Tarek El Moussa tells PEOPLE his fiancée Heather Rae Young is "much calmer" after the couple scrapped their original wedding

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Tarek El Moussa and heather
Heather Rae Young and Tarek El Moussa
| Credit: Tarek El Moussa/ instagram

As he prepares to tie the knot with fiancée Heather Rae Young, HGTV star Tarek El Moussa is spilling the details on the unusual lead-up to their big day. 

The Flip or Flop star, 40, spoke to PEOPLE about his wedding plans with Young, 34, explaining why the couple decided to switch their location from Mexico to California — and change just about everything else about the festivities.

"We were originally going to get married in Cabo, Mexico, because we love Mexico. We loved the hotel, we loved everything about it, but this was months back, and it was during the pandemic. Well, not during, we're still in the pandemic," explains the star, who tested positive for breakthrough Covid recently.

"But it was a lot stricter, and we had friends and family who were concerned about traveling, and we're concerned about our parents who have some health issues," El Moussa explains. "So because of all those factors, we decided to have a California one."

Heather Rae Young, Tarek El Moussa
Credit: Heather Rae Young/Instagram

Young shared with her Instagram followers in August that she and El Moussa "changed everything" about their wedding, telling her fans at the time, "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."

"I'm a big believer that everything works out the way it should and after seeing so much of our vision come together today we couldn't be happier," she added.    

Now, El Moussa says, his fiancée is "much calmer" after they moved their wedding "closer to home."

"She found a wedding planner who she really connects with, and really liked, and they built a great relationship, and it's really important to have someone that you click with," he tells PEOPLE. "Everything's been really smooth moving forward."

Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young Engagement
Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young
| Credit: Duke Images

With their wedding day fast approaching, El Moussa says he and his bride-to-be are feeling "both nervous and excited, because the second we say 'I do' and all this planning and talking and all this is over, we're going to be able to breathe." 

He adds, "We've been talking about engagements and weddings for, I think it's been 14 months now, so we're almost there." 

As for their post-wedding plans, El Moussa and Young are preparing to set off on a romantic honeymoon — but not before he takes care of his HGTV duties. 

"I have to come back, I'm filming for a couple of days straight, and then we are out of here," El Moussa says.

The happy couple, who have been engaged since July 2020, have not revealed their wedding date, but they recently celebrated with a joint bachelor and bachelorette party in Palm Springs. 

Young documented the weekend getaway on Instagram, where she looked back on the "magical" celebration with her fiancé. 

"We couldn't have asked for a better weekend and honestly there wasn't a moment that went by where I didn't feel so lucky to be at such a beautiful hotel celebrating mine and Tarek's love with all our closest friends," the Selling Sunset star wrote. "It was a weekend for the books and to have our closest friends fly and drive out to celebrate our love meant the world to us. ❤️ Next stop… our wedding!!"