Inside Hilary Duff's Super Sweet Marriage To Matthew Koma

Hilary Duff grew up as an icon to a whole generation of tweens in the early aughts — one pastel pleather skirt and butterfly clip at a time. Unfortunately, the consequence of being so famous from such a young age is that her relationships have been tabloid fodder since the get go. Let's not forget the great love triangle of 2004, when Lindsay Lohan and the Lizzie McGuire star were reportedly feuding over Aaron Carter, who has since become a hit sensation on OnlyFans. Nor should we gloss over the fact that she dated a then-24-year-old Joel Madden at an age when most of us were busy using our lunch money to buy jelly bracelets at Hot Topic. 

In recent years, the tabloids have made Duff hesitant to share details about her love life, especially after having kids. She's never had a relationship that wasn't in the public eye, and the star admitted during a 2016 episode of The Love Bomb podcast (via People) that the attention celebrities get in the media today makes it "scarier than ever" to publicly be in love. Nonetheless, when she laid her eyes on her husband, record producer Matthew Koma, it was what dreams are made of — sort of.

According to a source cited by E!, the singer-actor "has always known she would be with Matthew forever," it just took her a while to get there. Here's a look inside Hilary Duff's super sweet journey to domestic bliss.

Hilary Duff's first love (and heartbreak) was Good Charlotte's Joel Madden

Hilary Duff's first love was one of the most intense. For those who forget, the star dated Good Charlotte's Joel Madden for three years, starting when she was just 16 years old and the rocker was 24. Today, as Paper points out in a think-piece questioning the legalities of their romance, this probably would've raised some eyebrows. Nonetheless, Madden told People that they still stayed in touch after their split, so there's clearly no bad blood.

Madden was Duff's first serious boyfriend (as much as we wanted it to be Aaron Carter). Years later, she admitted to The Love Bomb podcast (via E!) that it was "all encompassing. It was so intense. It was my life. It was like every minute of my day. It was pretty major." Duff even hinted to Cosmopolitan that Madden took her virginity. "I had a 26-year-old boyfriend," the Younger star said. "So everyone can make their own assumptions about what I was doing."

That wasn't the only first for Duff. When the relationship ended, the star had to navigate her very first heartbreak. Presumably speaking about Madden, she told Cosmo, "It wrecked me for a good year and a half." How'd she deal? The way most heartbroken teens would. According to E!, Duff got a darker breakup dye job (a metamorphosis, if you will) and poured her heart into her music. She released Dignity, her fourth studio album, later in 2007. 

She was still a teenager when she met her first husband, Mike Comrie

In the aftermath of her 2007 breakup with Joel Madden, Hilary Duff ended up meeting NHL player Mike Comrie on a flight to Idaho, according to E!. She was just 19 years old, on the edge of graduating from her teen years, and had made the conscious decision to step back from the spotlight to gain some perspective. The pair quickly fell in love, and by age 22, Duff was a wife — but it seemed like more of a marriage of practicality than one of fairy tales.

"When we were deciding to get married, I was totally down and I felt totally ready," she told The Love Bomb podcast of their 2010 nuptials (via TooFab). "I had already been working as an adult since I was 12 years old. So 22 doesn't seem that crazy to get married. But I never like pictured my wedding dress and all that." For the record, Duff wore Vera Wang, had exactly four bridesmaids, and took a private jet to her honeymoon, according to Marie Claire. It was luxe and traditional.

Two years after tying the knot, the pair welcomed their first child, Luca Cruz.

Hilary Duff divorced Mike Comrie with love – and he's still one of her best friends

Hilary Duff has no regrets about divorce. The star separated from Mike Comrie in 2013 and officially filed for divorce two years later. Though TMZ reported that the hockey pro's partying was Duff's so-called "tipping point," it doesn't actually seem like there was very much drama with their split. In a 2015 Cosmopolitan cover story, Duff admitted that the couple spent "the majority of [their] time together really happy."

"It wasn't working well enough to stay together, but there was still a lot of love involved. It was just a slow set-in of us not being the match that we used to be," she said, later adding, "I don't know if people are meant to be together forever."

As it turns out, all celebrity splits don't have to be bitter. In fact, the pair were spotted at Coachella right after announcing their separation. To this day, Comrie's still one of Duff's closest friends, which is a great considering they're co-parents. "We got together based on love and we separated in a very loving way," she told The Love Bomb podcast (via ET Canada). "I can't imagine going through that process with anyone but him, and he continues to be my very good friend. That's honestly speaking from my heart."

