Incorporating the respective faiths of the bride and groom, the wedding ceremony between Peabody residents Jeremy Stosez and Dina Kumunduros at Chamberlain Farms in Berkley, Mass., last month featured both Jewish and Greek Orthodox traditions.
There were Jewish and Greek Orthodox prayers, as well as the Greek Orthodox tradition of showering wedding dancers with money, and the Jewish custom of breaking a glass at the end of the ceremony.
“We kind of wanted both aspects,” said Stosez, who grew up in Peabody and was bar mitzvahed at the former Temple Beth Shalom.
“She kind of introduced me to a little of the Greek [traditions],” Stosez said. “I kind of introduced her to beliefs in the Judaism world, showed her some of the holidays.”
“Jeremy and I really wanted to incorporate both our personal backgrounds,” Dina Stosez said.
Jon Nelson, the music director at Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead, was the officiant. Nelson is also a rabbi, and he signed the Ketubah and marriage license.
“He did a great job personalizing [the ceremony] for each one of the kids, making it meaningful for each one of their backgrounds, creating the service for them,” said Jeremy’s mother, Shelby Chapper-Pierce, who also works at Temple Emanu-El as its engagement and program coordinator.
The Stosezes honeymooned on the Riviera Mayan along the Mexican Caribbean coastline.
“We definitely agreed we wanted to go somewhere that neither of us had been before,” Dina said.
The wedding couple first met through a mutual friend almost a decade ago at the North Shore Mall. Jeremy was going to get some of his favorite fast food, while Dina was coming out of the Apple store.
“We did not really start thinking about a relationship until a few years afterward,” said Jeremy, who works as a customer service specialist at Peloton Interactive. “It started dawning on me that she was someone who made me laugh. I’m a very funny guy, and usually I’m the person who makes other people laugh.
“She has a good heart, a good soul.”
The couple took a step forward, buying their first house, in Peabody. They welcomed a pair of furry friends into their home – Jeremy’s Australian shepherd, Copper, and Dina’s pit bull, Carter.
“They’ve been inseparable the last three years,” Dina said.
On April 27, 2021, Jeremy told Dina they were going out for a walk with the dogs at a new location: Endicott Park in Danvers. She had come home from her job as an orthopedic nurse. He asked her to dress up for the occasion because they were going to a nice dinner afterward.
When they got to the pond, there were a few delays: A child was fishing, and Dina fell, scraped her knee, and went to the car for a Band-Aid. When she got back, Jeremy got on one knee to propose, with a professional photographer taking pictures.
“I had come from work after a long shift,” Dina recalled. “Little did I know, Jeremy hid the engagement ring in Carter’s harness.” She described the proposal as “very sweet.”
It was time to start planning the wedding.
“From the very beginning, even before we got engaged, we both discussed how much religion, culture, upbringing meant to both of us,” Dina said, adding that the purpose of the ceremony was to “celebrate both of our backgrounds.”
The wedding took place outdoors, in what Jeremy’s mother called “ideal” weather: “It wasn’t hot or cold, it was perfect.”
Reflecting on the day, Chapper-Pierce said, “I describe to many people, the whole day was magic. From the beginning to the end, it was perfect. Watching him marry the girl who is his perfect partner, there’s nothing more a mother could want.”