There once lived a small town girl from Kansas named, Ingrid Bender, who was in search of her long lost prince. She spread her wings to San Diego, CA for four years after she graduated from the University of Kansas. She then followed her career to Houston, TX for interior design sales in healthcare and hospitality. There once lived an Alaskan boy named, Garrett Stepanovich, who grew up in Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida and ventured to Houston, TX to begin his flourishing career in energy. Their lives changed forever on September 15, 2012. Not only was this Garrett’s 27th birthday but, it was the day their hearts would collide. Believe it or not, they met at a sports bar during the day watching the Florida vs. Tennessee football game. They had an instant connection and after their first date, they knew that one another were different than all the other “boys and girls” out there. They became partners in crime at a rapid speed and everything flowed in their relationship like clockwork. After four months they knew that they would spend the rest of their lives together. Garrett planned a romantic getaway to Key West during the holidays of 2014 while they were visiting his parents in Naples, Fl. On December 23, 2014 Garrett flew the two of them to the Dry Tortuga Island for a tour of an old naval fort. He tricked Ingrid into thinking that they were taking a picture in front of the lighthouse for his grandmother. Instead, he got down on one knee to propose to her with the most beautiful background of the lighthouse, sailboats and ocean.
On Friday, May 6, 2016, they had the most epic wedding of all time in Naples, Fl at both Ritz-Carlton locations. Family and friends flew in days before and after their wedding to maximize their time celebrating the union of Ingrid and Garrett. The weather was spot on for the week as a huge storm rolled in cooling off the atmosphere. The rehearsal dinner was a sunset sail on the Naples Princess. Everyone had a blast cruising the gulf and sipping on cocktails. There was even a mini rain dance for a few minutes on the top deck. Afterwards, the party continued to Cavo Lounge for more celebrating and dancing. The day of the wedding was jam packed from sunrise to sundown. The men went golfing on the Tiburon Golf Course while the ladies pampered themselves. Garrett’s grandfather, Reverend Dr. John Dodson, beautifully did the ceremony. The sunset cocktail party on the beach and reception were an absolute blast. The floral arrangements were gorgeous, the food was delicious, and everyone danced until the party ended at 1:30AM. The finale of the night was the last ones standing taking a shot and jumping into the pool with the bride and groom.
You would think things would fizzle down the next day however; this group had an all day beach party having fun in the sun. If that wasn’t enough, Saturday evening was finished off at the Blue Martini for one last hurrah! It was a nonstop dance party to remember. Ingrid and Garrett had the time of their lives celebrating with all of their loved ones. It was the perfect start to a new beginning.
Venue: Ritz-Carlton Golf Course, Naples and Ritz-Carlton, Naples on Vanderbilt Beach
Wedding Coordinator: Ritz-Carlton, Kristin Biada
Floral: Ritz-Carlton, James Hurd
Officiant: Reverend Dr. John Dodson
Groom’s Tux: J Hilburn
Bride’s Dress: Enzoani
Bride’s Shoes: Belle Belle from BHLDN
Bride’s Hair and Make Up: Duality Artistry and Ritz-Carlton Spa
Hair and Make Up Bridal Party: Duality Artistry
Ring Bearer Pillow and Garter: Mother of the Bride hand made
Flower Girl Dress and Halo: BHLDN