Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young finally tied the knot this weekend after more than 14 months of anticipation — and PEOPLE has all the exclusive details of their big day!
The Flipping 101 star, 40, and the Selling Sunset realtor, 34, became husband and wife on Saturday night in front of 150 guests in Montecito, Calif. The Old Hollywood-style affair was filled with glamorous touches, like a 100-foot-long, high-gloss black aisle, arches of white orchids and roses, and cocktails and a cake all sprinkled with gold leaf.
"It was just so magical. Better than we even expected it to be. We are exhausted, but so happy at the same time," Heather (who is now using her married name, Heather Rae El Moussa) tells PEOPLE of the romantic event, which they planned with the help of the team at Pure Lavish Events.
"It felt like it was straight from a movie," Tarek agrees. "Everything was just spectacular."
After completing the required COVID PCR tests, family and friends gathered to celebrate the happy couple, including Tarek's two children — daughter Taylor, 11, and son Brayden, 6 — whom he shares with his first wife and Flip or Flop co-star Christina Haack.
Tarek El Moussa/Instagram
For more details and photos from the wedding, pick up the issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday, October 29.
Several of Heather's Selling Sunset castmates, including Chrishell Stause, Mary Fitzgerald, Davina Portratz, Emma Hernan, Romain Bonnet, Vanessa Villela and Jason and Brett Oppenheim, were also in attendance.
Creating the guest list was the hardest part of planning the wedding, Heather admits: "We didn't want to leave anyone out, but we only wanted it to be very special people that we had on our special day."
They chose to forgo big bridal parties, but Heather's sister, Jenna, was at her side as her maid of honor, and El Moussa's childhood best friend, Ronnie, served as his best man. Brayden carried the couple's rings, and Taylor escorted Tarek down the aisle — which is when he says the tears started flowing.
"I walked my mom down the aisle. I was fine. And then the song 'Shallow' comes on, which is one of me and Heather's songs, and I'm going to get Taylor to walk down the aisle, and I just broke down," Tarek recalls. "Taylor, she's my everything, I just got so emotional."
The tears didn't dry up when Heather was escorted down the aisle by her father to the strains of an original song composed by their officiant, Tarek's longtime friend and attorney Roger Behle, just for the occasion.
Watch the full episode of People Weddings: Tarek El Moussa & Heather Rae Young on PeopleTV.com or on the PeopleTV app.
They chose not to do a "first look" before the ceremony, so Heather's wedding dress would be a surprise for Tarek.
"It was magical. She looked so beautiful," he says of the first moment he saw his now-wife. "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."
Walking down the aisle was a bit of a blur for Heather — who wore a long-sleeve corset dress from Israeli designer Galia Lahav and clear heels from Amina Muaddi. She admits she was trying hard to keep her cool, but she made sure to keep her eyes on the prize at the altar.
"He could see me walking from a distance and he blew me a kiss," she remembers. "I just focused on him the whole time, and I don't even really remember anything else that was going on."
Before reciting original vows to one another, they each turned to Taylor and Brayden and recited vows to them, as well.
"They came up while we were at the altar and stood with us," Tarek says. "And that's the first time we were officially, legally a family of four, so that was very special."
"I never knew I could feel love like I have for the kids and for Tarek. They've given me a family," adds Heather, who quickly stepped into the role of "bonus mom" to the kids when she and Tarek got together in the summer of 2019. "They've opened my heart up so much and made me more patient, and loving and understanding."
"Being able to share that moment with the kids, and share vows with the kids…. that was probably my favorite part," she says.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a luxurious outdoor cocktail hour where they sipped on sparkling wine and signature drinks featuring ice cubes engraved with the couple's initials, while serenaded by a wandering violinist and saxophonist.
For the reception, the ballroom was decked out in crisp whites, blacks, champagnes and golds, and dressed with hundreds of roses, orchids, tulips, lisianthus and hydrangeas.
"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 says of the refined decor.
The couple served two cakes: "We did one vegan, peanut butter chocolate for me," says Heather, a longtime animal rights advocate, "and the other one was gluten-free, raspberry-filled chocolate" for Tarek, who was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
A DJ kept the party going into the night, with late-night snacks of made-to-order cotton candy and wood-fired pizza (a request from Brayden).
The playlist included a handful of wedding classics as well as a few meaningful favorites of the couple's.
Their recessional song was "One Thing Right" by Marshmello and Kane Brown; Tarek and Taylor's father-daughter dance was to "My Girl" by The Temptations (which they selected together); "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera played during the bouquet toss and "One Man Band" by Old Dominion was Tarek and Heather's first dance song.
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According to the pair, they chose the the country tune as their special song months ago, realizing it was a perfect analogy for their relationship.
"It literally symbolizes our relationship," Tarek says. "It's about this guy that's tired of going out and performing and being famous and being by himself. He's tired of being a one man band, he wants someone to live that life with. And I was a one man band until I met Heather."
Following a whirlwind wedding week, and before jetting off on their globe-hopping honeymoon, the pair are briefly back in Newport Beach spending some much-appreciated restful time at home.
"He makes me feel comfort, he makes me feel safe, he makes me feel protected and he has the biggest heart," Heather says of her now-husband. "We're best friends and we're true soulmates."
Tarek 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."