Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young Are Engaged — All the Details on His Romantic Proposal
Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa proposed to his girlfriend of one year, Selling Sunset realtor Heather Rae Young, on Saturday — and she said yes!
It’s official: Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young are engaged!
The Flip or Flop star, 38, popped the question on Saturday while the couple was celebrating their one-year anniversary with a boat trip to Catalina Island, California — and the Selling Sunset realtor, 32, said yes.
El Moussa told PEOPLE exclusively that the island is a “special place” for the couple, and they “love to be on the boat together," so he thought the romantic weekend getaway would be the perfect time to ask for her hand.
The proposal was a total surprise for Young, who thought the trip was planned to celebrate their anniversary. She was stunned when she walked down a beach path lined with flower petals and flickering candles and found El Moussa waiting beneath two “kissing” palm trees that have grown into each other, making them appear as if they are sharing a smooch.
An ombré flower arrangement using over 5,000 stems of Young's favorite blooms, including roses, peonies, dahlias, ranunculus, butterfly lisianthus and hydrangeas, cascaded down the palms. Shades of red and pink, Young's two favorite colors, made up the color scheme.
Dressed in a tuxedo, the HGTV star got down on one knee in the sand and asked for Young's hand in marriage. The father of two revealed that in preparation for the big moment, he secretly drove to Running Springs, CA, to ask her parents for their blessing, which they gave.
He chose an eight carat, colorless, emerald-cut diamond for the engagement ring. "The diamond is perfect all the way around, just like Heather," El Moussa told PEOPLE about of his selection. "I also picked this ring because 8 is a lucky number.”
After the proposal, the pair sat down for a special dinner inside a private beach cabana, which El Moussa had decked out with even more flowers and a hot pink-and-red custom neon sign that read "The Future Mrs. El Moussa."
Their trip began on Wednesday (the actual day of their anniversary), when El Moussa surprised Young at the marina by rolling out a red carpet for her to walk aboard the boat, which he purchased after splitting from ex-wife Christina Anstead and named "Bad Decisions."
That night, they had a four-course dinner at sea and enjoyed themed cocktails (including one called "Honey Bunny," El Moussa's nickname for Young) while taking in the sunset.
They spent the rest of the trip enjoying each other's company on the boat, and even got some stunning views of dolphins swimming in the water beside them. Young gifted El Moussa a scrapbook detailing their first year together as an anniversary present.
They also spent time exploring and eating their way through Catalina Island, which Young explained, "feels like a little vacation."
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El Moussa and Young met on the Fourth of July in 2019, after mutual friends brought them together in Newport Beach, California. The pair were photographed kissing and cuddling on a yacht at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, California, in late July — making their budding romance public.
They confirmed the relationship with joint Instagram posts in early August, and El Moussa shared that he had already introduced Young to his kids — daughter Taylor and son Brayden, now 9 and 4 — whom he shares with Anstead. Young calls herself their "bonus mom."
The couple has shared that they moved in together less than a week after their first date, splitting time between El Moussa's "bachelor dad pad" in Orange County and a home in West Hollywood.
In April, El Moussa sold the Orange County home and the pair went in on a home together in Newport Beach. They are currently renting the kid-friendly beach house and plan to live there for about a year until they find their "dream home," they told PEOPLE at the time.
El Moussa split publicly from Anstead in December 2016. They finalized their divorce in January 2018 and she has since married British TV star Ant Anstead. El Moussa and Christina continue to film their HGTV show Flip or Flop together in addition to their solo series, Christina on the Coast and Flipping 101.
“I’ll be honest and say I never thought I would meet someone special in my life after the last three years," Tarek said back in August 2019, just a month after he and Young started dating.
"Then out of the blue [Heather] walked into my life,” he continued. "In life you can’t predict the future! I couldn’t predict divorce! I couldn’t predict two cancers! I couldn’t predict my back injury! You just never know what tomorrow brings. I just want to let the world know I met someone special that makes me want to be a better man."