Nick and Vanessa Lachey may have more than a decade of marriage under their belt, but they’re still a work in progress—and it’s a fact the couple is proud of. After meeting at a Miss Teen USA pageant and later falling in love on the set of Nick’s “What’s Left of Me” music video, the twosome embarked on a whirlwind relationship that saw them splitting up, getting back together, walking down the aisle, and ultimately growing their family of now five.
“What I love about our relationship is we have evolved, when we met each other, we were two very young, crazy kids, figuring out each other, and then together, we were figuring out ourselves, as well as ourselves as a couple,” Vanessa explained to People in 2019. “Our whole relationship, even to this day, we’re still working on each other, we’re still working on ourselves, and that’s I think the beauty of a lasting relationship. We work at it.” Added Nick: “I think there’s a lot of growth from chapter one to chapter 12. We definitely learned together, grew together.”
They’ve certainly had their share of challenges. As Vanessa pointed out on the couple’s shared series, The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On, Nick’s high-profile split from ex-wife Jessica Simpson initially put a strain on their love. "He was literally in a very public marriage and a very public divorce, and I had to go through all that s–t very publicly and it was very hard for us," she said.
Still, they made it through to the other side. "It wasn’t until the moment that he was like, ‘I’m gonna let it go,’ and I said, ‘I’m gonna let it go,’ and we truly committed to each other. We literally fell deeper and harder than we ever could,” she gushed.
Below, all of the couple’s biggest highs and lows.
- Vanessa’s interest in Nick was piqued when she learned they had the same birthday of November 9.
- They fell in love on the set of Nick’s “What’s Left of Me” music video.
- The pair tied the knot on Richard Branson’s private Necker Island in July 2011.
- The couple has three kids together: son Camden, daughter Brooklyn, and son Phoenix.
2003: Pageant Pairing
Despite popular belief that Nick and Vanessa met on the set of his 2006 music video “What’s Left of Me,” they actually first crossed paths three years prior in Palm Springs, Florida, as co-hosts for the Miss Teen USA beauty pageant. In an interview for the couple’s TLC wedding special, Nick said, “She was a former Miss Teen USA, and I was, I don’t know.” Vanessa finished, “A heartthrob.”
2003: A Working Relationship
The future couple was photographed together on MTV’s TRL as far back as November 2003, when Vanessa was a VJ alongside Damien Fahey and Nick appeared as a guest.
2005: Birthday Twins
Vanessa revealed in a 2021 interview with Access that it was her and Nick’s shared birthday of November 9 that initially made her see the singer in a new light. He divulged that he was also a Scorpio while talking to the former VJ around the holidays in 2005. “For some reason when he said his birthday was November 9, the same as mine, I was like *raises eyebrow comically,*" she joked. “Our birthday is what connected us at first.”
2006: A Chance Reunion
The pair reconnected after running into each other by chance while Nick was attending an event in New York City. "Ironically, later that night, I happen to be out, and who walks in but Vanessa Minnillo, fresh off her first Maxim shoot and polaroids in hand," Nick laughed in the pair's 2011 TLC wedding special.
Their relationship progressed from there, with the duo, both newly single, communicating over the phone from their respective cities. “We did fall in love via phone and text, cause I was in New York, he was in L.A,” Vanessa later explained to Tamron Hall in 2021. Added Nick, “We spent a lot of time apart early in our relationship. [We sat] on the phone for hours at night.”
2006: A Special Request
Having worked with the VJ over the years during appearances on MTV, Nick asked Vanessa to star in his upcoming solo music video for “What’s Left of Me” in 2006, marking a shift in their dynamic. As Vanessa later recalled to Tamron Hall, prior to that, the two “would just catch up and we would talk and hang out. Then he asked me to be in the music video and then I got nervous, and then I got giddy, like a school girl.”
2006: Making the Video
By the time the video shoot rolled around, Nick and Vanessa had forged a bond. “So I get there, so we have this emotional connection, this is the first time we’re gonna physically see each other after that, [there’s] butterflies,” the mom of three told Tamron Hall in 2020.
The pair’s budding romance was caught on camera in an April 2006 episode of “Making the Video.” “I tried, I tried,” Vanessa says of her performance in one clip. “I gave him everything." She then cheekily added, "My phone number.” She also teased her co-star about their love scenes, saying, “How do we rehearse? Do we go to your trailer?” By the end, the actress had concluded, “Nick is awesome. He’s a gem. Mini crush.”
“It was definitely first date jitters,” Vanessa gushed to PEOPLE in 2019. “This video shoot was the first time it was like…” “Whatcha doin after?” Nick chimed in.
