Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young Are Married: 'The Love I've Always Dreamed of'
The Flipping 101 host, 40, and the Selling Sunset realtor, 34, tied the knot Saturday night near Santa Barbara. They were surrounded by family and friends, including most of Young's castmates from her hit Netflix reality show, and El Moussa's two kids: daughter Taylor, 11, and son Brayden, 6, whom he shares with his first wife, Christina Haack.
"We're best friends, we're true soulmates, and our love is so rare and so special," Young tells PEOPLE exclusively. "It's the love I've always dreamed of my whole life."
El Moussa agrees: "I'm just excited to live this life with her. We've got the two babies, we have a family, and we have a very bright future."
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For the romantic affair, Young wore a fitted corset dress with French lace, long sleeves, and a keyhole back custom-made by Israeli designer Galia Lahav for both the ceremony and reception. Her hair was done in a low bun with a braid, and her shoes were clear stiletto heels. El Moussa donned a black velvet tux with a skull-and-crossbone-print lining.
The venue, a stunning hotel near Santa Barbara, was decked out in Old Hollywood-style decor, with a color palette of black, white, champagnes, and golds. After a short ceremony, guests enjoyed a luxurious cocktail hour before dancing the night away at the reception.
El Moussa and Young will stay in California for a few days following the wedding before jetting off on their honeymoon to the Maldives and Dubai.
The wedding was a first for Young, and the second for El Moussa, who split from Haack — his Flip or Flop costar — in 2016 after seven years of marriage (Haack married her second husband, Celebrity IOU: Joyride star Ant Anstead, in December 2018, and split in September 2020. She is currently engaged to Austin-based realtor Joshua Hall).
El Moussa proposed to Young in July 2020, while celebrating their one-year anniversary on Catalina Island off the coast of California. They met at a boat party on the Fourth of July in 2019 through a mutual friend.
They began wedding planning almost immediately after their engagement, but have revealed that things didn't go as originally planned when it came to their big day. In August, the couple revealed that they scrapped their original wedding plans of getting married in Cabo, Mexico, and started fresh, halfway through the process.
In a candid Instagram post, Young explained, "I haven't fully shared this but in the beginning, Tarek and I hired a wedding planner, sent out our save the dates, and then after rethinking some things we decided to completely change everything."
"We decided to go in a different direction with the wedding planner, hired a new one, changed the wedding location, and sent out new save the dates that said 'just kidding' on them," she revealed.
In his own post, Tarek wrote: "Basically when we first started wedding planning, I noticed that she was super stressed out even with the help of our wedding planner and I could just tell something was off."
"Heather thought we were already locked into the initial location but little did she know I was pulling some strings, working some magic, and was able to surprise her by securing our dream spot," he continued.
In advance of the wedding, the couple celebrated with a joint bachelor/bachelorette party in Palm Springs with their close friends and family members. Young also had two wedding showers — one at Fig & Olive in Newport Beach, and the other hosted by PETA, as she is a longtime vegan and animal rights advocate.
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The wedding and its preparations were filmed for a one-hour special titled Tarek and Heather The Big I Do, which will air on discovery+ in December.
The couple has shared that they originally were adamant that they would not film the nuptials, but eventually decided that capturing the memories would be best for them as a family, so the kids (to whom Heather is now officially step-mom) could look back on it all later.
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