After facing a very public divorce from Christina Anstead, as well as battling and overcoming two types of cancer, HGTV's Tarek El Moussa has had a long road to happiness. Today, he says he's a "better man" after falling in love with Selling Sunset's Heather Rae Young. Now, they're married and have their own HGTV show—and baby! Here's a look at their incredible love story.
July 2019: Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young meet and start dating
Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young first met on July 4, 2019. Tarek's yacht, which is named Bad Decisions, was docked at Woody's Wharf in Newport Beach, California, when he spotted Heather on a neighboring boat. He went over and introduced himself.
While she declined his dinner invitation, she did agree to get drinks with him later that month—which went exceptionally well. She told Page Six that they chatted for six hours and continued to FaceTime one another on the way home. "Ever since then we’ve been inseparable," she shared.
Tarek and Heather started their relationship on July 22, 2019, as he later revealed on Instagram. It also later became clear that they started living together just four days into their relationship, splitting time between Tarek's home in Orange County and Heather's home in West Hollywood. On day five of their relationship, Tarek and Heather said "I love you" to each other, they told Us Weekly.
August 2019: Tarek and Heather announce their relationship; Heather meets his children
While the couple started dating in July, they waited until the following month to go public with their relationship. Tarek posted his first photo with Heather. "After more than 3 years on my own I’m so PROUD to say that this beautiful, sweet and talented young lady is my girlfriend," he wrote on Instagram.
Shortly after the news of his relationship broke, Tarek told Entertainment Tonight that he had already introduced Heather to his two kids before sharing the news with ex-wife Christina Anstead.
September 2019: Tarek buys Heather a Ferrari for her birthday
While their relationship was still very new, Tarek gave Heather one really expensive gift for her 32nd birthday: a white hard-top Ferrari! It was Heather's dream car, as Tarek had learned on their very first date. "This is a gushy post, but I just can’t help it," Heather wrote as she showed off her new set of wheels on Instagram. "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."
November 2019: Tarek and Heather take their first vacation together
The couple jetted off to Europe for a romantic Thanksgiving vacation with stops in Amsterdam and Paris. Fun fact: When Tarek first met Heather, he spontaneously asked her if she'd go to Paris with him. She declined his offer, as they had just met. However, months later, they finally took that trip.
December 2019: Tarek includes Heather in the family holiday photo
Tarek officially welcomed Heather into the family by including her in his 2019 holiday photo with kids Taylor and Brayden. As the pair revealed in later interviews, Heather instantly clicked with his then 10-year-old daughter, Taylor.
January 2020: Heather joins Tarek and his kids for a family vacation
The next month, Heather further became part of Tarek's family as she joined him and his kids for an action-packed winter getaway on the slopes in Northern California.
April 2020: Tarek and Heather move into a Newport Beach rental home
After nine months of dating, the couple found a rental home in Newport Beach and officially moved in together. The pair told People they would be there for at least one year. "This is our in-between house until we build or find the perfect house," Tarek said at the time.
July 2020: Tarek proposes to Heather
Tarek proposed to Heather on Catalina Island during a romantic weekend celebrating their one-year anniversary. Heather announced the engagement on July 26, 2020, on her Instagram profile. She posted a photo of herself smiling as her new fiancé placed a diamond rock on her ring finger. The caption read: "The Future Mrs. Tarek El Moussa!!!!"
Tarek, who was dressed in a tuxedo for the occasion, confirmed the details of the engagement and the ring to People magazine. The emerald-cut rock is colorless and eight carats in size. "The diamond is perfect all the way around—just like Heather," he told the outlet. "I also picked this ring, because eight is a lucky number."
The engagement aired on HGTV in October 2020, as Tarek had it filmed for his series Flipping 101. He had convinced Heather that they were just filming extra scenes for the show, being sure not to give away the surprise engagement.
September 2020: Tarek and Heather buy their first home together
In September, Tarek and Heather officially became the owners of their very first house in Newport Beach, California. While buying a house isn't uncommon for a soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs, this purchase wasn't actually planned. As a rep for the couple previously told People, "Tarek originally bought it as a flip but then they decided to make it their new home." The couple renovated the house and moved into it upon completion.
November 2020: Tarek and Heather travel to Vegas, sparking elopement rumors
In November, the couple spent a weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. During their getaway, Tarek and Heather both took to Instagram to tease the idea of getting married. "Does anyone know of a chapel 🤷♂️💍….should we do it," Tarek wrote. Heather penned a similar caption: "Should we get married in Vegas?!? Yes or no??"