Matthew Koma was waiting in the sidelines since 2015

When Hilary Duff's marriage to Mike Comrie ended, she did what most single millennials do when they're looking to play the field — she downloaded Tinder. In a 2015 interview with the Valentine Morning Show (via ABC News), the star revealed, "I have always had really serious boyfriends. I've always met people through work, and I have never been on a blind date. What's the worst that's gonna happen?"

Tinder didn't lead to much (hello, we painfully relate), but Duff did meet someone at the gym (as it turns out, cute workout sets serve a purpose). According to People, Duff started dating her personal trainer, Jason Walsh, in early 2016. The pair first sparked rumors a summer prior, when they were spotted partying after his fitness studio's grand opening.

Though Duff was hesitant to publicly define the relationship, she later told Cosmopolitan that it was her "first more serious relationship" since her divorce. Nonetheless, it was not her last because this whole time — even through her trials with Tinder — Matthew Koma was waiting on the sidelines. According to Us Weekly, the pair originally "hit it off" in 2015, when they recorded some songs for her Breathe In. Breathe Out. album. They reportedly "had great chemistry," and Duff thought the producer was "very cute." Two months after she broke up with Walsh, Duff and Koma made their debut as an official couple at a pre-SAG Awards party in 2017.

After three months, Matthew Koma was so yesterday

Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma's relationship hit a road bump about two months after they went public. The pair split in early March 2017. At the time, E! reported that the Younger star was keeping her mouth shut and their photos up on Instagram. Was she, perhaps, expecting a reunion or trying to throw the tabloids off her trail?

Duff never claimed to excel in the world of dating. She previously told Cosmopolitan that she's "never been a good dater" and isn't "desperate to find a mate," so she'd never force feelings that weren't there. The problem is, though, that those feelings were there. It was just a matter of bad timing. According to E!, Koma was away on tour, and Duff was presumably filming Younger in New York. They couldn't make their schedules work.

Rather than wait around, Duff — literally — jumped into the arms of Ely Sandvik, a businessman and energy CEO. In July, the paps caught the pair having a PDA-filled beach outing in Malibu, where she "climbed into Sandvik's arms" and kissed him. This never appeared to amount to anything serious.

Hilary Duff gave Matthew Koma a third chance

Apparently, Hilary Duff believes in second — and even third — chances. The star rekindled her romance with Matthew Koma about six months after they initially split. A source told E! that they "picked up right where they left off" when Koma returned from tour (since said tour was reportedly the problem in the first place). The record producer announced their romance reboot in an October 2017 Instagram post from Duff's 30th birthday party. But what fans didn't know was that this was their third try dating.

During an appearance on The Talk (via E!), the Younger actor opened up about the pair's reunion, blaming timing for their split and claiming "third time's a charm." She added, "I think that you have history and a past with someone and love, and just because it doesn't work out the first time, the second time, as long as there's not too much damage done, then, it can always work out again."

The "Sparks" singer certainly had sparks with Koma, and their reunion set them up on a path to forever.

Reconciliation brought the pair baby No. 2

While Matthew Koma might have not whisked Hilary Duff away like an Italian pop star on a moped during a class trip, the reality of the couple's reunion seems to be a whole lot sweeter. Duff told E! that the producer got a glowing stamp of approval from her mother, but beyond that, he also gave her son a little sister.

In June 2018, several months after they rekindled their romance, the couple revealed on Instagram that they were expecting a "little princess" of their own. Banks Violet Bair was born almost exactly a year from when Duff and Koma reignited their spark, which is one way to ring in your dating anniversary.

Banks' birth is extra-sweet when you consider the fact that Duff has long wanted another child. In 2017, right around the time of their breakup, the Younger star lamented to Redbook about how she had to get "over the fact that [she's] not going to have a baby that's close in age with Luca" because she was still navigating her life as a single mom. "Watch: I'll probably get some evil spawn of Hilary the next time around," she quipped. Duff's daughter clearly wasn't that bad or she probably would've been dissuaded from having baby No. 3, but more on that later.

