When you know, you know—just ask Tarek and Heather Rae El Moussa. The couple, who met on his boat on the Fourth of July in 2019, moved in together just four days after making the decision to date each other. While others may have thought they were moving too fast, it turned out to be just the right speed—the pair has since tied the knot and have made plans to expand their family.
For Tarek, their love was an unexpected surprise. “If you had asked me four years ago, I would’ve told you I was never getting married again and honestly I didn’t even think I would find love,” he gushed on Instagram ahead of their nuptials. “Then one day Heather jumped onto my boat, looked at me, smiled, and the rest is history.”
Heather, on the other hand, had faith that her love was out there, somewhere. “I never gave up on love and I always kept an open mind when it came to dating,” she explained on Instagram. “I just knew my person was out there somewhere and one day we would be brought together.”
Keep reading for every “aww”-worthy moment of their relationship.
- The couple moved in together after four days of dating.
- Tarek proposed to Heather on their one year anniversary as a couple.
- Heather and Tarek got matching tattoos with their wedding date and each other’s initials in April 2022.
- The pair plans to have a child together, but have put their fertility journey on hold for now.
2019: Reaching Out
Months before Tarek and Heather met in real life, the HGTV star attempted to reach out to the real estate mogul via DMs as they revealed on an episode of the podcast, “Not Skinny But Not Fat.” “It was like, right before I filmed the [Selling Sunset] pilot, and I was living in another country with my ex-boyfriend,” Heather remembered.
“She was like, ‘You already asked me out,’” Tarek added. “So I looked back and asked, ‘So, do you still have that boyfriend?’ and she’s like, ‘Nope.”
July 4, 2019: Fate Steps In
Tarek may have struck out online, but he had much better luck impressing Mrs. El Moussa in real life. Heather recounted the moment for fans in December 2019 when she shared the very first photo the pair took together.
“He actually made me take a selfie with him,” she wrote. “Little did I know that day would be a defining moment in my life. Honestly that day, I almost didn’t even go to Newport Beach to meet my friends on their boat. And by chance, the boat I was on was parked next to Tarek’s boat, and my friend just happened to be on Tarek’s boat, and I jumped over to say hi to her and ....... Tarek turned around and introduced himself. And there you go, our love story started.”
July 22, 2019: Locking It Down
Though the couple wouldn’t make their public debut until August, Tarek later revealed that July 22, 2019, marked the pair’s second date—and the moment they decided to see each other exclusively.“
July 2019: Shacking Up
Less than one week after their first date, Tarek and Heather began living under one roof—something the property flipper would reveal on the one-year anniversary of their first date.
He first spoke about their cohabitation to his Instagram followers in January 2020. “Not sure if I’ve told you this but @heatherraeyoung and I have been living together for a while now!” he wrote. “It’s really fun because we live in two different places! Our main spot is in Orange County but one or two nights a week we stay at our place in West Hollywood!”
Tarek continued, “The best part is I now have someone to go to bed with and wake up to every day. The better better part is that person is @heatherraeyoung! I’m one lucky dude!”
July 28, 2019: Locking Lips
In late July, TMZ reported that the HGTV star had been spotted locking lips on a yacht with a blonde woman who looked surprisingly like his ex-wife, Christina Haack. The mystery woman in question? None other than Selling Sunset’s own Heather Rae Young.
August 8, 2019: Instagram Official
The pair went Instagram official with matching adoring posts on August 8, 2019.
Read Heather's: “My heart is so full and happy. Sometimes someone comes into your life and you just know they are meant to be there. This incredible man @therealtarekelmoussa came into my life at the perfect time and I haven’t stopped smiling since. I am so proud to call him my boyfriend, I just look at him in awe at what an amazing, talented, and kind human he is.”
She concluded her post by thanking her new boyfriend for honking his boat horn at her on the first day that they met. “That will forever be the moment that you became my game changer,” she wrote, adding, "You + me.”
