Vladlena + Nate | Oregon City, OR

Who would've thought that a simple trip to the break room could lead to a love story for the ages? Vladlena and Nate's paths crossed in the workplace, where they bonded over chit-chats and stories about family pets and fish tanks with turtles. But it wasn't until a year and a half later that their first date lit the spark of an epic romance. Nate's proclamation to his family - "she breaks up with me or I marry her" - was a glimpse into the sheer power of their connection.


The focus was work so it took a year and a half before we went out on a date. After our first date was game over, I was head over heels.”

It was proposal time! Nate's sister gave him the ultimate advice – throw in a "red herring" decoy plan to keep the element of surprise alive. So, even though Vladlena was convinced January was the proposal month, Nate popped the question during a December birthday dinner for his mother. The scene? A breathtaking Christmas tree at Skamania Lodge, with Vlada's sister playing paparazzi from beneath a table.

“I was so thrown off and kept expecting to see his parents to still do the birthday dinner. I had brought his mother a present with us and everything, but he said the entire thing was a set up just for us.”

With good vibes from both their older sisters' dress choices from Charlotte’s, Vladlena stepped in and found a dress that was pure glitzy magic, Julia Leigh ‘5510’. Not the style she expected, but the one that made her feel like her most fabulous self. And with a family of ladies sharing opinions, the dress hunt turned into a fantastic bonding experience, shared with stylist, Nicole.

“I thought I would go for a full elegant style but this dress was glitzy, fun and unlike anything I typically wear. Nicole was so kind and gracious because we are a family of 4 ladies, and everyone wanted to share their selections and she had a great balance of allowing everyone to do that while also staying focused on my needs.”

The two had their hearts set on getting married in January of 2020, but the world tried to have other plans. But Vladlena and Nate held their ground, navigating restrictions and changing plans like true champions of love. Wildfires and air quality couldn't dampen their spirits, nor could a sudden venue change. With luck and love on their side, their wedding day dawned with sunshine and clear skies to make up for all of the stress they had endured.


“I didn't even see my venue until the day of our wedding when I walked down the aisle. It continued to go uphill, the night before our wedding was the first major downpour of rain and when we woke up on our wedding date, it was the first day we had seen clear skies in weeks! When I was walking down the aisle, my husband said the sun was shining and it was beaming into the church through the windows.”

Vladlena has some words of wisdom to share with future brides. First and foremost, trust your gut when picking your dress. It's your memory, and when you feel like a star in it, that's all that matters. Plus, when life throws curveballs, focus on what truly matters – your love story. Vladlena and Nate proved that a heart full of love can weather any storm and still shine bright.

“We had so many circumstances that were beyond our control, but focusing on our love and our future together was the best decision and we genuinely had the best wedding. We look back and feel our hearts fill with joy.

Congratulations, Vladlena and Nate! We wish you the best!



Venue - Abernathy Center

Photographer - Julie Terekhin

Florist - Anastasia Ethridge

HAMU - Blush n' Bride