Creating the perfect wedding for eight loving couples who have never been able to make their big day happen on Netflix's Say I Do was not just a transformative experience for the brides and grooms. As the heartwarming new series from the creators of Queer Eye drops on Netflix July 1, the show's Food Expert, Chef Gabriele Bertaccini, opened up to PopCulture.com about his experience filming the show and how making these couples' dream weddings happen changed his own view of love.
"Say I Do, it's really a show about storytelling, and it's a show about hope, love, resiliency," the Florence-born chef said. "It's kind of a show that brings back the trust that we all should have in the power of love. In the fact that we can go through fears, struggles, failures, yet we find reassurance in love. The love is still there as a safety net. It's there to pick us up anytime we need and we want."
While fellow experts Jeremiah Brent and Thai Nguyen handled the design of the event and the stunning custom outfits for the brides and grooms, it was up to Bertaccini to create the perfect dining experience for the reception — one that perfectly encapsulated the couple's love story. "We all want to make sure that our guests and the people that we're bringing on on this special day, really experienced something that is authentic to the couple and food is just a different way, another way of doing that," he explained.
Growing up, Bertaccini has always expressed love through food, and it was his goal to connect with the couples in a way that would allow him to this time communicate their love for one another with the menu. "That is really what kind of carried me through the whole season," he explained. "Reminding myself that my job as a storyteller was to be a safe keeper for the stories that I heard from the groom and the bride and then express them in a very pristine and simple way in the food and drinks that were served at the wedding."
Working with Brent and Nguyen was "inspiring," Bertaccini said, as their passion for their own lanes of the process was infectious. "There is something special about the bond that we created," he told PopCulture. "I think especially because we were together 24/7, for three months filming this, and we were all emotionally invested. We were so vulnerable with each other, with others. I think it's a bond that will never go away."
Bertaccini is walking away not only with lifelong bonds, but with a new perspective on love. "I think I went on the show with the idea of what love looks like to me," he reflected. Regardless of skin color, sexuality and gender, "everybody wants to love, everybody wants to be loved," he continued. "There is something so safe about laying our fears and our failures in the power that love has in bringing people together, and in the fact that we know that whatever happens, we have love as a safety net. ...Everybody wants to love, everybody wants to be loved. And if we go back to that, life is very simple. It's just very simple."
Say I Do is streaming on Netflix now.