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Inside The Real-Life Love Story of Married Hallmark Stars Alexa and Carlos PenaVega

Love birds on and off screen

Meeting people in the craziness of Hollywood can be difficult, but for Hallmark stars Alexa and Carlos PenaVega, they met and fell in love completely by chance. Over the years, the Hallmark couple has set an incredible example of what it looks like to put your family first and your career second. In addition to successfully continuing to act on their own terms while raising their three children, the PenaVegas even wrote a book together: "What If Love Is the Point? Living for Jesus in a Self-Consumed World." It centers around their respective experiences as actors, growing up in Hollywood, being unashamed of their Faith, and moving into their chapter of marriage.

The couple have become mainstays in the Hallmark universe and recently signed a multi-picture deal with the network.

"We're super excited. We're going to be doing a bunch of movies with them. Some together, some individual," Carlos told Pop Culture Planet. "We love Hallmark!"

In 2023, the duo starred together in "Never Too Late to Celebrate" on the Hallmark Channel. The romance film doesn't follow the typical celebrations surrounding a holiday. This time, it's a new kind of celebration: Camila's (Alexa) 30th birthday. Or, as the handsome suitor Javi (Carlos) calls it, a Double Quinceñera.

Scroll through to learn more about one of Hallmark's most beloved power couples.

How They Started in Hollywood

(Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Images; Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)

Carlos PenaVega (born Carlos Pena Jr) grew up in Florida with a love of performing early on. He was passionate about singing and dancing, which inspired him to go to Los Angeles to try and make it in Hollywood. His first few gigs included roles on TV shows like "ER," "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide," "Judging Amy," and "Summerland," but his big break came a couple of years later when he landed a lead role on the Nickelodeon series "Big Time Rush." The show was about a fictional boy band, which was perfect for Carlos to show off his singing and dancing skills. He even helped write some of the songs for his bandmates.

As for Alexa PenaVega (born Alexa Vega), she got started in Hollywood much younger than her husband did. She appeared in "Nine Months," "Twister," and more before her big break came, starring as Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids franchise. Alexa had actually already been married once before, when she met Carlos, to producer Sean Covel. But she met Carlos at a Bible study in Los Angeles, definitely not looking for love at the time. But sometimes, that's the best way for a relationship to start.

"We were just friends first, and I think that's key," Alexa told Southern Living

From Friends to Spouses

(Charley Gallay/KCA2013/Getty Images for KCA2013)

Alexa said of her relationship: "You should just throw out your 'no' list. Crumble it up, because I put myself in this bubble thinking, I come from this crazy, Hispanic family so I'll never date a Latin guy, ever because my family is crazy enough. I'll never date a singer or an actor because you know, most of those guys are conceited and have huge egos. At the time I was like only dating super tall people. So, nobody under 6 feet. Carlos missed all of those marks. It was pretty crazy. Who would have thought that I would love this singing, fiery, Latino boy?"

Carlos quickly won Alexis's heart and the couple married in 2013 in Mexico, combining their last names to show they are equal partners in their marriage. Carlos even designed the engagement ring himself! Over the years, the couple has appeared on screen together numerous times. They were even contestants on "Dancing With The Stars" at the same time. But after starting a family together, they wanted to get their priorities right. 

Hallmark Channel

Alexa and Carlos PenaVega star in "Love in the Limelight." (Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Fred Hayes)

They are currently parents to sons Ocean King and Kingston James and daughter Rio Rey joined the family in 2020. Luckily, working with the Hallmark Channel has provided the ultimate amount of flexibility for their family. They've appeared in multiple films together on the network, including "Love at Sea", the "Picture Perfect Mysteries," "Enchanted Christmas," and "Love in the Limelight." Over the years, multiple Hallmark stars have been open about how wonderful it is to work with the network while being able to prioritize your family. Seems like a natural fit for the PenaVegas, who have both become regulars over the years. 

"This industry was not built for families. If anything, it's the opposite. You leave for six months, usually the family stays behind. And it's really hard. I don't know how you raise kids that way. I don't know how you keep a marriage strong that way," Alexa told Southern Living

"We always said, if we can, we're going to work together on every project. And if we can't then the other one will not take a project. And we'll just tag along. That way family is never separated. Hallmark has just been so accommodating with that and anytime there's an opportunity for us to work together, they bring it up. And if there isn't, they fly the whole family out and we're together anyway."

From LA to Hawaii

(Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

After welcoming their first child Ocean, the couple started to realize that they really weren't finding what they wanted in Los Angeles. The industry was constantly buzzing and as a family grounded in their faith, they were surrounded by people who didn't necessarily understand the way they wanted to live their lives. So Alexa and her husband Carlos decided to go out and find a place to live that felt like them.

"We visited Maui and we started finding all of these young Christian couples," Carlos told People. "We prayed on it and then we moved here three months later."

Hawaii turned out to be exactly what the PenaVegas were looking for. "We immediately felt that weight lifted," Alexa added. "We can really recharge here and it's been awesome to have a community that's supportive."

After moving they welcomed their two additional children, published their first book together, and consistently share snippets of their happy lives on social media. This sweet couple really is a shining example of how you really can have it all if you set your priorities straight.

Editors Note: This article was originally published in 2021.

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