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

Thornhill Post - - Contents - Reno, Set, Go! airs Wed­nes­days at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on HGTV Canada.

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.

The courtship

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.

The pro­posal

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.

The wed­ding

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

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