Tarek was just as mushy in his announcement, telling his followers that he officially had a girlfriend after three years of flying solo and that he never thought he would meet someone like her. ”Then... out of the blue @heatherraeyoung walked into my life,” the Flipping 101 star wrote. “The first time I saw her smile she 'did that thing to my tummy' and I knew right away I needed to get to know her,” he raved. “So I asked her out!! She said yes😎 …I just want to let the world know I met someone special that makes me want to be a better man :) So let’s all welcome @heatherraeyoung into my life. It’s still new and we are both so excited for the future!”
September 9, 2019: Red Carpet Debut
The couple first walked the red carpet together one month after announcing their coupledom at the premiere of A Very Brady Renovation at the Garland Hotel in Hollywood, California.
Sept 16, 2019: White Knight
Heather couldn’t help but gush over her beau after receiving a very special 32nd birthday present from him—a white Ferrari. “On our first date he asked me what my dream car was……I said a white Ferrari……and #soulmates,” she captioned a series of photos standing in front of the new car. She also took the opportunity to rave about her man, writing, “Yes this is a gushy post, but I just can’t help it. I waited 32 years to meet this special man. I’m a hopeless romantic to my core and always believed in true love. My advice is to wait and don’t settle for anything less.”
October 2019: Planning Ahead
By October 2019, the lovebirds were looking at engagement rings. "I knew it was gonna come eventually because we talked about marriage," Heather revealed in an August 2020 episode of the “Flashbacks With Jessica Hall and DeAnna Stagliano” podcast. "We looked at rings like three months in. Nothing serious, but we went and looked."
November 2019: Love Overseas
Heather revealed that she and Tarek had jet-setted overseas with a cute Instagram snap of the two in matching hoods. “My sweet love @therealtarekelmoussa scooped me off on our Euro trip vacay to bring a smile back to my face,” she wrote while speaking of a particularly difficult week. “I love you @therealtarekelmoussa, thank you for our wonderful life together and this amazing trip.”
February 14, 2020: A Grand Gesture
For Valentine’s Day 2020, Tarek surprised his girlfriend with a private helicopter ride in Hawaii before touching down at Kualoa Ranch—a.k.a. the filming site of Jurassic Park and 50 First Dates—which he had rented out for a special date that he had set up for them. “We landed the helicopter in the middle of the park and it was a surprise for her,” Tarek would later tell Us Weekly, citing it as the most romantic thing he’d ever done for his love. “I had a chef come out and cook us a chef meal in the middle of the park. It was me, and her, and a picnic table, and a couch and a huge field.”
May 2020: Cute Co-Stars
Heather revealed that she and her love had filmed an episode of his show, Flipping 101, together in May 2020. “My client was flipping a high-end home in Palos Verdes and I had to bring in my handsome, the expert flipper for some advice. And WOW did she need it!!” she shared of the episode on Instagram. “You get to follow the journey of her first high end flip and how @therealtarekelmoussa and I guided her.”
July 4, 2020: First Anniversary
Heather marked the pair’s first relationship milestone—one year of meeting—with a cute snap of the duo spending time together on a boat.
July 22, 2020: One Year of Love
Heather waxed poetic about her love for the couple’s one year anniversary of dating in the caption of a sweet series of photos of the pair. “From the first day I met you, to our first date and our second date when we decided to commit 100 percent before we barely even knew each other,” she began. “But we knew what we had was special. We had that butterflies in your tummy, can’t eat, can’t stop smiling soulmate love. I always knew it was out there, I knew I deserved to find it, I had given up hope that you were out there, and then there you were. It was unexpected for both of us and it was a moment that changed our lives forever.”
She continued on to sing her partner’s praises, writing, “You are my very best friend in the whole world. The man I look up to, admire, adore, best daddy, best heart, kind and most important loyal and honest. Happy One Year Anniversary my bunny bear 🐻 the love of my life. Me +you”
July 26, 2020: Betrothed
Just days after their one-year anniversary, Heather revealed with a sweet photo of Tarek placing a ring on her finger that the couple had even more to celebrate: She would soon become Mrs. Tarek El Moussa.
