For its second season, Lifetime’s “Marrying Millions” adds a pair of Seattleites to its cast of couples. One member of each couple is wealthy, the other is not.
Nonie Creme (the designated “rich one”), of Queen Anne, and Reese Record, of Beacon Hill, began dating about 18 months ago after matching on the dating app Tinder. In addition to their wealth disparity, Creme is also 17 years older than 30-year-old Record.
Creme, a beauty-products entrepreneur who was founding creative director of Butter London and is currently chief creative officer for Seattle-based BeautyGARDE, had some experience on television, promoting beauty brands on the “Today” show and appearing in one episode of Animal Planet redecorating show “Animal Cribs.” Her friend Nancy Peppler of Seattle’s Heffner Management modeling agency learned “Marrying Millions” was seeking new cast members.
“She called me up and said, ‘You’re going to kill me but this thing came across my desk and I put you forward for it,’” Creme recalls. “We laughed and laughed and I said, ‘You’re so ridiculous, I’m sure they’re not looking for someone like me.’ ”
Turns out they were, but when Creme told Record: “I was like, hell no,” he recalls. “I don’t watch TV. I don’t support TV. I’m not about TV. I was not happy.”
But Record says Creme talked him into it and, since filming began, he’s found it to be “the most fun ever.”
“Marrying Millions” filmed with the couple in Seattle for five days in March before getting shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Filming resumed June 30 with precautions in place, including COVID-19 testing for cast and crew. The season premieres at 10 p.m. Aug. 5.
“We’ve been adhering to far stricter regulations around COVID during filming than Reese and I had here during our daily life,” Creme says, including losing an afternoon of filming in early July after a crew member got out a tape measure and realized the room didn’t allow all the show’s cast and crew to stand 6 feet apart. “They are very strict. It’s good, it’s for the best.”
Creme says their story line is specific to family and close friends, people who were part of the couple’s larger “quaranteam,” and they’ve continued to film with those same individuals.
After agreeing to be on the show, Creme says it took some time to negotiate terms for their appearance on the series.
“It’s a transaction,” she says. “It’s a real business and we’re all grown-ups here, so there was some discussion around how it all runs and what it all meant.”
Her 12-year-old daughter won’t appear on the show and so far her ex-husband, who is now a neighbor of Creme’s, hasn’t appeared either.
“He has been requested multiple times,” she says. “We’re working on it because, boy, he is hilarious.”
Creme, a Houston native, says after being well educated, she was cut off by her family financially and “every penny of my fortune is self-made.” She moved to Seattle in 2006 to work for Butter London.
Record grew up in Kent and Federal Way and has done audio/visual work at live venues and at photo shoots, worked with an arborist and helped build skate parks as part of the Seattle skateboarding scene.
Creme says the age and wealth gaps haven’t been issues in their relationship, but filming “Marrying Millions” can be stressful.
“We try to keep it really real,” Creme says. “We don’t come from reality TV, we’re not actors. We’re hanging it all out there. We are deeply in love, that part is easy. Our age gap has never even occurred to either of us apart from every once in a while I’ll show Reese a picture or play him a song and realize he has no idea what I’m talking about. The intensity of serving your life on TV — it’s a lot.”
Two couples from the show’s first season (to be featured in catch-up episode “Marrying Millions: Couples Journey So Far” on Wednesday, July 29, at 10 p.m.) are among the seven couples appearing in season two and, despite the stress, Creme and Record say they’d like to continue with the show in the future.
“I’d be sad if we didn’t get to,” Record says. “Nonie may have been stressed out at certain parts, but I think overall it’s been a pretty good experience of getting to be ourselves.”
Creme adds, “We’d like to think our story will be compelling enough that people would want us to come back season after season and see what we’re up to and where we go with this.”