Couple featured on HGTV's 'Caribbean Life'

Photos provided
Andrea and Kurt Rohleder of Ireland renew their wedding vows on a beach in Aruba. They are featured on an episode of HGTV's "Caribbean Life" that is set to air this weekend.

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Andrea and Kurt Rohleder of Ireland will be featured on an HGTV show Sunday night.

They are the subject couple on the show “Caribbean Life.” The episode was filmed last year, when the Rohleders purchased a vacation house in Aruba.

“It was a surreal experience, it really was,” Andrea said. “I’m excited to see the show, because I forgot all about what we did down there.”

The couple bought the house with Andrea's parents, Phil and Marcia Knies, and her brother, Andrew Knies. They use it as a vacation home and rent it out through Airbnb and VRBO.

“We had gone to Aruba four years ago with our kids and fell in love with it,” Andrea said. “We decided we wanted to show the rest of our family, so [we] went back down with them.”

That led to the family wanting to purchase a vacation home. So they worked with a local realtor to do just that.

Andrea and Kurt Rohleder of Ireland

“We were already looking when the realtor called and basically said, ‘You're never going to believe this.’ They said they got a call from HGTV wanting to know if they had any people looking for houses right now that they would want to feature,” Andrea said. “So she picked us.”

She was well aware of the show. “I watch it every week,” she said.

Show staff interviewed Andrea and Kurt through an online video call. “And then they called us back and said the producers wanted to feature us on an episode,” she said.

They went to Aruba with Andrea’s mom and aunt, Sheryl Tempel.

The couple is the focus of the show, but the others may be seen in the background in some shots. And mom Marcia Knies will likely be seen in the scenes where the couple renews their vows on the beach.

“We went horseback riding. And they had a picnic planned, so we did that. We fed ostriches,” Andrea recalled. “And then they asked us if we wanted to renew our vows. So they arranged for all of that on the beach. My mom stood up for us.”

The storyline follows the couple’s love story: “How my husband has his own construction business here, and I'm a workaholic in my job in marketing,” Andrea said. “We met riding horses. So we went back down there to reconnect.”

Camera crews followed the couple as they looked at houses with realty company Prima Casa.

“They had two cameras on us all the time,” Andrea said. “Basically, we would have to walk through the house and talk about the various features of the house. And then we would have to go back through it again, so that they could get the wide angle lenses.”

They were also prompted with a few words and lines to say for off-screen scenes. “We would have to stand over that puffy thing, the microphone thing, and say words like ‘Wow’ or ‘Amazing’ or ‘That's great,’” Andrea recalled, “so that as they were piecing together the show, they would have some extra buzz words.”

All the filming was done last year. “We weren't allowed to talk about it until now,” Andrea said.

Now that the show airing has been set, they have told all of their family, friends and coworkers, so that they can watch.

“We were going to do a watch party. But it's on Sunday night at 10 o'clock. And that's just so late, with kids in school,” Andrea said. “So we decided we're just going to have an intimate get-together with my parents, my siblings and our kids.”

They stayed at the new vacation home a couple times last year. “We were supposed to go two more times this year, but COVID hit,” Andrea said. “We are around hoping to get back down there in October and December yet.”

The couple chose Aruba because it was easy to get acclimated. “The island speaks good English. That's one of the things that drew us down there, that there wasn't a language barrier,” Andrea said. “It’s very safe and everyone is just so friendly.”

Both Kurt and Andrea enjoyed the experience. “It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be on TV,” Kurt said.

But they are curious how the production crew put the show together.

“The write-up on the episode talks about us meeting for life, like ostriches in Aruba, which is just hysterical,” Andrea said. “I’m going to be very entertained by how they piece together the storyline based on that.”

The Rohleders’ episode will air on HGTV at 10 p.m Sunday and 1 a.m. Monday.




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