Tarek also documented the moment for fans with a post on July 30, 2020. “This is the exact moment I got down on one knee and asked @heatherraeyoung to be my wife!” he wrote. “The second I saw @heatherraeyoung I knew my life would never be the same. She’s not only become my best friend but she’s also incredible to Tay and Bray.”
September 2020: A New Nest
In September 2020, the pair purchased their first home together in Newport Beach, California. "Tarek originally bought it as a flip but then they decided to make it their new home," a rep told PEOPLE of their new digs.
November 2020: Overcoming Obstacles
Heather revealed that they had faced a setback during the remodel of their new home after the space was flooded in November 2020. She shared, “Water got everywhere and they had to rip up the floors, ceiling and tons of other stuff!! And we are super super behind!!!”
Still, she said, they were taking the opportunity to get through the challenge as a team. “With so much stress we aren’t letting this bring us down. Eye on the prize & the prize is a perfect ocean view!"
January 23, 2021: A Time for Reflection
Tarek reflected in January 2021 on how far he and Heather had come in the last year-and-a-half. “It’s incredible to think how much life can change in a short period of time,” he wrote on Instagram. “Yesterday was our 18-month anniversary and I love this girl more and more by the day! I came home with @heatherraeyoung after four days of dating, she moved in, and we never looked back. She has exponentially improved the lives of everyone in my family."
He added: “Everyone said I was crazy but here we are engaged almost two years later. She’s our rock, our best friend, and my hunny bunny. We love you to the moon and back.”
February 2021: Getting Inked
The Netflix star let the world know who her heart belonged to in February 2021, when she tattooed her assets with her future hubby’s name. "I did it as something special for my fiancé, my future husband," she later told E!’s Daily Pop of her new ink, which read “Yes sir, Mr. El Moussa” in cursive writing across her rear. "I will be Mrs. El Moussa, so this is my name. And it is a special thing that we do around the house: Daddy is the boss, I'm the queen of the house. We do it with the kids."
February 4, 2021: New and Improved
Heather showed off a new addition to her eight-carat engagement ring on February 4, 2021, in an Instagram Story in the form of a new band. "I never planned my 'dream wedding' but I saved rings I loved for the past 10 years," she captioned the picture. "Gold with emerald cut was always my dream ring."
She also revealed that the duo had designed the band together, adding, "My love, future hubby, you have my whole heart,."
April 2021: A Swinging Celebration
In April, the duo invited a small group of their closest friends and family members to celebrate their engagement with a party at Louie’s by the Bay—an Italian waterfront restaurant near their meeting place. According to PEOPLE, Tarek’s two children were in attendance for the earlier part of the evening, while older guests enjoyed champagne flutes with stick stirrers bearing the hashtag, “#FlippingHerLastName.”
June 28, 2021: Statement on Future Children
In June, Heather revealed via Instagram that there would be no little ones in her and Tarek’s future anytime soon. “Probably the number one question I get asked is if Tarek and I are adding more babies,” she wrote.
The realtor explained that while she adored her fiancé’s children, she felt fulfilled with their lives as they were. “I never knew how much love I had to give until I came into these babies lives and as of now I can’t see myself wanting to add another into the family,” she explained. “The kind of family we have is special and my heart is so full already that I really don’t feel the need for more. ♥”
July 26, 2021: A Special Year
Exactly one year into their engagement, the former model thanked her future spouse for changing her life. “One year ago today, I made the best decision of my life by saying yes to spending forever with the most special man,” she began a lengthy Instagram post. “I remember when he proposed… in that moment everything melted away, and I was just staring at my forever person, fully in tears thinking how lucky I was that I got to spend the rest of my life with him.”