While the couple did not appear to elope, Tarek did share a photo of Heather at dinner where she was holding a champagne glass wrapped in what appeared to be a white tulle—the material wedding dresses and veils are traditionally made of.
January 2021: Tarek and Heather celebrate 18 months of dating
Tarek penned a sweet note to Heather commemorating their year-and-a-half anniversary. "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," he wrote, using "our" to refer to him and his kids.
February 2021: Tarek and Heather take their engagement photos; Heather gets a special tattoo; the pair take a surprise Valentine's getaway
While Tarek and Heather still had not confirmed their wedding date, the lovebirds seemed only to be getting closer. In February, the couple had engagement photos taken at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. After explaining on her Instagram Story that she, Tarek, and everyone else involved had gotten COVID tested, she showed fans a snap of her newly updated bling: she and Tarek had gotten a new band for her engagement ring. "Gold with emerald cut was always my dream ring," she wrote, captioning a photo of it.
Later that same month, Heather surprised her husband-to-be with a special Valentine: a tattoo! She had secretly gotten "Yes sir, Mr. El Moussa" inked on her body. The Selling Sunset star later shared a photo on Instagram of her new tattoo but deleted it shortly after. Prior to Heather removing the photo (after some—er—mixed reactions from fans), Tarek had written "Forever and ever and ever," in the comments, followed by six heart emojis.
The couple spent the actual Valentine's holiday enjoying some vino away from home. Tarek surprised Heather with "a weekend of wine tasting and relaxing in Montecito." He shared a sweet photo of them on Instagram from their getaway, writing "All smiles with my person" in the caption.
April 2021: Tarek and Heather celebrate their engagement with friends and family
In April, the couple held their engagement party and revealed their adorable wedding hashtag: #flipherlastname. This clever tagline, which was inspired by Tarek's work on HGTV's Flip or Flop and Flipping 101, confirmed that the bride-to-be planned to take her fiancé's last name.
October 2021: Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young officially marry
The design duo tied the knot on October 23rd in Santa Barbara, California. "MR. & MRS. EL MOUSSA!!!," wrote Heather, who changed her name on Instagram to Heather Rae El Moussa following the wedding. "I married the love of my life today. My sweet man, my everything. Cheers to forever and then some."
In a separate post, Heather opened up about her love for Tarek. "Soaking it all up. Officially an El Moussa, officially a wife, and officially a step-mom," wrote Heather. "I was never the kind of girl who dreamt of her wedding growing up but I did always believe in soulmates and true love, and that was something I promised myself I would never give up on… and I never did."
January 2022: Heather Rae El Moussa opens up about her fertility journey
In the new year following their wedding, the Selling Sunset star got real about her fertility journey in a series of TikTok videos and Instagram stories. In one TikTok video, Heather explained that she was in the process of freezing her eggs in hopes of having children with Tarek.
Heather began the video after undergoing an ultrasound to determine how many follicles she had. "I have six on one side, and then on the other side I have a cyst. Which is fine, they just monitor it, but she could not find any follicles on that side," Heather said. "If we decide to move forward, we will start the process next week to get me ready for the egg-freezing in January. Last time I did this, I got six healthy eggs. So I have six on ice right now."
The star shared her journey thinking that it might help other women experiencing the same process. "Hope this can help some of you ladies," she wrote in the caption of her video.
Nearly a week after that initial visit, Heather took to Instagram stories to share a raw update on her journey. "We just left my fertility doctor and…not the best news," she began. "So I do have follicles that are growing. I have a total of five, but one of them looks like it's not going to be mature enough to extract. So we have two that are strong, one that is still growing, and another one that is still growing, so I have four that are looking decent," she said.
"Not the best number, so I 'm going to talk to my doctor a little later and see if it's even worth extracting to create the embryo or if we are going to have to do another round," she continued. "Obviously, it's not the most fun thing to go through, so I 'm really hoping for some good news later when I talk to my doctor," said Heather.
Luckily for the El Moussas, good news did come! In a video update posted to Heather's Instagram, she said, "It ended up being a better outcome than Tarek and I thought." She went on to explain that doctors were able to retrieve seven eggs. "Initially, Tarek and I thought we were only going to get 2 eggs from this retrieval but we ended up with 7 eggs, 6 ended up being good. We thawed 4 eggs from my egg retrieval we did 2 years ago. 3 ended up making it…. So we will create 9 embryos," she wrote in the caption.
