The Real-Life Partners Of Hallmark's Leading Women

Anyone looking for a feel-good movie can tune into the Hallmark Channel. Though the network primarily focuses on Christmas-themed made-for-tv films, including its extremely popular "Countdown to Christmas" event, it has since expanded to include just about every holiday and theme, with movies celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Valentine's Day, and Halloween.

Besides these happy-go-lucky movies following a similar plot line of finding love in unexpected places, what Hallmark movies and shows also have in common is recurring female actors starring as these loveable characters. Familiar female leads like Lacey Chabert have portrayed a baker, investigative journalist, and real estate baker who finds herself in a blossoming romance. There are also Hallmark leading ladies like Danica McKellar, Alison Sweeney, and of course, former Hallmark queen Candace Cameron Bure, who all have had their fair share of encountering unforeseen romances in their beloved movies and television series. 

So, while these female leads are falling for the charming, small-town neighbor in a wintery wonderland off-screen, in real life, these actors have already found the one. Check out which of your favorite Hallmark-leading women have been happily married for quite some time, and read about their actual love stories!

Candace Cameron Bure is married to a former hockey player

Actor Candace Cameron Bure's first Hallmark film was 2008's "Moonlight & Mistletoe." She's since starred in over two dozen Hallmark films, including starring as the title character in the "Aurora Teagarden" series on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Throughout her Hallmark career – which ended in 2022 after she signed a deal with Great American Media – the actor starred alongside several of the network's leading men, including Luke Macfarlane, David O'Donnell, and Paul Greene. However, not one has captured her heart in real-life as this star was taken long before she starred on the Hallmark Channel.

Bure has been happily married to her husband, former NHL player Valeri Bure since 1996. The couple met while Bure attended a celebrity hockey game with her "Full House" co-stars in 1994. They welcomed three children – Natasha, Lev, and Maksim, with their eldest child following in her mother's footsteps to become an actor. 

The actor has been extremely open about her faith and told People in 2018 that religion has been one of the keys to her long and thriving marriage. "The reality is the glue for us is Jesus. It's the Bible. You know, when there are arguments or we're compromising and in ways, it's always like, 'Well, let's just go back to the Bible.' It's the foundation for us. So it's not about winning or losing. But doing the journey together.'" The couple also shares a love for wine and started their Bure Family Winery in Napa, California, in 2006. 

Danica McKellar married her perfect match in 2014

Danica McKellar was a former child star who quickly gained prominence as one of Hallmark's leading ladies. McKellar has starred in sixteen Hallmark films, with her first role in 2015's "Perfect Match" opposite Paul Greene. Coincidentally, the title couldn't be any more fitting for McKellar's real-life romance after finding her perfect match in her second husband, Scott Sveslosky.

McKellar married Sveslosky, a lawyer, in 2014. Recalling how fast these two fell for one another when they were set up, McKellar gushed to Us Weekly, "I knew. I was like, 'Oh my God, this is the person I've been dreaming about my whole life ...  I knew I loved him almost instantly, and we were saying 'I love you' on the fourth date. Sometimes when you know, you know.'"

Before she met her match, McKellar was previously married to her first husband, composer Mike Verta from 2009 to 2012. The former couple shares one son named Draco. However, they have managed to co-parent their son amicably, with the actor telling Closer Weekly about her divorce in 2019, "What kids want is love and for everyone to get along. Luckily, his dad is a fantastic father. We get along great, much better than we did before, and we're generous with each other." 

Alison Sweeney has been married since 2000

Alison Sweeney has starred in Hallmark made-for-tv films since 2013. She's starred in the film series "Murder, She Baked," the movie mystery series "Chronicle Mysteries," and, of course, holiday films like "Good Morning, Christmas!" and "Open By Christmas." However, most fans might know her from starring in the popular soap opera "Days of Our Lives."

Sweeney is a busy actor, but she prioritizes her family. Her Instagram is covered with photos of her husband, David Sanov, who she married in 2000, and their two children. According to an Instagram post by Sweeney, her husband worked as a California Highway Patrol officer for 27 years before retiring in 2022.

