Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
Karla Hudgens and Cynthia “Cindy” Andrews-Looper don’t have the typical love story. Cindy was Karla’s pastor and officiated her first wedding. After that marriage ended, Cindy counciled Karla, which blossomed into a relationship. Now, engaged and ready to marry, they’re turning to Netflix in its latest series Marriage or Mortgage to make their dream come true!
“I sent an email, a long email telling our story,” Cindy told AfterBuzz TV of applying to the show after seeing a posting on Facebook. “Within a 24 hour period, I got an email back saying, ‘We’d love to talk to you,’ and that’s how it began.”
Marriage or Mortgage, Netflix’s latest reality hit, pairs Nashville-based couples up with real estate agent Nichole Holmes and wedding planner Sarah Miller who show them potential homes and wedding plans they could attain with their budget. The catch? They can only pick one.
“Going in, we honestly did not know,” Cindy said. “I’ve never been married and would love to have a wedding.”
Cindy, the pastor of an LGBTQ+ church, was leaning toward wedding, while Karla was leaning toward a home as they currently live in the house she shared with her ex-wife. The couple also put their house on the market ahead of the show and were open to either a new home or wedding as long as it fit their vision.
“We want a big, fat, gay, wedding,” Cindy and Karla said on the show. “And if it’s a house, we want a big, fat, gay house!”
Nichole and Sarah had their work cut out for them as Cindy and Karla had big requirements: either a turnkey home with a big kitchen, screened-in porch and an office for Cindy to write her sermons, or a big outdoor wedding venue with room to accommodate 200-300 guests.
A dream come true
Ultimately, the couple chose a wedding.
“It was an opportunity for us to celebrate just pure love between two people that are of the same gender and communicate that on a much broader spectrum, a much larger audience,” Cindy said. “When I think about our higher calling and the desire to communicate this positive and affirming message to the LGBTQ community, this just seemed like a perfect opportunity for us to do that.”
For Cindy and Karla, the wedding was also an opportunity to uplift those who may be dealing with hardship in their community.
“The wedding was just magical, but watching the episode, it feels good that for those in the LGBTQ community who are watching and may be struggling, I believe that we send a positive message to them, and we did that through the show and through our wedding,” Cindy said.
They both agreed their favorite moment was seeing each other at the altar.
“She was just drop dead gorgeous,” Cindy said. “When she was at the end of the aisle and I made eye contact with her, that was just so powerful. It was, ‘Oh my God, there she is. Look at her, she’s coming toward me.’ I couldn’t even wait till she got down the aisle, I had to go to the middle of the aisle and escort her down the rest of the way.”
“You could just feel the love everywhere. It was all around us all day,” Karla added. “Everybody was just happy. And it came at a time where in our country Covid was going, and everybody just needed that. Everybody needed a pick-me-up and something to make them feel better…it was just perfect.”
Since the pandemic, Cindy has been working from home and Karla has been going in to work with patients as a medical imaging technician. Cindy has also been officiating weddings, which has liaised into a new passion project for the couple.
Inspired by their time on Marriage or Mortgage, they started taking online courses to become certified event planners with the goal of becoming wedding planners.
“We both have a creative side and love celebrating love, however that may be defined,” Cindy said. “I think through the process of planning our wedding and just the awesome experience that we had, it’s such a joy working with couples and sharing in their excitement and being a part of their special day, so that’s something that we’re excited about for this year.”
Cindy and Karla plan on finishing their courses this year so that they can begin building their wedding planning business as a part time job on the side, with the hopes of taking it full-time in the future.
As for a house, the couple are still living in their same house and have been working on a few renovations. They say they’re happy to be spending some quiet time at home.
“We’ve been enjoying coming home and just being with each other, whether that is taking a walk or watching TV or playing with our puppies,” Cindy said. “We’ve just enjoyed being without an agenda really.”
Though they don’t have plans to move quite yet, Karla and Cindy agreed they’ll be calling Nichole when they do!
To find out where the rest of the couples from Marriage or Mortgage are now, keep following AfterBuzz TV for interviews with the cast. You can stream all ten episodes on Netflix now.
Meagan Lynn is a host and writer at AfterBuzz TV, actress, and social media manager. Outside of AfterBuzz, you can find her hosting and producing Ten Minute Talks. She loves singing, listening to inspirational podcasts and consuming copious amounts of movies and television shows.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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