Despite positive numbers, Heather said that "usually only 50% [of the embryos] make it through the process." She promised to update her followers when she finds out how many healthy embryos survived, writing "I can't wait!"
Babies were on Tarek's mind, too. In a November, 2021 interview with E! Daily Pop, Tarek shared that the couple had been "practicing having babies." In the same interview, Heather added, "We're going to freeze embryos first, go from there and then see what happens." She continued, "We're raising two kids. I 'm already a mommy. So I 'm like, well, why not have just one more?"
July 2022: Heather and Tarek announce they're having a baby
Heather and Tarek El Moussa announced they were expecting their first child together, to be born in early 2023. They both took to Instagram to share the exciting news with a collection of photos on the beach—one of which featured Taylor and Brayden, Tarek's kids who he shares with his ex Christina Hall.
The Selling Sunset star said becoming pregnant with her first child was a huge shock. She told People: "We just weren't expecting this. We had just gone through IVF. We had embryos on ice. We had a plan. I think when you least expect it and there's no stress in your life, the world just brought us what was meant to be. I 'm so excited that it happened like this."
January 2023: Heather and Tarek's baby boy is born
Heather and Tarek's baby boy was born on January 31, 2023. A few days later, in February, Heather shared the news on Instagram. "Mama & baby are happy, healthy, tired but doing well," she wrote in the caption. "Our hearts are so happy."
February 2023: Heather and Tarek share details about the birth of their son, Tristan Jay El Moussa
The couple took some time to soak up precious moments with their newborn before sharing details about their son and his birth story. On February 15, 2023, they revealed that his name is Tristan Jay El Moussa. "Tristan was the name that Tarek was supposed to have," Heather shared on Instagram. "Jay is my dad's middle name & 4 generations of Jay."
She went on to reveal that there were some scary moments leading up to their son's birth. "We were at my final doctor appointment and our Dr. rushed us to the hospital to get monitored because Tristan‘s movements had slowed down," Heather wrote. "I was 4 days past his due date."
She gave a quick version of the story: "I had scar tissue built up from a biopsy I had years ago, which affected my cervix softening & water breaking. Once at the hospital, I was given 1/2 a pill of Cytotec to soften the cervix, balloon went in. 2 hours later I was dilated to a 4. Balloon fell out, then 3 hours later dilated to a 6, then a few minutes and 8 then 15 minutes later my water broke! It was time to push!! it all happened really fast. Tristan’s heart rate was dropping very low every time I’d push & was staying low. Which was terrifying."
She continued, "My doctor told me that we had to get him out right away. I had 4 more pushes and to give it my all & she was going to use a vacuum to help get him out fast or otherwise we would have to do an emergency C-section. Tarek was on my right holding my hand talking me through everything. I pushed so hard all the blood vessels broke in my face and chest. Tarek yelled I see his head, push push push. Our baby boy came out healthy and beautiful, I was in a state of shock it was a surreal experience. I was emotional and drained & so in love already. It was scary but beautiful & I had the best support from Tarek, my incredible @drlisakaramardian and all the nurses at Hoag."
At the end of the caption, she added, "We have been in our own private bubble but today we are so happy to share Tristan and some of our birth story with the world 🤍🤍"
March 2023: Heather and Tarek's new show The Flipping El Moussas premieres
Heather and Tarek are no strangers to reality TV, and in spring 2023 the couple finally embarked on their own show together called The Flipping El Moussas. The docu-series on HGTV follows their professional projects and personal lives throughout ten episodes.
"The family flipping business is growing," Heather wrote in an Instagram announcement of the show. "You can definitely expect some battles of budget versus design choices, but I think what you guys will have the most fun seeing is how much laughter, chaos, and love that’s in our family as we also grow our family too."
There's no word yet on if the show will be renewed for a second season, but here's to hoping!
March 2023: Heather and Tarek launch a home line
On March 20, 2023, Heather and Tarek launched a home line called Home by Tarek & Heather (Home by Them). "Home by Tarek and Heather is something that we have been working on and pouring our energy into for years and it’s genuinely our dream-come-true company," the couple shared on Instagram.
"Ever since we started dating, we would talk for hours on end about creating a home line that combined luxury and affordability and we both had such a strong vision for what that looked like," they continued. "But like all good things… it takes time."
Their first launch included two candles and one hand soap. Since then, they've launched a few other products including a night light, a wooden tray, and more. Who knows what's next for the El Moussas?
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