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  • Writer's pictureBryn Dippold

CityBeat: Cincinnati Couple's Love Story Goes Viral on TikTok

In December, Julie Shore and Scott Gaede found love with each other for the second time, thanks to some Parent Trap-inspired help from their daughters.

Photo: Caroline Eyer

By Bryn Dippold

On Thursday, Dec. 28, Julie Shore and Scott Gaede prepared for their wedding. 

The day was cold (a high of 43 degrees) and overcast, not unusual for Cincinnati, Ohio. It would be a small ceremony in Over-the-Rhine at Memorial Hall.

The venue, which usually sees saxophonists, comedians and musical productions, was host to Shore and Gaede, who were about to start their second act.

Because this was their second wedding — to each other. And there were only two guests: their daughters, Rachel (24) and Caroline (20), affectionately known as Caro to friends and family. The girls’ cousin, Cameron, who was the ring bearer at Shore and Gaede’s first wedding in 1997, officiated.

Most of this journey, of Shore and Gaede and their reconciliation, has been documented on TikTok by their daughter, Rachel. Her account (@gachelraede) has almost 400,000 followers. She shares candid videos of her family, Gaede’s antics and, earlier in December, shared that her parents were getting remarried at the end of the month. Most of her followers didn’t realize that Shore and Gaede weren’t married anymore or that they would be reconciling.

The first video she posted was three years ago, almost to the day of her parent’s second marriage. At this point, in 2020, Shore and Gaede had been spending more time together than they had when they separated in 2014. They officially divorced in 2019.

 When COVID hit and families were forced to stay inside, Gaede strictly quarantined to see the girls since the girls and Shore were seeing her mother in the nursing home. “COVID made us friendly,” Shore says.

Gaede’s mother, Sally, died of Alzheimer’s in November 2020, at the height of the pandemic, and since Gaede and Shore had been spending so much time together, Shore was there. “Being at his mom’s deathbed was exactly where I was supposed to be, to the point that his siblings were like, ‘What’s going on?’ They were stirring scandals left and right,” Shore says.

Shore attended the Gaede family Christmas that year, and it was very “awkward,” she says. “But it was an intentional decision to be whole [as a family] in that moment. It was another step in bringing our family back together without realizing it back then.”

In spring 2021, Caroline graduated from Indian Hill High School as valedictorian, and two days later, Gaede’s father, Jim, passed away.

“Mom had Alzheimer’s and my dad had ALS,” Gaede says. “At the time of their passing, I don’t think there were a ton of tears of sorrow; it was more of a relief that they weren’t in pain.”

This particular set of circumstances resulted in wakes that were more celebrations of life and of the family coming together to remember Gaede’s mother and father.

After this, Gaede and Shore were together more often than they were not. They began dating again. Rachel recalls memories of getting together with her parents and “just having a good time.”

Gaede and Shore took a trip out to the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 2021, where they talked over “everything.” Before that trip, they had been dating, but Shore mentions that they couldn’t just “date.” “There were too many factors,” Shore says. 

After the trip, they decided to come together again. They bought a house for the family to be under the same roof again at the end of 2021.

“We changed in all the right ways for each other,” Shore says.

During this time, Rachel was documenting the antics of her family through TikTok, which Shore was skeptical of at first. It took her a long time to come around. “Part of me becoming comfortable with it was supporting my daughter,” she says.

While some parents may be wary of a camera in their faces, Rachel says it was natural. “We have videos going all the way back to when we were young,” she says. “Before I had a camera in everyone’s face, [Dad] had the Flip in our faces.” (The Flip, a video camera that was fashioned to fit in your hand like a modern-day cell phone, was first released in 2006 to great popularity.)

Rachel originally started her account because she was an advertising student at the Savannah College of Art & Design. “If I posted an ad that went viral, I would get hired,” she reasoned. She started with a fake ad for Arby’s, which did end up going viral. Afterward, Rachel realized that while the fake ad was funny, her family’s dynamic was funnier, and it was catching popularity online.

Rachel’s account regularly gets at least 30,000 views per video, with some of the most popular garnering over 35 million views.

Because of this popularity, the family has started getting recognized in public, something they all agree is “bizarre.” 

“I expect it at Target, I expect it at Kroger and I expect it at the gym,” Shore says. “Anywhere else throws me off.”

Caroline, who is a senior at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill studying math and statistics, says that the family is recognized the most while visiting the school. One of their family dogs, Roddis, is a name that often is shouted at them while out in public.

Shore says while the recognition is unusual, it’s “totally fine.” But she is quick to defend her girls. “At the end of the day, this is my family, though,” she says. “I scour comments …I’m always cognizant of the safety of my little squad here.” 

When Rachel shared the story of her parent’s reconciliation in early December, she was very open with details, something that Shore was supportive of.

“[Rachel] has a way to present things, and when I comb through those comments, she’s doing something for people,” Shore says. “It’s providing hope; it’s providing humor; it’s providing relatability. So many people are searching for that.”

“If TikTok brought anything to our family, I think it’s a level of awareness of what other people say … in the sense of, ‘You’re so lucky to do that with your family,’” Rachel says. “Sometimes we’re just doing things, and it just feels normal because it’s our family, but it’s not until people are like, ‘I wish I could do that with my mom’ or ‘I wish my dad would go watch that movie with me’ or ‘I wish my sister would come lay in my bed.’ It’s that type of thing that makes me personally more aware of the things that we have to be grateful for.”

Though so much of their life has been shared online, TikTok doesn’t have much to do with who the Shore-Gaede family is. While some could say that the videos brought Shore and Gaede back together, or that the COVID pandemic did, or even family circumstance, there is much more to it than that.

“He can make me laugh like nobody else, and it’s been that way since our first date,” Shore says.

It was a matter of circumstance, sure, but it was also a matter of growth, forgiveness and love.

Gaede, while “waxing poetic” (according to Shore), says, “I think our divorce is what will keep us together forever.”

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