Summer 2006: Making It Official
The couple began dating a few months after filming concluded in the summer of 2006. "I'll never forget, I came into TRL [one day] and I told my hair and makeup girls, 'Nick and I made it official! We're boyfriend, girlfriend,’” Vanessa later recalled on a 2021 episode of the “Lady Gang” podcast. “My hair girl goes, 'Maybe this isn't the time I should tell you, [your crush] Ryan Reynolds and Alanis called off their engagement.'”
June 30, 2006: Open and Available
Nick’s divorce from ex-wife Jessica Simpson was officially finalized on June 30, 2006, according to PEOPLE, opening the door for his budding romance with Vanessa to fully blossom.
July 26, 2006: Sparks Fly
Sparks were clearly flying between the two on July 26, 2006, when Nick appeared once more as a guest on Vanessa’s show, TRL.
2006: Stepping Out
Nick opened up about his and Vanessa’s first date while playing The Newlywed Game for Us Weekly. “Was Hooters a date? Hooters?” he asked. “For the record, people, it was the only thing open in Trenton, New Jersey, after I did a show in Trenton, New Jersey,” he continued. “Nothing against Hooters, though. Great wings.”
2006: Dropping the L-Bomb
The “Because of You” singer was also the first to say “I love you," as he told Us Weekly, saying, “I did. I’d been drinking. It was definitely me. I’ll own it. I have no shame. Still saying it 12 years later.”
Oct 13, 2006: Caught on Camera
The couple had palpable chemistry in their shared music video, which premiered on October 13, 2006—roughly three months after they had become an item.
2006: Falling Hard
Nick told CNN in 2010 that he knew Vanessa was the one within the first six months of dating her. "I probably had a good idea that was the one I wanted to be with,” he shared. “It's an exciting thing to kind of step into a new chapter in your life and, you know, each chapter holds new experiences, and hopefully a family and all that good stuff to follow.”
December 31, 2006: A Kiss to Remember
The couple rang in the New Year with an on-air smooch for the MTV New Year’s Eve show.
June 2009: Taking a Break
After three years, Nick and Vanessa took a time out from their love in June 2009. “They have amicably split but remain good friends who still greatly care for one another,” Vanessa’s rep told People at the time.
The former Top Chef Junior judge opened up about their time apart in an April 2022 episode of The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On. "If I'm being completely candid and transparent, we took a break,” she said. “We both saw one other person and we realized that if we got out of our own way, we could be amazing together."
August 2009: Back On
Lucky for the duo, they managed to fix things up in short order. "It took us splitting up for about a month and then coming back and him saying, ‘I want to make this work,'” Vanessa shared on The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On in April 2022. “He was the one who suggested couple's therapy."
October 2009: A Lovey Dovey PSA
By October, the pair was back on, with Nick announcing the happy news during an appearance on Good Day Philadelphia. "I am in a relationship. I was single for a minute there, and then, ya know, we've kind of patched things up,” he said.
2010: Laying Down the Law
Vanessa revealed that she gave her husband a definitive choice about their future five years into their relationship on the premiere episode of The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On. "I always said I was gonna be that girl that would never give a man an ultimatum. Things changed,” she shared. “We dated for five years. So I finally said, 'What are we doing?’"
She continued, “I have now moved in with him. I renovated his entire bachelor pad. There was a bar in the pool. I'm like, 'Whatever you want.' Now I want kids in the pool. So that's when I started the dance." Nick agreed. "I think that's what put the nail in the coffin," he said.
November 2010: Putting a Ring on It
Vanessa’s ultimatum worked. By early November 2010, the couple had announced their engagement. The boy bander later dished on how he popped the question to Entertainment Tonight, reportedly telling the outlet, "This was a carefully calculated plan. You have to set the romance but you have to take it in phases. This was phase one."
He then got down in what he called “the full begging position” to present his longtime love with an Asscher-cut diamond ring that Us Weekly estimatd at $125,000.
Nick set the scene for viewers of the pair's 2011 TLC wedding special, Nick and Vanessa's Dream Wedding. "I took her to the Montage in Orange County, we sat by the pool, had drinks, it was a beautiful time. The whole time, I've got the ring in my pocket," he said. "Got down on both knees and laid it on her. And then we cried, and celebrated, it was really... It was beautiful."
June 10, 2011: Babies on the Brain
Nick dished about his desire to be a dad while speaking to Parade in June 2011. “I'm at a point in my life where I'm ready to start another chapter,” he explained. “Having kids is a big part of that. I'm excited for what comes next.” As for his timeline for welcoming little ones, he shared, “I'd like to be a dad sooner than later.”