The secret to their relationship bliss might be that the couple is great at communicating their wants and needs. Speaking to Closer Weekly in 2015, Sweeney shared that on every anniversary, they evaluate their marriage and what they can do to become better partners. "We kind of give each other a job evaluation, which sounds a little embarrassing! We talk about our three favorite things about the other person and then three things we could work on." The couple celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary in July, which means that this couple is certainly doing something right!

Taylor Cole met her husband on a Hallmark movie set

Actor Taylor Cole met her husband, producer Cameron Larson, on the set of a Hallmark film. However, the pair weren't exactly head over heels for one another at first. "We were friends for several years before dating and I even tried playing matchmaker with Cam, attempting to set him up with a few friends of mine," she told People. "Luckily, similar to the movie ["Matching Hearts"], none of the matches worked and we both realized we were perfect for each other." How sweet!

The couple married amid the coronavirus pandemic in Lake Tahoe in 2020, live streaming their wedding for their family and friends. Though they could have postponed their wedding celebration so their 100 guests could witness the ceremony, the pair couldn't wait. "We were too excited to profess our love and commit to each other. It sounds a little cheesy, but when you know, you know, and we wanted our forever to start as soon as possible," Cole shared with People.

Jen Lilley and Jason Wayne have been married since 2007

In 2007, actor Jen Lilley wed Jason Wayne. Ten years later, she nabbed her first Hallmark Channel film with 2017's "A Dash of Love," starring alongside fan-favorite Brendan Penny. Lilley has since starred with several of Hallmark's leading men, including Ryan Paevey in "Harvest Love" and "A Little Daytime Drama," and Chris McNally in "Snowkissed." When asked by Parade in 2018 if her husband ever got jealous of her working with such handsome actors, Lilley said, "No, my husband Jason is the sweetest, kindest, most secure man I know. Jason knows he's had my heart for over 14 years, and it's his forever."

Wanting to expand their family, the couple became foster parents in 2016 and adopted their two sons, Kayden, in 2019 and Jeffrey, the following year. In 2019, while still fostering their son Jeffrey, Lilley gave birth to a daughter named Julie. In 2022, they became a family of six when the couple welcomed a second daughter named Jackie.

Fans of Lilley's won't see her in any more Hallmark Channel movies. Like Candace Cameron Bure, the former soap star signed a deal with GAC Media, owners of the Great American Family Channel.

Jill Wagner married an athlete

Actor Jill Wagner has kept busy since joining the Hallmark Channel in 2015 with "Autumn Dreams." She starred in at least one movie per year for the network until 2021 and portrayed Amy Winslow in the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series "Mystery 101." Besides continuing to build an expansive work resume, including starring in films for Great American Family, Wagner has also been raising two children with her husband, former minor league hockey player David Lemanowicz.

Wagner and Lemanowicz wed in 2017 after being engaged for one year. In 2020, the couple welcomed a daughter named Army Gray, giving her the unique name after she was born on the Fourth of July and to honor Lemanowicz's time serving in the military. The couple welcomed a second daughter named Daisy the following year. Lemanowicz is also a father to daughter Lija from a previous marriage. 

After the birth of Daisy, Wagner wrote a touching tribute to her husband on Instagram. "One of the reasons I fell in love with you is because you always made me feel safe. I guess I never truly knew how very important that was until now. When I had complications after labor I know it was scary for you. How did you hold it all in? You never broke. You were a rock. My rock. You made me feel safe, although my situation was not," Wagner shared. 

Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete have been married for nearly 30 years

Actor Holly Robinson Peete has been in countless Hallmark Channel films, including starring as Billie Blessings in the "Morning Show Mysteries" series. However, she's worked in Hollywood for a long time, with fans recognizing Peete from the '90s sitcom "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper." It was on the show set where her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, asked for her hand in marriage in 1994.

The following year, Holly and Rodney said their I Do's in California, with the actor surprising her soon-to-be husband with his alma mater's marching band walking down the aisle. Rodney starred as quarterback for the University of Southern California. "I got his entire USC marching band to show up for us," she told People. "It was an impossible feat to pull off because there are so many of them." The couple later welcomed four children – twins Ryan and Rodney and two sons, Robinson and Roman.