Hilary Duff wasn't interested in marriage

Before Hilary Duff settled down with Matthew Koma, she wasn't all that interested in marriage. She'd already been there, done that. In 2016, the star told The Love Bomb podcast that she didn't "feel the need to get married again." She went on to admit (via ET Canada), "I got to have the experience and it was awesome. So, I guess if it mattered to someone else that much, I would consider it."

Koma was the person who made Duff change her mind, but she was in no rush to don a white dress. In her defense, wearing white is walking a dangerous line when you're carrying around a newborn all day who has the propensity to spit up on your chest. Nonetheless, engagement rumors swirled towards the end of Duff's second pregnancy, but it turned out that the Lizzie McGuire star simply had a taste for jewelry that looked like an engagement ring. The couple only had loose plans to tie the knot — at some point in time, eventually, probably.

As a source told E!, Duff and Koma reportedly didn't feel like they needed "a signed document to seal the deal" because they "already [felt] married." Besides, a newborn is pretty official and legally binds you to someone in some way or another. "They eventually do want to get married and have a ceremony but for now, are focused on their baby girl coming," said the source.

Matthew Koma's storybook proposal

Hilary Duff is such a lowkey queen that she actually wore sweatpants to her own proposal in May 2019 — and it was still something out of a storybook, and only partly in the literal sense. During an appearance on The Talk (via E!), Duff revealed that Matthew Koma chose a "random Tuesday" to attempt to pull her out of their Brooklyn apartment and check out a park when all she wanted to do was "eat dinner in bed and watch Game of Thrones." (Girl, we relate). She agreed to go, but only if she could change into sweatpants first. At the park, Koma pulled out a notebook filled with illustrations of their life together and got down on one knee.

"All of a sudden he says, 'I've been working on something for you, and you're going to love it. I really want our kids to know our story and now we can keep adding to this book,'" the Younger star told Vogue. "It's our whole entire story mapped out ... I get to the very last page, and there's a little piece that I have to lift up and my ring was inside ... Then it started raining, and it was perfect."

Of course, Duff said yes, and according to an estimate by Town & Country, her engagement is "between three to four carats" and worth "between $40,000 to $80,000."

Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma got hitched at home

In December 2019, Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma finally got hitched, but it wasn't the same kind of blow-out wedding Duff had the first time around. Nearly a decade prior, the star opted for a fancy, exclusive Santa Barbara venue where the Kennedy's honeymooned. This time, she tied the knot at home with her children. She even carried her daughter with her down the aisle.

According to Vogue, the pair enlisted celebrity wedding planner Yifat Oren, who's worked with the likes of Drew Barrymore and Reese Witherspoon, to pull together their winter nuptials. Duff specifically didn't want it to feel "wedding-y," and opted for an "understated" vibe. The vow exchange was meaningful but casual, and a small amount of friends and family stood and sat around the couple in a "u-shape" that was "designed to feel like a hug."

If there's any proof that the pair are meant to be, it's in the wedding dress. Duff has readily admitted she couldn't "picture her wedding dress" when she first tied the knot at age 22. This time, she had a clear vision. She brought the idea to designer Jenny Packham, a favorite of Kate Middleton, who told Vogue, "She wanted a very accentuated shoulder and a very clean, very beautiful, and to me, very confident look." Duff wore her design for the ceremony, then changed into a glitzy, gold sequined gown for the reception.

Baby No. 3 will probably be Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma's last

At the time of this writing, Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma are busy newlyweds. According to People, Duff is the Chief Brand Officer of Happy Little Camper. She was also working on the Lizzie McGuire reboot until it was unfortunately canceled (Sorry, but in Duff's words, the real tragedy would be squeezing an adult Lizzie under "the ceiling of a PG rating"). And together, they're parenting toddler Banks, training their new puppy, and balancing Luca's virtual school — oh yeah, they're also expecting baby No. 3.

In October 2020, Duff announced her third pregnancy in an adorable Instagram video of her baby bump. "We are growing," Duff wrote. "Mostly me..." As the pair wait for their child to arrive sometime in 2021, Duff has been candid about her admitted "easier" pregnancy, which she thinks will probably be her last. "I'm more tired because of having a toddler, but have less time to focus on the pregnancy because I'm busy with my kids and work," she told People. "It's a nice distraction because I'm not googling everything and obsessing over everything that's happening with the pregnancy."

Banks and Luca are "super-excited" to meet their sibling, while Duff is excited to get her body back. "I'm not one of those women who loves being pregnant," she told People. Nonetheless, she's still chasing the sun.