After a six-year courtship, Jeremy Batoff proposed to Eric Goldie the old-fashioned way: in Hawaii, on one knee. A Rolex Day-Date substituted for a diamond ring, but in every other aspect it was a traditional proposal, followed by the first same-sex engagement party ever to be held at the tony Bath & Tennis Club in Palm Beach. In that regard, the two are the personification of old world tradition with a very modern fairy tale twist.
Early in their relationship, Eric took the Amtrak every Friday from New York City, where he lived, to spend weekends at Oakdene, Jeremy’s family farm in the bucolic Maryland town of Greenspring Valley. He grew to love its rambling country charm with its original 1920s Gracie wallpaper, fresh morning eggs straight from the chicken coop, and its stable of mini ponies.
It was not a surprise then when they chose to get married at the historic 18th-century home, once owned by the family of Charles Carroll, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Could there be a more fitting place to celebrate their union soon after same-sex marriages were legalized in the United States?
Built in 1750, the property served as a backdrop for lyrical acrobats, dazzling stilt walkers, confetti canons, and guests in their most fabulous evening attire. The front lawn was transformed by event planner Kate Taylor and the team at Amaryllis Floral & Event Design into a chic and luxurious supper club complete with custom blue velvet banquettes, lounge areas, a 16-piece band, and a marble-topped four-sided bar. All the details, below.
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Jeremy proposed at Merriman’s in Maui on a cliff overlooking the Pacific—he had secretly arranged for Eric’s family to be at the restaurant to film the entire scene.
In an age where e-vites have become the norm, the couple went the old-fashioned route: snail mail. Guests’ names were hand calligraphed in gold on silk-covered invitations featuring a custom monogram designed by Ellen Weldon.
Both the exterior and interiors of Oakdene were used as the set for Claire Underwood’s ritzy childhood home in season four of House of Cards. The Philadelphia String Quartet serenaded guests as they entered the home.
Eric and Jeremy wore custom Tom Ford tuxedos, Christian Louboutin shoes, and exchanged Vendôme wedding bands from Cartier.
“No gay wedding would be complete without a Real Housewife,” Eric says. Luckily, the author Carole Radziwill (in a Chiara Boni dress) is a close family friend and shared stories of the couple, ending with words of wisdom borrowed from her late husband’s family: “May Heaven’s choicest blessings be showered upon you always.”
The modern Chuppah was adorned with the couple’s favorite flowers: white Tibet roses, white hydrangeas, and flowing orchids, all spun into a chic asymmetrically architectural design.
The path to the reception tent was flanked with gold lanterns, contortionists, and acrobats performing aerial stunts. Guests were showered with confetti as stilt walkers paraded through the dancing crowds.
Custom-made navy blue banquettes were staged with towering palm arrangements set in gold vessels. Gold ribbon chandeliers hung over a bespoke painted dance floor. Dinner tables were covered with blue silk tablecloths, glass candelabras holding white taper candles, and monogrammed linen napkins.
The Midnight Snacks
The night was later capped off with silver trays stacked with McDonald’s cheeseburgers and fries, fulfilling Eric’s childhood dream of serving fast food at his wedding.
The newlyweds wanted a party vibe from the moment their friends and family stepped foot in the reception tent. “We didn’t want the music to stop and we wanted the energy to be high throughout the entire night,” Jeremy says. “We requested songs that appealed to all generations, from Motown classics to Lizzo.” At the stroke of midnight a DJ came on to carry revelers into the wee hours of the morning.
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