HGTV host Cheryl Torrenueva’s ‘secret’ romance and picture-perfect proposal
HGTV Canada’s Cheryl Torrenueva on falling in love with her behind-the-scenes hubby
HGTV Canada’s Cheryl Torrenueva has a new show with co-host Roger Morin called Reno, Set, Go! in which the pair renovate Toronto homes in 36 hours for deserving families as a surprise for one family member. Off-screen, she teams up with her husband Michael Rosas, who she met on the set of another home reno show, naturally. Here she tells us how they met.
How they met
We met 13 years ago while filming the pilot episode of my very first television show, Rooms That Rock for HGTV Canada. We were both in other relationships at the time, too, so we weren’t really looking for new love. Michael was one of the cameramen on the show, and the one thing that always stuck out in my mind was that he was really nice. What I always laugh at is the fact that he only worked on the pilot and then decided to move on to another show, which was Restaurant Makeover, and I didn’t end up seeing him again for four years. Cut to four years later where we were both single, and I was sharing an apartment with my friend Joy who was working at a television production company (where Michael also worked), and Joy and I decided to meet after work at an industry party for drinks. Once I arrived, I noticed Michael, and of course we greeted each other with open arms, and I was thinking, “Wow, blast from the past.” The whole group decided to go out for dinner after the party, and Michael ended up sitting beside me for the entire night. He made me laugh the whole time, so that’s why I like to tell him that he had me at “ha ha.” We saw each other a few more times at work events, and a month later he asked me out.
The first date
We decided to meet in Little Italy at a restaurant called Olivia’s. The streets were packed because of the soccer game. I remember walking there thinking, “I hope he shows up.” Then finally looking through a sea of rambunctious soccer fans, I saw this handsome man dressed in all black with these cool white dress shoes. Michael loves his fashion, so I was pretty impressed. The patio at Olivia’s was so gorgeous that evening, and we had the most amazing time eating great food and laughing all through the night.
Since we both worked in the television industry, we tried to keep our courtship a secret for a whole year. Although I feel like most of our co-workers and friends knew but were just playing along. Michael moved on to be a creative director and producer, while I continued on building my brand and TV career.
Michael proposed to me in St. Lucia, and I had no idea that we were going to even get married. We were already vacationing, and he had booked a night at the Ladera resort, where you get the best views of the Piton mountains, where each room only has three walls. For anyone else, that would be heaven, right? But for me, I have a fear of bugs at night, so I was in full panic mode while still loving this amazing experience. He called me over to the balcony and suggested that we take a quick picture while the sun was setting with the view of the mountains behind (that’s the director of photography speaking), and I ran over all flustered thinking, “OK, let’s just get this done!” As I was posing for the picture, he walked over to me and went down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was in total shock, pure confusion and that turned into a waterfall of tears! Happy tears of course! I said yes immediately, and I’m scared to watch the video because I’m sure I was not even speaking in clear sentences.
I knew that I wanted to feel the tropical vibe of Cartagena, where Michael had taken me for one of my birthdays, at our wedding. Bringing the old-world Colombian charm to Toronto was going to be hard, so we had a very small wedding in Cartagena instead, just immediate family and a few friends. We got married at the Casablanca B & B by the pool, and the party continued on the rooftop. We stayed in Colombia for our honeymoon and visited the island of Baru.
Secret to success
I think the advantage that we have is that, because our worlds have always been intertwined through working together, having the same social circles and being creative people allows us to be involved in everything that’s going on at all times.
Cheryl Torrenueva and husband Michael Rosas at their wedding in Colombia