The recent marriage of Jamie Rose Grossbard and Panagiotis Kopulos brought more than two people in love together: Their pledges shared as husband and wife gave union to Greek Orthodox, Jewish and Presbyterian religions in a most meaningful ceremony.
"My husband is Greek Orthodox and their wedding traditions have been unchanged since the ninth century," says Jamie, who was raised learning both Protestant and Jewish beliefs. "It was important to Takis and me to have a ceremony that was so sacred and rich with history and tradition."
Here, Jamie and Takis (his nickname) happily exit center aisle after their wedding at St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church.
Jamie, pictured here with her lovely bridesmaids for a photo shoot at Lakeside County Club, is a Houstonian and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She works as a marketing account executive with KTRK Ch. 13.
"Takis and I dated for three years, and he popped the question while we were at the Houston Zoo, looking at my favorite exhibit, the elephants," Jamie says. "He proposed in front of the elephant exhibit because, as he said, 'Elephants never forget!' "
Takis, also from Houston, is a graduate of Texas A&M University. He serves as a police officer with the Houston Police Department.
Longhorn and Aggie . . . another union of its own kind!
"We met with the priest at St. Basil, Father Anastasios, to discuss how the ceremony would unfold," Jamie says. "He so kindly explained every step and even shared the similarities between Orthodoxy and the religions that I had in my family’s background.
"This made everyone very comfortable and helped us all understand more about Orthodoxy. Father Anastasios even made sure to mention and recognize my unique religious background during the wedding ceremony."
Shown are the sacraments of the rings, the Common Cup and the official wine and the delicate pearl head pieces for the crowning, along with the epistle for the reading.
Jamie's father, Mark Grossbard, gives his daughter to her husband-to-be. Jamie's mother is Mary Grossbard.
The wedding at St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church was an elegant affair. Throughout the ceremony, the bride and groom were referred to by their Greek Orthodox names, Panagiotis and Dimitria
Divisi Strings provided music for the service.
Following a reading, an exchange of the rings and lighting of candles, the priest crowns the bride and groom as king and queen of their home which, according to Greek Orthodoxy, they will rule with wisdom, justice and integrity.
The crowns are joined together with a ribbon symbolizing the two are now one.
Following the ceremony, family and guests joined the bride and groom for a reception at Lakeside Country Club where more customs were combined and celebrated.
Pictured here, the bride's cake by Edible Designs by Jessie.
And take a wild guess at who did the groom's cake?
"Shipley’s Do-nuts," Jamie says. "We had a doughnut tower, because my husband is a police officer."
Tables were topped with floral arrangements by Sarah's Florist. Special note: The white pumpkin with the number eight.
"I am a huge Halloween person," Jamie says, "so we tried to incorporate that into our October wedding by having the table numbers carved into white pumpkins.
"We also had a candy bar that read 'Trick or Treat,' and we gave away mini caramel apples as favors."
The highlight of the reception for the bride was her father-in-law's touching tribute, Jamie admits.
"We had a very special and unique first dance to 'Speak Softly Love,' which is the musical theme from The Godfather — a homage to my Italian background," she says. "What made this so special was that it was played by the groom’s father, Anastasios Kopulos, on his bouzouki. He kneeled beside us as we danced."
Performing with her father is Kostas Milonakos. The groom's mother is Eleni Kopulos.
Dancing continued into the night with the ladies — and maybe some of the gentlemen — wrapping decorated belly dancer scarves around their hips.
Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Panagiotis Kopulos.
"The following night, we jetted off to Italy for our honeymoon," Jamie says. "We visited Milan, Florence, Lake Como (the most beautiful place I have seen!) and Venice."
Jamie added she and her husband plan to look for a house this year and start a family in the next few years.