Inside 'RHOC' Alum Jo De La Rosa's 'Enchanted Forest' Wedding to Composer Taran Gray: 'Pure Magic!'

Newlyweds Jo De La Rosa and Taran Grey open up to PEOPLE exclusively about their Memorial Day weekend wedding

Jo and Taran de La Rosa Wedding
Photo: Crystal Nicole Studios @crystalnicolestudios

Jo De La Rosa and Taran Gray had a fairytale wedding for the storybooks!

The Real Housewives of Orange County alum, 41, and musical theater composer, 36, said "I do" after exchanging tearful vows on Saturday in a romantic backyard ceremony at a private residence in Los Angeles's Palos Verdes Estates.

"It was pure magic," De La Rosa tells PEOPLE exclusively of the big day. "It's going to take us a long time to come down to earth. It was truly a dream come true!"

Dreams were a bit part of De La Rosa and Gray's wedding. They themed their wedding around the fantasy of "Enchanted Forest," something that matched their location perfectly.

"Taran's friends were kind enough to let use their backyard, which is this magical space with all these sweeping whispering willow trees and twinkle lights," De La Rosa says, adding that Signature Rentals provided tables, chairs and flatware to match, while Firefly Magic were responsible for the fireflies in the trees. "It's private and intimate and upon entering, you feel like you are suddenly removed from the world and transported to this mystical space. We just knew this was the direction for that."

Jo and Taran de La Rosa Wedding
Crystal Nicole Studios @crystalnicolestudios

Both were dressed to the nines for the nuptials. De La Rosa stole the spotlight in a breathtaking white gown from Winnie Couture featuring a fitted, structured bodice with a sweetheart neckline and peek-a-boo mesh side panels sitting atop a full, flowing skirt.

"This wasn't the dress I at all envisioned for myself at first, but the minute I put it on and looked into the mirror I was like, 'Wow, I feel like a bride,'" De La Rosa says. "I've never felt prettier. It's stunning."

She accented the look with simple jewelry, a 31-inch Cathedral veil, and white bow shoes from David's Bridal — the later a pick that even surprised here. "I could have done Christian Louboutins, Stuart Weitzmans or Manolo Blahniks but I knew I would never wear them again so I wanted something more affordable," De La Rosa says. "Plus, these were just so cute and made me feel the most bride-y."

To add to the theme, De La Rosa wore her dark locks down in beach curls (Nina Tähti styled De La Rosa, as well as her mom and bridesmaids). She carried a bouquet of pink roses from florist XO Bloom, which matched the flowers on their wedding ceremony arch and centerpieces.

Grey perfectly complemented his now-wife in a black suit with velvet blazer from Reiss London. He accented his look with a white shirt, black loafers from Aldo and a neckpiece De Le Rosa described as "a cool cravat that's very Bridgerton."

"I wanted to throw a little theater in there," he teased. "You can't be a musical theater composer and not put on a show."

Groomsmen matched Grey in Reiss suits, while De La Rosa's bridesmaids wore sage green gowns by Birdy Grey.

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Jo and Taran de La Rosa Wedding
Crystal Nicole Studios @crystalnicolestudios

Among the 90 guests were family, friends, and two Real Housewives of Orange County alums: Jeana Keough, one of the original Orange County Housewives who starred alongside De La Rosa when the show premiered in 2006, and Alexis Bellino, who was a cast members for seasons 5–8.

"We've been through something special that really bonds us," De La Rosa says. "Jeana continues to be a staple in my life and somebody I've always looked to for advice. I call her Mama Jeana because she's been like a second mom. And Alexis, even though we were not on the same season, we grew close off camera and always have the best time together."

She continues, "They're both people who have stayed so grounded despite the fame and it was so nice to have a mini reunion with them — without those cameras and questions from Andy Cohen!"

Jo and Taran de La Rosa Wedding
Crystal Nicole Studios @crystalnicolestudios

After taking photos at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, De La Rosa and Gray danced the night away alongside their guests to music by DJ G Shock, a veteran KISS-FM DJ and friend of the couple.

The soundtrack was especially picked out by De La Rosa and Gray. "All of our music was modeled after an '80s rom-com," explains De La Rosa. "I walked down the aisle to a cover of The Little Mermaid's 'Kiss the Girl' by Brent Morgan. Our first dance was to 'Love Will Keep Us Alive' by the Eagles. I tossed my bouquet to Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Chicago's 'You're the Inspiration' was used when our bridal party entered, and we left the ceremony to Eric Carmen's 'Hungry Eyes' from Dirty Dancing."

"It was totally us," Gray says. "We wanted to have the coolest dance party of our lives, and we pulled it off."

There was some live music, too, in the form of karaoke — something else Gray and De La Rosa say they are "obsessed with." And Gray surprised De La Rosa during the garter toss with a performance of "Thousand of Stars Above," a new song he penned for the pair.

Jo and Taran de La Rosa Wedding
Crystal Nicole Studios @crystalnicolestudios

As for food, MaKisha Moore of Dish & That Catering, another friend of the pair, cooked up a tasty menu that De La Rosa and Gray both described as "the bomb."

Guests dined during the cocktail hour on ceviche and bacon-wrapped dates. For dinner, grilled chicken, smocked brisket, mashed potatoes, whole green beans, fried Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes and two salads — a mixed greens salad and spinach salad — with citrus vinaigrette.

And the support from friends didn't end there. Ricky Allen, Gray's best man, made the wedding cake: a vanilla cake with mascarpone icing, espresso crunch and chocolate dust filling.

"We were so lucky to have our friends contribute to this wedding," Gray tells PEOPLE. "Our community is such a huge part of our life, so from the venue to the food to the cake, having them all so involved made our day so special."

"As much as this was about us, it was also about them," continues De La Rosa. "We're so happy we got to celebrate with all our friends and family together."

De La Rosa and Gray met during pandemic, connecting on Hinge in June 2020 and dating virtually before finally meeting in person three months later. The pair documented their romance in videos on De La Rosa's popular YouTube page, including when Gray popped the question on July 31, 2021.

It's the first marriage for each, and they both tell PEOPLE they feel came the love match into their lives at the perfect time.

"Neither of us were looking for a relationship when we first started talking," Gray says. "And when we met one another it was like, 'Finally!' It was that instantaneous."

Jo and Taran de La Rosa Wedding
Crystal Nicole Studios @crystalnicolestudios

"I waited my whole life for Taran, and he's so much more than I could have ever prayed for. He's everything I didn't even know that I needed," De La Rosa gushes. "He's the most incredible man and has the most amazing heart. He's so thoughtful and makes me feel so taken care of, yet we're a team through and through and I feel like we're equal partners. And he's fun — I'd dated older guys before, no names mentioned, and a lot of the times I felt like I was a dating a dad. Taran matches my energy. He embraces and enjoys life in the same ways that I do, and I'm so grateful for that. I really feel I found the love of my life."

"Aww, I love you babe," Grays tells De La Rosa. "I'm lucky to have her! She's one in a million."

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