July 15, 2011: Tying the Knot
After five years together, Nick and Vanessa Lachey tied the knot on July 11, 2015. Their nuptials were filmed for TLC in a special called Nick and Vanessa’s Dream Wedding, which aired on July 29, 2011. "It's a one-off special; a chance to kind of have a great experience and a great moment in our lives documented on TV, and also for us, to have a great wedding video at the end of it," Nick told reporters in Las Vegas ahead of its air date.
The couple, who wanted a destination wedding, exchanged vows at Richard Branson’s private estate on the British Virgin Islands’ Necker Island, with just 35 of their nearest and dearest in attendance. “After the reception at dusk, "everyone danced on the beach—and there were fireworks," a source told Us Weekly of the duo’s special day.
As for the bride, she made her way down the aisle in a stunning strapless Monique Lhuillier gown with a full tiered ballgown skirt.
The couple also wrote their own vows. "These were my words and my heart and soul that I'm giving to him and he's giving to me,” Vanessa said in the couple’s TLC wedding special.
July 21, 2011: Island Time
Following their nuptials, the pair headed off to St. Barts for a tropical honeymoon. There, they were spotted soaking up the sun in their swimwear.
September 2011: Love Nest
One month after saying “I do,” the newlyweds purchased a stunning Spanish-style San Fernando Valley love nest for $2.85 million, according to Realtor.com. The gorgeous property featured eight bathrooms, six bedrooms, and spanned 8,000 square feet.
November 18, 2011: The Name Game
Vanessa made the switch from Vanessa Minnillo to Vanessa Lachey in November 2011. She gushed about her new moniker with an excited post on Twitter. “So….I’m making it official, and I LOVE my ‘new name’!" she wrote, adding, "@vanessalachey…has a nice ring to it."
January 2012: Baby on Board
Six months after tying the knot, Nick and Vanessa hit another relationship milestone: They were expecting their first child together. They reportedly announced the news on LIVE With Kelly in March 2012, with Nick explaining to the host that Vanessa actually found out while they were apart, saying, "She was in New York and I was in the Bahamas. She went to the store and got a pregnancy test and it came back positive. We're having a baby!"
Vanessa later revealed on her blog that she waited until they were in the same zip code to tell her husband they were expecting. “I took a deep breath, grabbed his hands, looked him in the eyes and told him ‘I’M PREGNANT!!!!'” she reportedly wrote. “He looked at me and asked if I was serious. I said yes, we hugged, and then he said, ‘I think I have to sit down!’ That was January 6th, 2012.”
May 2012: Solo Time
The lovebirds made sure to take time out to appreciate each other ahead of their impending newborn’s arrival with a babymoon to Jade Mountain in St. Lucia. Vanessa reportedly shared the importance of their trip with her Twitter followers at the time, writing, “Make sure to make time for each other before baby arrives! Take a babymoon. Remember how you got here in the first place!”
June 20, 2012: It’s a…
Vanessa revealed the sex of the couple’s first child on her blog in June 2012. "It's a BOY,” she reportedly wrote at the time. “Nick and I are incredibly excited to share the news that we are expecting a baby boy.”
The news was a relief to the mommy-to-be, who later said she was “terrified” to have a girl before a boy. "Nick and I got married in July 2011 and I got pregnant that December," she recalled to People in 2021. "I was like, 'If this is a little girl, and it's everything he's ever wanted, what if he loves her more than me?'" Calling her son "the blessing that I needed," she added, "By the time we got to my daughter, I was ready."
September 12, 2012: A Proud Day
The pair’s firstborn, Camden John Lachey, made his way into the world on September 12, 2012. “We are incredibly proud to announce the birth of our beautiful baby boy,” the proud mom and dad said in a statement to Us Weekly. “Today at 6:54 pm. He came into this world at 8lbs 9oz and 21 inches. Love has truly been redefined for both of us.”
November 9, 2013: Birthday Bash
On Nick’s 40th birthday, his wife threw him an epic party, with all his closest friends and family members—including Joey Fatone and former bandmates Drew Lachey and Justin Jeffre—in attendance to share in the celebration. “While they do share a birthday, Vanessa made this more about Nick since it’s his 40th,” a source told Us Weekly at the time. According to the outlet, she also hired glam rock band Steel Panther to rock the house. “After Steel Panther performed, Nick got on stage with them and sang ‘Don’t Stop Believing,'” an insider shared.
