As a 30-year-old single woman living in New York City, Natalya decided she was fine with never getting married. But just as she began to embrace her independence, Jason came along and changed her plans. Two and a half years after their first date, Natalya said farewell to the single life and tied the knot with Jason in a poolside soiree in Miami, Florida. Share their love. Here's what you had to say: Karissa commented via Facebook: "[This is a] sweet love story." Bella wrote via Facebook: "Love can be the element of surprise."
Bride: Natalya Niewdach, 32
Groom: Jason Ellis, 28
Occupations: Natalya — Director of Grants and Programs for Associated Medical Schools of New York; Jason — Resident in the Neurosurgery Department at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital
Hometown: New York, New York
Wedding Location: Four Seasons Hotel, Miami, Florida
Wedding Date: December 31, 2010
Take It Slow:
Natalya and Jason got to know each other in 2004 when she began interning in the Office of Diversity at Columbia University's Medical School, which Jason was attending. For four years, Jason would casually pop into Natalya's office to ask about her studies, hear her jokes and just get to know her better. She never suspected that he was interested in more than friendship.
"There was an attraction there," Jason confesses, "but I took it pretty slowly and got to know her. I didn't come on strong."
The more he got to know her the more he thought she was "somebody that fit the bill."
"As I got to know her more, I found out she was funny, interesting and great to talk to," Jason remembers.
After four years of getting to know her, Jason asked Natalya out on a date at the nudging of a close friend.
After that first date, the couple's romance moved pretty swiftly, but before falling for Jason, Natalya says she was content to be on her own. Jason changed all that when he showed her he was serious about their future.
"The most interesting thing about us is that Jason is younger than me, yet he knew what he wanted and he was really ready to make a commitment," she explains. "As a girl you grow up wanting to fall in love and have a family and you look for love in places you shouldn't. As I grew older I was fine with not getting married and I became comfortable with it. I met Jason at a time when I least expected it and it ended up working well."
Unpack Your Heart:
On November 1, 2009, Jason and Natalya were both flying back into New York City from separate trips. They met at the airport, exchanged embraces and headed to their apartment together. As they unpacked, Jason told Natalya that he got her a present.
"He gave me this really nice box with a really cheap ring in it and said, 'Oh, you can wear this with your pearls,'" Natalya recalls. "I was thinking, 'Is he serious?'"
Despite her disappointment, Natalya thanked Jason for the ring and went back to packing. When she turned around again he had another band in his hand.
"Here's your real ring," he smiled.
"The ring was beautiful," Natalya says. "I really appreciated that he paid attention to what I like."
Fourteen months after saying "I will," Natalya said "I do" to Jason in a poolside soiree in Miami, Florida. Share their love.