A ‘Summer House’ Wedding Five Seasons in the Making

Not a pandemic nor a shared canned-cocktail business nor a Bravo reality series could tear apart Amanda Batula and Kyle Cooke.,

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On a Thursday in August 2015 — almost a year before Bravo TV cameras started filming the reality show “Summer House” — Amanda Batula and Kyle Cooke were guests at a penthouse apartment in Manhattan’s NoLIta neighborhood.

Ms. Batula, then a senior graphic designer, was celebrating the birthday of a Delta Gamma sorority sister from the University of Connecticut in Stamford, at which Ms. Batula received a bachelor’s degree. Mr. Cooke, a serial entrepreneur, attended to celebrate the same woman whom he had recently befriended in Montauk, N.Y.

“I had seen Kyle from across the way,” said Ms. Batula, now 30. First, Mr. Cooke’s blonde hair caught her attention, followed by his determination for dessert. “There was cake in a shot glass but there were no utensils to eat it,” Ms. Batula said. “I saw Kyle go over and use his fingers to start scraping out the cake from these shots.”

Ms. Batula, who is from Hillsborough, N.J., felt this was her moment to approach Mr. Cooke, now 39. He is from Manchester, N.H., and received an undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and an M.B.A. from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass.

After briefly chatting, the two left the birthday party for their first date: a few rounds of margaritas nearby at Oficina Latina, a now-closed Latin-American restaurant.

“By November we were unofficially exclusive,” Mr. Cooke said. But the relationship remained undefined long after. “We were eight or nine months into seeing each other and Amanda was starting to put me on the spot and say, ‘What are we?'”

Her sobering question was left unanswered more than once. Ultimately, Mr. Cooke ended things in May 2016.

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Credit…Melissa Marshall

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“I didn’t even have the title of girlfriend and I got broken up with. He was about to start this TV show,” Ms. Batula said of “Summer House,” a Bravo reality program about New Yorkers in their 20s and 30s partying and spending weekends together in a Hamptons summer share.

Season 1 filming began in June 2016. Despite Mr. Cooke’s effort to be single, Ms. Batula’s plans overlapped his at the restaurant Grey Lady in Montauk in July. The serendipitous run-in introduced Ms. Batula — and the pair’s complicated status — to viewers. “The misconception on ‘Summer House’ is that she was a booty call,” Mr. Cooke said.

Ms. Batula officially joined the cast in Season 2. In five seasons to date, “Summer House” documents the couple’s fights, cheating, making up and moving in together. (They reside in Manhattan’s Financial District.) The show also highlights how the two collaborate on their sparkling hard tea and canned cocktail company Loverboy, of which Mr. Cooke is founder and chief executive and Ms. Batula is creative director.

On Sept. 2, 2018, Mr. Cooke proposed to Ms. Batula on a sunset boat ride near Shelter Island, N.Y., which played out for audiences in Season 3.

Pandemic restrictions upended possible wedding dates (in May 2020, September 2020 and June 2021), as well as potential venue options ranging from Vermont to New York to New Jersey. In the interim, a makeshift quarantine microwedding with the “Summer House” cast aired during Season 5.

Finally, on Saturday, Sept. 25, Carl Radke officiated in the backyard of Ms. Batula’s parents’ home in Hillsborough, N.J., before 200 people with proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative test results. In addition to Mr. Radke, who received his ordination from the Universal Life Church and also served as a best man, guests included current and former “Summer House” cast members Lindsay Hubbard, Danielle Olivera, Paige Desorbo (a bridesmaid), Ciara Miller and Everett Weston. Austen Kroll and Craig Conover of Bravo’s “Southern Charm” celebrated, too.

The wedding will air on Bravo next year.

“It would be rude of us to do something private and not share that with the people that we’ve shared every aspect of our relationship with,” Ms. Batula said.

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