July 15, 2014: A Special Anniversary
For the pair’s third wedding anniversary, they made another special announcement, with Nick sharing a photo of their son, Camden, playing on the beach in front a large heart drawn in the sand on Twitter. Inside were the words, “It’s a girl.” “Can’t think of a better way to celebrate three years of marriage to my beautiful @vanessalachey than this!” he wrote of the couple’s pregnancy news.
November 9, 2014: Destination: Disney
In 2014, the pair celebrated their joint birthdays with a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. ”Thank you @disneyland for a perfect day!” Vanessa gushed of the experience with a snap of the family in mouse ears from behind.
Nick also posted about their adventure on Instagram with a front-facing shot, which he captioned, “Had a blast taking Camden to meet Mickey for the first time.”
January 5, 2015: A Sweet Intro
Vanessa introduced the world to her and Nick’s baby girl, Brooklyn Elisabeth Lachey, in a now-deleted blog post in January 2015. “She was born January 5th, 2015 at 5:17pm,” she reportedly wrote of the newborn. “She weighed in at 7 pounds 15 ounces, is 21 inches long and has already won over all of our hearts." Vanessa added that she had long been dreaming of the day she’d meet her own daughter, writing, “I can't even begin to tell you how it felt to hold her in my arms for the very first time."
June 2016: Moving on Up
According to PopSugar, Nick and Vanessa paid $4.15 million for a new 10,000 square-foot English mansion with seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms in June 2016.
September 2, 2016: Making Room
The family shared that they had another Lachey on the way on September 2, 2016 with a sweet Instagram shot that showed them among a pile of boxes. “We got a new crib!” it read. “Now we need a new crib!” Vanessa’s stomach was circled in the photo, along with the words, “Newest Lachey arriving spring 2017.”
November 24, 2016: A New Addition
Vanessa surprised her hubby (and later, their fans) by having their son, Camden, greet him at the door with a large blue balloon in hand, signaling that they would soon welcome a second son. “I have so much to be Thankful for this year... especially our littlest Lachey,” the mommy-to-be wrote. “When Daddy came home from tour this summer and we were moving into our new house I shared the news!👶🏼💙 Now I'm sharing it with you!”
Dec 24, 2016: Party of Five
The duo’s third child, Phoenix Robert Lachey, gave his parents a scare when he was born 10 weeks early on December 24, 2016. Vanessa shared a sweet photo of the baby’s little hand on Instagram, writing, “It's a very Merry Christmas indeed! We had our Christmas Miracle. Phoenix Robert Lachey decided to show up early and was born on Christmas Eve. Mommy, Daddy, Camden & Brooklyn LOVE You very much!”
The following year, the actress opened up about just how scary the situation was on an episode of Dancing With the Stars, revealing that she had to be taken in for emergency surgery. “I was in the hospital on bedrest and then my water broke. I was only 29 weeks,” she told dancing partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. “I was on the operating bed and I looked up and I didn’t know a single face and I remembered thinking, ‘I hope the baby’s okay and don’t worry about me. Just make him okay.'”
Nick, who cried after Vanessa’s performance, also struggled with the situation, saying, “I think as a man, you want to believe you can protect your kids, protect your wife. I never felt so helpless.”
September 18, 2017: A Little Friendly Competition
In 2017, the world saw Nick and Vanessa Lachey go toe-to-toe as competitors on season 25 of Dancing With the Stars. At home, however, they supported each other. “It was nice to have someone who truly got it coming home,” Nick told Brit + Co of the experience in 2018.
July 15, 2019: Waxing Poetic
The lovebirds shared extra-sweet messages on social media for their eighth wedding anniversary. Vanessa’s came in the form of a slideshow that featured key moments from their relationship, from their engagement to their wedding. “Damn, I’m glad we found each other!!!” she wrote. “I Love YOU & I Love US! Happy Anniversary, Baby. Here’s to Our Forever.”
Nick, on the other hand, posted a goofy throwback from the couple’s wedding day, writing, “Babe, it hasn’t always been easy and it hasn’t always been smooth......but it’s ALWAYS been 'US.' I wouldn’t trade these 8 years, building our forever, for anything in the world. There is truly no one else I could do this with!” He continued, “You are everything to me, please always remember that. I am far from perfect but please believe that my goals and dreams for us and our family are perfect. I won’t stop trying until I get there.”
November 13, 2019: A Burning Flame
Eight years into their marriage, Vanessa admitted to People that she still had the hots for her husband, telling the magazine, “When I look at Nick, I still get butterflies in my stomach. I look at him and I go, ‘He’s mine!'”