In an interview with First for Women in 2021, Holly shared how she keeps her nearly 30-year marriage thriving with hugs. "The rule is you have to give each other a hug for 20 full seconds when one or the other asks for it no matter what you're feeling in that moment. There's something about the first 15 seconds [that] are just being held, but after that, the pheromones take over and it really works for us," she said.

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli served prison time

Actor Lori Loughlin has been married to her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli since 1997. The couple eloped on Thanksgiving day and welcomed two daughters – Isabella and Olivia. Though Loughlin is one of the most recognized stars in Hollywood, and her husband founded the fashion brand Mossimo, they managed to keep most of their lives out of the public eye.

Of course, that all changed when the married couple was involved in a college admission bribery scandal in 2019. According to The Guardian, Loughlin, and Giannulli were found guilty of paying upwards of $500,000 in exchange for their two daughters to get into the University of Southern California as crew recruits. Loughlin served two months in prison, while Giannulli was given five months. The couple also had to pay thousands of dollars in fines and had to complete hours of community service.  

Lori Loughlin is best known for portraying Rebecca Donaldson on "Full House," but she became a favorite on the Hallmark Channel when she starred in the series "When Calls the Heart" and the Hallmark Murder & Mysteries series "Garage Sale Mysteries." Though Loughlin and the network cut ties in 2019 after the college admissions scandal, fans saw her return in the second season of "When Hope Calls," a spin-off of "When Calls the Heart," which aired on GAC Family.

Julie Gonzalo fell in love with another Hallmark star

What could be better than two Hallmark stars dating in real life? Actors Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally starred as love interests in the 2018 Hallmark Channel movie "The Sweetest Heart." In an interview for FanSided, Gonzalo shared that she and McNally decided that before getting in front of the camera as lovers, it was probably best to actually learn more about one another off-screen to nail down their parts. "At the end of the day, chemistry is about feeling good and the person you're with and knowing their energy. So we took the time to just kind of chat and talk and get to know each other as much as we could in the little time we had," she said.

Their time together resulted in the two becoming more than just co-stars. Although they kept much of their romance out of the public eye, fans noticed that both their Instagram accounts featured the same two dogs in late 2018. Gonzalo shared a snap of two adopted puppies in September, while McNally shared a photo holding both of the same dogs in November with the caption, "Thing One and Thing Two."

The couple was so secretive that they didn't reveal they were expecting a baby until Gonzalo gave birth to their first child in June 2022! She shared a photo of their fingers holding onto their newborn's hand on Instagram while tagging McNally. "Our hearts are full ... Welcome baby M," her caption read.

Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega combined their last names

"Big Time Rush" star Carlos Pena and "Spy Kids" actor Alexa Vega legally changed their last name to become PenaVega after they wed in January 2014. Two years later, the couple welcomed their first son, Ocean, and added two more children to the family with a second son, Kingston, who arrived in 2017, and their daughter, Rio, who was born in 2021.

Since their union, the two actors starred side by side in the Hallmark Channel films "Enchanted Christmas" and  "Love At Sea," where they even had the chance to have their son Ocean star alongside in. The PenaVega's also star together in three of the Hallmark Murder & Mysteries movie series "Picture Perfect Mysteries." 

The duo clearly loves working together. In February, Alexa told Us Weekly how thankful she was to the Hallmark network for allowing her to work with her husband. "They've given us so much amazing creative freedom to be able to bring forth projects that we really love [and] that we're proud of. Earlier in our careers with Hallmark, there weren't many actors who were spouses working together. They were the ones that wanted to give us that opportunity to kind of make that happen," she said.

Ashley Williams is married to a movie producer

Fans probably had no clue that Hallmark actor Ashley Williams' brother-in-law is country music royalty Brad Paisley. Williams' sister, actor Kimberly Williams-Paisley, is married to the singer, with Ashley marrying movie producer Neal Dodson on the Paisley farm in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2011. The couple kept their wedding small, considering their star-studded family, with People reporting that they had around 50 guests and served pulled pork and macaroni 'n' cheese and drank beers. 