She continued to express her gratitude to Tarek for making her smile on a daily basis. “You have shown me what true love and family are all about,” she gushed. “I fall more and more in love with you as I watch how amazing of a dad you are with the babies, how hard you work, and how you put family and your loved ones first in your life. You’re my best friend, my person, and my rock. Happy 1 year of being engaged baby! Cheers to a lifetime of You and Me. ♥”
August 21, 2021: Surprise!
For Tarek’s 40th birthday, the real estate agent threw her man a surprise party at Twenty Eight restaurant in Irvine, California. His parents and sister were waiting for him, along with Heather’s parents, sister, and several of her Selling Sunset costars. As she showed off on her Instagram Stories, décor bearing the number “40” hung on the wall, and guests were treated to special cookies decorated with an image of Tarek as a child.
Tarek also shared a series of photos from the shindig, writing, “Thank you to my love @heatherraeyoung for making my whole weekend so special. Started with a morning with the kids, then a surprise day on our boat, then a surprise birthday dinner with all of our closest friends and family, and is ending with a getaway to our favorite hotel in Montecito… I don’t know how she did it all, and so perfectly too, but I’m a lucky man.”
September 2021: Fun in the Sun
In mid-September, the couple headed to the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert, California, with their friends and family in tow for their joint bachelor/bachelorette party. The shindig, which was attended by the likes of Selling Sunset stars Mary Fitzgerald, Romain Bonnet, and Brett Oppenheim, as well as Heather and Tarek’s sisters, included an ‘80s-themed celebration by the pool, a private dinner, and a relaxing spa day, according to Tarek’s Instagram page. “Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend and lucky to have close friends that feel like family to us,” he wrote.
October 14, 2021: An Emotional Day
Heather revealed that she and her husband-to-be became “emotional” while picking up their marriage license. “One step closer to becoming Mrs. El Moussa!” she captioned a Boomerang of the pair sharing a kiss with their paperwork.
October 23, 2021: The El Moussa Wedding
On October 23, 2021, the couple tied the knot before 150 guests. The nuptials were extravagant, to say the least, with extra-special finishing touches that included a 100-foot-long black aisle, a gold-leaf cake, and an archway of breathtaking white orchids and roses. Their reception, meanwhile, was decked out in neutral tones of black, white, gold, and champagne. "I wanted to be able to look back in 10 years and not regret that we chose colors that aren't popular anymore. So it was very sophisticated, elegant, timeless and classy," Heather told PEOPLE.
The bride opted for a more modern gown by Galia Lahiv, which featured a corseted bodice with a sheer overlay and an appliqué at the neckline and sleeves that flowed down in a sweeping skirt. Gushed Tarek of his first sighting of his bride: "It was magical. She looked so beautiful. Her hair was perfect. Her makeup was perfect. She had the coolest wedding dress I've ever seen. I was just smiling huge from ear to ear."
Guests were treated to not one, but two wedding cakes (“We did one vegan, peanut butter chocolate for me," Heather said), and snacked on cotton candy and wood-fired pizza. They shared their first dance to “One Man Band” by Old Dominion.
The most special part of the day, however, just might have been the moment that Tarek’s kids joined the couple at the altar for a special addition to their wedding vows. “These kids are truly our everything, so we decided to say our vows first to the kids and second to each other,” Heather revealed via Instagram. “This is just a tiny portion of what I said to the kids but I truly meant every word. 'When your daddy and I decided to be fully committed, I was 100% committing myself to you, too. I am beyond honored to be your *bonus* mommy. Thank you for allowing me to love your daddy with all my heart. I love you both more than you will ever know.'”
October 2021: A Change of Heart
While Heather hadn’t previously felt the need to have kids with Tarek, the couple seemed to have had a change of heart by October 2021. "We're open to it," Heather, told PEOPLE at the time. "It would be a big decision. It's not just something that I want to say, 'Let's just see if it happens.'"
Still, she said, "to create something with him, that's ours, together... I feel I would regret it if I didn't. So we're open to it."
Tarek told the publication that his children with ex-wife Christina Haack, Taylor and Brayden, played a large part in their decision. "Before, [Heather] was never around kids, and now she's raising Taylor and Braydon with me," he said. "And we have them [half the time] so she's full-on 'mom life,' and she's realizing she can do it. And she loves it."
