Real-Life Hallmark Couple Met at Bible Study

"He was everything I never knew I wanted."

Alexa and Carlos PenaVega are returning to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries this weekend with the second installment of their series, Picture Perfect Mysteries: Dead Over Diamonds. In this movie we see the return of town wedding photographer, Allie Adams, played by Alexa and Willow Haven Police Department's newest detective, Sam Acosta, portrayed by Carlos. The two find themselves working side by side again, this time on the hunt for a jewel thief turned murderer. It's a quick-paced, fun, whodunit, and you won't be able to guess until the very end.

Plus, TV legend, Erik Estrada is also on board as Detective Acosta's affable uncle, and retired detective who lends a hand on the case.

Alexa and Carlos PenaVega
Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/David Dolsen

This is not the first Hallmark franchise to see a real-life couple playing opposite one another, and it's not the first venture for these two to share the screen. They actually prefer it that way and working together has helped them achieve the work-life-balance required for them and their two young children.

"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 explained in a recent conversation with Southern Living. She continued, "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."

These two have a real partnership in their marriage. So much so that when the two were married, they merged not just lives but last names. Carlos was Carlos Pena and she was Alexa Vega. They are now, the PenaVegas—an equal partnership.

But, believe it or not, this dynamic duo didn't meet on a film set. The two actually met in a Bible study in L.A. "We were just friends first, and I think that's key," Carlos said. Although, it does appear that he was quicker to fall in love than Alexa was.

"I actually had a big list of things, attributes in a human that I would never date," Alexa quipped, and Carlos was quick to interject, "It was me."

"It was literally Carlos to a T."

But with patience and persistence, Carlos managed to exit the friend zone and won Alexa's heart. "About 6 or 7 months after that I proposed," he said.

"He was everything I never knew I wanted," she said.

For anyone looking for love out there, Alexa has some advice. "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?"

Be sure to watch the PenaVegas in Picture Perfect Mysteries: Dead Over Diamonds, premiering on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Sunday, February 16, at 9PM EST.

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