Despite a small ceremony, Ashley's husband is a big deal in the movie business. Dodson's producing credits include "Margin Call," which was nominated for an Oscar, "All is Lost," which won a Golden Globe; and the dramas "A Most Violent Year" and "Viper Club."

As for Williams, she got her start working on the soap opera "As the World Turns" and landed roles in tv shows like "Dawson's Creek," "Saving Grace," and "How I Met Your Mother." In 2015, Williams landed her first Hallmark Channel movie role with "October Kiss" and would find herself working on one or two movies for the network yearly since 2022. Of course, what's a Hallmark actor without starring in several Christmas films? Viewers watched her star opposite Hallmark male leads Paul Campbell in "Holiday Hearts" and Niall Matter in "Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater."

No, Pascale Hutton isn't married to Kavan Smith

Pascale Hutton is most known for her role as Rosemary Coulter in the Hallmark Channel series "When Calls the Heart." She stars opposite Kavan Smith, who stars as Leland Coulter, her love interest. In fact, Hutton and Smith have starred in so many Hallmark films together, including "The Perfect Bride," "The Perfect Bride: Wedding Bells," and "You Had Me at Aloha," fans would assume that these two stars were an item. 

However, Hutton has been married to her real-life husband, Danny Dorosh, since 2002. Dorosh is also an actor who has worked in a couple of films, including 2004's "It Must Be Love" and 2007's "Food for the Gods." Looking at Hutton's Instagram, the actor rarely posts images with her husband, preferring to use her account to post photos on the "When Calls the Heart" set and other projects. However, she did mention Dorosh in 2018 when celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary. Posting a photo of the two eating Chinese food while sitting outdoors, she captioned it, "Happy to report that the spark is as alive now as it was back then!"

Lacey Chabert is extremely private when it comes to her marriage

"Mean Girls" actor turned Hallmark Channel star Lacey Chabert is definitely one of the network's leading ladies starring in over thirty movies since 2010. Does that mean Chabert should be dubbed the new queen of Hallmark movies? We certainly think so. As Hallmark's most coveted star, she's co-starred with several of the network's leading men, including Brennan Elliot, Paul Greene, Andrew Walker, and Brendan Penny. However, you won't catch Chabert falling for her co-stars in real life, as she's been happily married since 2013.

Chabert wed David Nehdar in December 2013 and announced her marriage in a Twitter post while ringing in the new year. "Just wanted to share some personal news with you guys ... " she tweeted, adding, "I'm starting off 2014 as a Mrs! Over the holidays, my best friend & love of my life ...we became husband & wife!" The couple welcomed their only child, a daughter named Julia, in 2016.

Despite being married for a decade, the couple are highly private. In 2014, Chabert told People, "He's not in the business and we like our privacy, and I just think relationships are hard enough without the opinion of strangers. So we try to keep it as personal and private as possible." That might be the key to having a successful marriage in Hollywood!

Erin Cahill wed a professional singer

Actor Erin Cahill landed her first Hallmark Channel role in 2016's "Sleigh Bells Ring." That same year, Cahill married the love of her life, her husband Paul Freeman, in a beautiful ceremony in France. "Yesterday I married the love of my life! I'm the luckiest girl to have him and have so many beautiful people be a part of our journey! So much love & gratitude to all," Cahill shared in a Facebook post.

Cahill's husband also has a knack for entertaining as a professional singer. According to his website, Freeman is a Welsh-born singer who has toured with James Blunt, Chris Cornell, Chris Issac, and Joe Cocker. In February 2022, Freeman shared the news of the release of his debut album "Shotgun Skyline" on Instagram. "I'm beyond excited to be releasing this collection of songs today. I am very proud of the work. The tracks range from intimate and vulnerable to spirited and anthemic. These songs were written during a time of reflection and nostalgia looking back at certain points in my life."

In 2022, Cahill celebrated the couple's sixth wedding anniversary with a touching social media post. She shared photos of their wedding day on Instagram: "Six years ago today I married the love of all my lifetimes. @paulfreemanreal every single day with you is the greatest gift. You are the best of everything I could've dreamt and beyond what I could've wished for. I'm so grateful for you my soulmate."