subject. And he said, 'You'll always remember that moment with Florence singing and the sparklers. You have that forever, right there, preserved.' Now that's my favorite part of the dress."

Reynolds says he knew they belonged together because they never take each other too seriously.

"Falling in love is great, but do you like each other? That's kinda the question you gotta ask yourself, you know, going into it," he said to ET Online in 2021. "We've always liked each other. We grow together. We learn from each other. So yeah, I'm lucky to have a buddy in that."

(Note: The couple has apologized for being married on a plantation. Reynolds told Fast Company in 2020 that they will always be deeply sorry for picking that location. "It's impossible to reconcile. Years ago we got married again at home — but shame works in weird ways. A giant f—-ing mistake like that can either cause you to shut down or it can reframe things and move you into action. It doesn't mean you won't f—- up again. But repatterning and challenging lifelong social conditioning is a job that doesn't end.")

A Constantly Growing Family

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 15: Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds with their children attend a ceremony honoring actor Ryan Reynolds with Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on December 15, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

It didn't take long for the married couple to start growing their little family. In October 2014, Lively announced in her now-defunct lifestyle website Preserve that she was pregnant with their first child.

A few months later, in January 2015, their daughter James was welcomed into the world. "The baby came early but everyone is happy and healthy," a source told US Weekly at the time. 

The typically private couple shared their first photo of James on Instagram in May 2015 — but it was only of her hand. 

Around a year later, Lively was spotted with another adorable baby bump while on the set of The Shallows in April 2016. That fall, their second daughter, Inez, made her grand entrance. 

Not much has been shared about the children by either parent. But their two young daughters made their red carpet debuts in December 2016 when Reynolds received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But the family of four wasn't quite done growing. In May 2019, the couple slyly revealed they were expecting yet again on the red carpet for the Detective Pikachu premiere. That fall, Reynolds posted on Twitter about climate policy in Canada, but it included a photo of their third baby (with her face blurred out). It was later discovered she was born around August, but not much else was known about her — even her name.

However, the amazingly clever fans of pop sensation Taylor Swift may have cracked that code. In Swift's Folklore album, a song named "Betty" also mentioned the names of Reynolds and Lively's other children — James and Inez. And since Swift and Lively are close friends, fans concluded Betty must be the name of their third child. 

And only a few years later, Lively announced her fourth pregnancy on another red carpet — this time, for a Forbes Power Women's Summit in 2022. Shortly after, she also confirmed the pregnancy with lots of adorable baby bump photos on Instagram, where she slammed paparazzi for stalking her for a rare pregnancy sighting. 

Their fourth — whose gender and name are still unknown — was born sometime before February 2023, when Lively posted a photo sans baby bump. 

Now a father of four, Reynolds told Glamour in April that they love having a big family. He has three other siblings and Lively has four, so they both wanted lots of kids. 

"We love it. You know, we would be idiots to do this again if we didn't love it," the Deadpool star said. 

Four kids and 12 years later, the couple still seem as madly in love as when they first started dating. So, what's the secret? For Lively, it's not spending too much time apart amid the craziness of a Hollywood schedule.

"My husband and I don't work at the same time, so we all go together as a family," she told People in 2017. "If we're away as a family, it's never more than for a day. We stay together."

READ MORE: Goldie Hawn + Kurt Russell: Inside Their 40-Year Love Story