CINCINNATI — When you hear about a show called “Say I Do” on Netflix, you instantly know it’s a wedding show. Ask anyone involved, and you realize it’s much more than that.
"A show like this brings people together,” said one of the show's hosts, Gabrielle Bertaccini. “There are different stories, different walks, you know, walks of lives."
Bertaccini is one of three stars of “Say I Do.” He said the show is needed now – at a time when the news of the day is so divisive.
Bertaccini and his co-stars, dress designer Thai Nguyen and interior designer Jeremiah Brent, believe the show demonstrates that we are all more alike than we realize.
“That's the beautiful thing about humanity,” Brent said. “When you actually stop and listen to one another is that connective tissue and, really, love is that connective tissue in the end."
The show is produced by Scout Productions, which also produces the award-winning “Queer Eye” series.
The premise of "Say I Do” is this: a dating couple thinks they will be on TV to tell their love story, when really, one member of that couple knows they are going to get married in a matter of days. Enter Brent, Nguyen and Bertaccini, who then meet with the couple, get to know their story and why it is that a wedding of their dreams has never materialized.
Then, like magic, the team throws a wedding like something out of a storybook.
Nguyen said they listen to the couple and "show up" for them in a way no one else ever has.
“It’s like the best, the best moment,” he said about the weddings. “We are all crying and laughing at the same time and turning to each other, hugging each other. We did something good.”
Nguyen, who designs and makes the bridal gown by hand, even describes himself as a “fairy gownmother.”
Several of the couples’ stories and weddings unfold at locations all around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. You’ll recognize Ault Park, Devou Park and Smale Park in multiple scenes. Nguyen’s atelier was in the West End.
The cast admits they didn’t know much about Cincinnati before they arrived.
“When I heard about Cincinnati, I was like, ‘Where’s that?’” Nguyen said. “But when we got there, I was like, ‘Its so pretty. It’s a beautiful city.'”
Brent said he loved the architecture and antiquing in the area and spent the first part of each day at Smale Park.
“I ran every morning at 5 am along the river,” he said. “It was restorative to me. It was beautiful.”
He was also very impressed by the people he met in the area.
“All the locals were genuine, nice people,” Brent said. “Everybody works really hard, you know. You can see that it’s a town of do-gooders, and it was really nice.”
The show was shot in and around Cincinnati during the late summer and fall months of 2019. The case said they’re hoping "Say I Do" can provide a little bit of a respite from the current civil unrest and pandemic and shows the world a little love.
“We as the world, as a community, we are really craving that sort of unity and connection and love,” Bertaccini said.
“Say I Do” is streaming now on Netflix.