November 25, 2021: Giving Thanks
In 2021, Heather reflected on all she had to be grateful for—including her newlywed status. “Between moving into our first home together this year to getting married to the love of my life to officially being the El Moussa family and more,” she wrote on Instagram. “Nothing is more important than family, happiness, and health so I’ll be thinking of everyone in this community today, especially because I’m so grateful for all of you, and I hope everyone has a special day.”
December 2021: Putting the Wheels in Motion
Shortly after announcing that they might want children of their own after all, the couple revealed to E!’s Daily Pop that they were taking steps to ensure their future. “We're going to freeze embryos first, go from there, and then see what happens," Heather said. "We're raising two kids. I'm already a mommy. So, I'm like, well, ‘Why not have just one more?’"
March 1, 2022: A Big Update
The pair gave an update on their fertility journey on March 1, 2022. “Tarek and I have four embryos that are saved right now, three are the same gender, and they’re all very strong,” she wrote via Instagram. “The fourth one is not as strong, so we probably won’t ending using that one, but we’re really happy with the results and I’m so relieved. Now it’s just all about the right timing.”
February 24, 2022: A Trip Down Memory Lane
In February, Heather revealed that she and her husband had a new project to work on—and it was one that was near and dear to her heart. "Fun little fact: I grew up in this house and @therealtarekelmoussa and I bought the lot two doors down that we are currently designing and building a mountain house," she wrote on an Instagram Story. "We bought a cute little cabin three doors down from where I grew up."
April 25, 2022: 6 Months Down
Heather celebrated six months as a wife with a sweet Instagram video featuring previously unreleased footage from the couple’s big day. "[Six] months married to my love and I fall more in love with you everyday,” she wrote. “Thank you for making me feel like a princess everyday, for dancing through life with me… and yes, we always want to kiss each other, especially when we aren’t supposed to. 1,000 kisses a day! I love you so much @therealtarekmoussa.”
April 10, 2022: Tattoo Twins
In mid-April, the couple made their love permanent in yet another way—with matching tattoos. In a series of Instagram Stories on both of their accounts, they showed off the ink they got from Kareem Masarani at Newport Tattoo, which showcased their wedding date of October 23, 2021, along with each other’s respective initials of TEM and HEM. Tarek also added dates for his children’s birthdays. "A tattoo is forever, and so is a marriage!" Heather reportedly said in a clip, adding "This is commitment. This is real commitment."
It was a big step for Tarek, who had previously sworn off tattoos. "I only have one tattoo, it's on my back and it's bad I swore I'd never get another one," he said in one of Heather’s Stories per PEOPLE. "But of course, I'm in love with Heather, so I have to get our wedding date on my arm. So yeah, quite excited right now."
April 14, 2022: A Walk Down Memory Lane
In mid-April, Heather and Tarek both left work early for the day to visit Woody’s Wharf in Newport Beach, California, where he pair had visited on the first day they met. “Date night,” Heather captioned an Instagram Story from their outing.
April 22, 2022: Pressing Pause
Heather opened up about her decision to put her journey to motherhood on hold in April 2022. "I have a crazy, busy next few months coming up, and I don't want to go into it being pregnant," she explained to E!’s Daily Pop. "We're gonna do it sometime this year, maybe in fall. So, that's kind of my plan. I keep pushing it off."
At the end of the day, she said, it just wasn’t the right time. "We were planning on implanting very soon, like very soon, and I am just not ready right now," she said. "I am balancing so much. I've been healing. I've been going through a lot with my health, and I want to feel really good before I do that."
She continued: "And I am busy. Sometimes I blink and the day is over, and I don't get enough done. I'm, like, ‘How am I gonna also take care of a newborn and be pregnant? What if I'm throwing up? What if I'm sick?' I don't have time for that right now, so I'm gonna push it off a little bit. But I'm excited."