Courtesy of Jo De La Rosa
It was wedding bells for Jo De La Rosa and Taran Gray!
The Real Housewives of Orange County alum, 41, and musical theater composer, 36, married on Saturday in a romantic backyard ceremony at a private residence in Los Angeles’s Palos Verdes Estates, PEOPLE can exclusively report.
The couple said “I do” in front of an intimated crowd of their closest family and friends, including some of De La Rosa’s former RHOC costars. Their personalized vows were filed with sweet sentiments, and the newlyweds teared up as they professed their love for one another.
Afterward they said their vows, the pair joined partygoers in dancing the night away at a reception held on the same property.
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De La Rosa — one of the founding Orange County Housewives when the franchise began in 2006 — met Gray during pandemic when the two connected on Hinge in June 2020. They dated virtually for three months and defined their relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend even before they met in person.
“It really did feel like I was in a Love Is Blind episode because I was falling in love with this human over a screen,” De La Rosa joked to PEOPLE before their wedding. “I thought I was crazy. I was like, ‘How am I having these feelings? I haven’t even met this guy in person before!'”
“Yeah, it really was a weird experience looking back,” Gray adds. “We said ‘I love you’ before we even met in person. We had our first kiss after we already knew we were in love with each other. It was unlike any situation either of us had ever been in. But at the same time , everything from the moment we first starting talking has just felt so right.”
Jo De La Rosa/Instagram
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Neither had been married before, though De La Rosa has been engaged twice in the past — including to Slade Smiley, their relationship documented on the first two seasons of RHOC. Unlike their previous romances, De La Rosa and Gray both say what makes their bond special is neither of them ever settled fo what didn’t work for them.
“That was the theme for us,” explains Gray. “Jo had called off her engagements when she knew they weren’t what she wanted, I had been single for years because I wanted to wait for the right relationship, not just any relationship. And when we met one another it was like, ‘ Finally!'”
“They say you always ended up finding what you’re looking for when you’re not looking, and that’s really what happened with us,” says De La Rosa. “And I think that time in the beginning really worked in our favor. We weren’t blinded by the physical, as often happens when you first meet someone. We really got to know each other deeply on an emotional level, which made that physical connection when we did eventually meet all that more special.”
The pair documented their romance in videos on De La Rosa’s popular YouTube page, including those early days of dating from afar. Gray even made sure the cameras were rolling when he popped the question on July 31 last year.
“It was the most romantic, most epic Hollywood thing I’ve ever experienced,” De La Rosa recalled of the surprise proposal, staged under the stars of a rose petal-flanked rooftop in LA
Before popping the question, Gray performed an original song called “Become My Wife” for De La Rosa. He surprised her again with a YouTube reaction video setup (“The best gift you can give your girlfriend who is inspiring to be a YouTuber is a YouTube video,” Jo gushes) and then, an hour later, with an engagement party attended by family and friends.
“I always knew I wanted to do something big and theatrical when I got engaged,” Gray says. “Back in the day I was imagining flash mobs and all that. This is where we ended up in 2022. And what I loved about it was, Jo had said that no one had ever surprised her before, so I was able to give her a string of surprises at once.”
“That’s exactly why I love Taran,” De La Rosa interjects. “He has the most amazing heart and puts so much thought and detail into everything he does for me. I’m lucky to have him.”
“I’m lucky to have her!” says Gray. “She’s one in a million.”
Jo De La Rosa/Instagram
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Now that they’re husband and wife, De La Rosa and Gray are planning on moving in together — something they waited to do until after they got married. And from there, they’ll start planning a family.
“We waited our whole lives to find one another, De La Rosa says. “This is only the beginning of our lifetime together.”