March 11, 2020: A Sexy Secret
Vanessa got candid about the couple’s love life while speaking to Nikki and Brie Bella on their podcast, “The Bellas Podcast,” in March 2020, telling the twins that she and Nick have their most intimate moments in the shower. “I’m in the shower and I’m like, ‘I have a full day. You have a full day. It’s either now or never,’” she explained. “The kids are at school. It happens and then later that night, if you get like the cherry on top, great. But if not, we already did shower sex.”
February 13, 2020: Love Is Blind
The couple’s joint show, Love Is Blind, which they cohost together, premiered the day before Valentine’s Day on Netflix.
July 15 2020: Getting Sentimental
Nick and Vanessa both got sentimental on their ninth anniversary. Nick shared a shot of he and Vanessa embracing on a beach, the caption for which read, “Nine years and counting!! I feel incredibly lucky to have found my soulmate and ultimate partner in life and love. V, you mean everything to me. No matter what we face, we face it together. Whatever blessing we enjoy, we enjoy it together. With our love and commitment to each other, I know there is nothing we can’t get through....together. I love you V with all that I am. I always will! Happy Anniversary.”
Vanessa’s post was no less sentimental, featuring a picture from the duo’s 2011 wedding. “14 years ago today, you said 'I Love You.' 9 years ago today, we said 'I Do.' Today, I say 'Thank You,'” she wrote. “Thank You for this Beautiful Life & Marriage. Thank You for the unconditional Love you give to me and our 3 crazy kids. Thank You for the hard work you put into Us and yourself daily. Thank YOU for keeping all your vows we shared on this day nine years ago. Thank you for it ALL. Happy Anniversary, My Love! I Love You!!!”
February 11, 2020: Feeling Complete
Vanessa revealed that she and Nick were likely done having children while speaking to Tamron Hall in February 2020 while discussing her brood's ages. “Seven, five, three, and no mas,” she said, adding, “Shop is closed!”
November 9, 2020: A 40th Celebration
Nick made sure to celebrate his wife to the fullest on her 40th birthday, posting an Instagram video that showed a photo flipbook filled with pictures from Vanessa’s life set to the tune of The Cure’s “Pictures of You,” which Nick sang along to.
He also added an adoring message in the caption, writing, “I can honestly say I love you more and more each year. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our birthdays together and celebrate all the milestones along the way. Speaking of milestones......I hope you enjoy these Pictures Of You. 40 years worth!! I love you!”
November 2020: A New Challenge
Vanessa opened up to People about the challenges of quarantine in November 2020, noting that the pandemic had taken its toll on her and Nick. "It's another level of having to challenge yourself," she admitted. "It challenged my marriage and my personal lifestyle. The whole idea of self-care went out the window.”
December 2020: New Digs
The family of five made the move to Tarzana, California, just in time for the holidays in 2020 with the purchase of a five bed, five-and-a-half bath mansion overlooking the Santa Susana Mountain Range for a cool $5 million.
April 30, 2021: Supportive Spouse
Nick had nothing but praise for his wife after she landed a historic role on NCIS: Hawai’i, becoming the first female lead in the franchise’s history. “I can’t begin to describe how proud I am of this woman,” he gushed on Instagram. “V, you’re the hardest working person I know and you put the most into everything you do. I love watching all of your dreams come true and I’m honored to support you while you do it.”
April 6, 2022: A New Project
The duo launched yet another new dating show on Netflix on April 6, 2022, as co-hosts on The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On.
April 2022: Opening Up
While co-hosting the Ultimatum: Marry or Move On reunion special, Vanessa opened up about therapy she and Nick underwent for trust issues after they found themselves going through each other's phones. "I'm actually surprised you figured out my password. That was a good one," she joked.
As the former Miss Teen USA shared, the pair was able to stop their destructive behavior with the help of counseling. "Honestly, I remember we went to a therapist and she was like, 'If y'all are going through each other's phones, then you shouldn't be together,'" she said. "I'm like, 'You're right. I need to trust this man and he needs to trust me.'"
July 15, 2022: 11 Years Strong
For their 11 year anniversary, Nick once again took to Instagram to share his love for his wife with the world. “It’s hard to believe I’ve spent 11 years married to this wonderful woman,” he captioned a slideshow of some of the twosome’s finer moments. “V, I love you more now than the day we said ‘I Do.’ The life we’ve built together is more than I could’ve ever dreamed of,” he gushed. “Thank you for your unconditional love and thank you for being YOU! I love you. Happy Anniversary.”
Vanessa shared her own montage on their special day, writing, “For the last 16 years @nicklachey has made me feel like WE can do IMPOSSIBLE THINGS! Guys, don’t settle! Find your Love & work hard to keep them! Happy 11th Anniversary, Baby! I Love YOU and I’m proud of US.”