When Sarah Rose Attman and Juan Carlos Solórzano Smith met through mutual friends in the summer of 2014 in Aspen, Colorado, the two of them developed a fast friendship. For several years, they kept their relationship platonic until they could no longer deny the chemistry between them. While Carlos loved Sarah’s “entrepreneurial spirit and independence,” Sarah admired Carlos’ charm and resilience. He had moved to the United States in his early 20s without knowing any English and soon became a successful sommelier.
On December 9, 2018—the same day they went on their first date two years earlier—Sarah and Carlos took their favorite hike on Smuggler Mountain Trail in Aspen. “Carlos ran a bit ahead of Sarah and hid a bottle of Dom Pérignon Rosé and two champagne glasses in the snow by the top,” the couple recounts. “He got down on one knee, and then, we drank the bottle together as we walked down the mountain.” The newly engaged couple shared the news with friends they ran into on the mountain and then celebrated with a small party of loved ones over brunch at The Little Nell.
Right away, Sarah and Carlos knew they wanted to host a destination wedding in Guatemala. “We loved the idea of doing something in a country that none of our guests had visited before (aside from those actually living there),” the couple notes. After touring countless venues, they decided on Villa Bokéh in Antigua, Guatemala. “We loved the hotel because it was very romantic with gardens, a beautiful art collection, and traditional architecture. Yet, it also highlighted Guatemalan culture in a more subtle way,” they share. “Plus, it came with a gorgeous view of Volcán de Agua.”
With the help of Ingrid and Astrid Labbe of La Folie Events, the duo adopted a divide-and-conquer approach to wedding planning. Since Sarah is the founder of Sarah Rose Events (and Sarah Rose PR), she put her own event planning skills to the test by spearheading the décor and programming. Meanwhile, Carlos covered the food, wine, and cigars. “It was a joy working on this and felt like I could really use all my creativity and implement these fun ideas into the most important day of my life,” Sarah says. They also tag teamed by making countless trips to Guatemala to taste the food and approve final designs.
Their weekend began on November 15, 2021 with a welcome dinner filled with local cuisine and culture, which Tara Marolda Photography captured on camera. Then, on November 16, 2021, the pair said “I do” in front of 70 guests as Lacie Hansen Photography and Carlos Lopez Ayerdi shot the big day. Keep scrolling to see every stunning detail from their nuptials.
Sarah and Carlos envisioned an elegant and romantic event that fused Guatemalan, American, and Jewish traditions. Most importantly, they wanted to throw an affair that their guests would never forget, which meant plenty of surprises throughout the day. “We wanted everyone to have an amazing time and to rave about the wedding for years to come,” they remark. Invitations featuring a watercolor illustration of their venue by LuisFer Izquierdo established a sense of place and the color palette: soft pinks and whites with wood and gold accents.
When guests arrived at their hotel rooms, they found vibrant welcome baskets that LuisFer Izquierdo hand-painted. Each box was full of local treats, such as Café León ground coffee, champurradas (Guatemalan sesame seed cookies), and Ron Zacapa, a Guatemalan rum.
The night before the ceremony, Sarah and Carlos hosted a colorful welcome dinner in San José El Viejo, the ruins of an 18th-century church. For the event, the bride-to-be wore a pink and red floral-printed dress with an asymmetrical neckline and a dramatic leg slit. The groom coordinated with his bride in a vibrant jacket by Eduardo Figueroa and black dress pants.
The ancient ruins were transformed into a vibrant space decked out in 5,200 flowers, ceramic owls, and ceramic giraffes. In Guatemala, these animals represent prosperity, luck, and abundance. Since the future newlyweds wanted their loved ones to learn about the surrounding culture, they arranged an evening infused with local cuisine, such as pepián de Antigua and arroz con leche, Guatemalan marimba music, and Mayan weavers.
Instead of wearing the traditional white dress, Sarah switched things up in a black strapless Monique Lhuillier gown featuring colorful flowers. However, when the bride first started her dress shopping journey, she didn’t seek out a colorful ensemble. “But when I put it on, I got that feeling, like, ‘Wow, this is it,’” she reflects. “It seemed to match the vibrant culture of Guatemala.” Since the dress wasn’t exactly what the bride had envisioned, she needed some time to think it over before making her final decision. “It didn’t take long for me to become crystal clear that this was the one,” she shares.
Sarah paired her getup with black Oscar de la Renta heels, her mother’s black Judith Leiber Couture clutch, and her grandmother’s pearl and diamond drop earrings. She completed her look with natural, dewy makeup and a half-up hairstyle secured with a beaded hair accessory from Halo.
Carlos donned a navy suit by Ermenegildo Zegna and a pocket square made with leftover fabric from Sarah’s gown. Initially, the groom selected a different pocket square to round off his outfit. “Right before I was supposed to walk down the aisle, Sarah’s dad came up to me and said, ‘I want you to match my pocket square’ and just switched it out,” Carlos reveals. “I didn’t think much about it, but when I saw Sarah walk down the aisle, I put two and two together.”
When friends and family arrived at the ceremony site, they walked beneath an arch designed by Nestor Gamez of blush pink and white garden roses, mini roses, hydrangeas, orchids, and chrysanthemums.
Before watching the couple trade vows, guests admired views of Volcán de Agua, enjoyed caviar and Dom Pérignon Rosé, and listened to a violinist duo from the Guatemala National Symphony Orchestra perform love ballads.
A hedge of pink and white roses carved a path toward the chuppah, which was composed of tree branches and more of the same romantic blooms. A scenic backdrop, featuring a lake and volcano, framed the setup.
With her parents on either side of her, the bride made her entrance while the band ASTTON performed “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. Since the couple opted against doing a first look, the two of them debuted their wedding attire for the first time during Sarah’s procession. “Guests were absolutely shocked when they saw Sarah walk down the aisle as was Carlos,” Sarah remembers. “He said it was totally unexpected but absolutely beautiful. He loved it!”
The duo had Carlos’ childhood role model, Guatemalan businessman and activist Dr. Dionisio Gutiérrez, conduct their ceremony. “When Carlos was a little boy, he used to watch Dr. Gutiérrez on TV in Guatemala and admired his way of thinking,” Sarah explains. “It was beyond Carlos’ wildest dreams that one day he could consider Dionisio both a mentor and friend.”
While Dr. Gutiérrez guided the ceremony, the bride and groom recited promises that they wrote themselves. Sarah recounted how she fell in love and expressed how she admired Carlos. Carlos told jokes about wine and vowed to make Sarah happy for the rest of her life. Then, Sarah’s parents read the Sheva Brachot, or Seven Blessings, while wrapping the bride and groom in Sarah’s great-grandfather’s tallit. To conclude the ceremony, Carlos broke a glass before kissing his new wife.
Following the ceremony, friends and family made their way to cocktail hour by strolling through the gardens. Along the way, they encountered surprises that Sarah had planned, such as a performance by Latin Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Javier Garcia and a photographer taking pictures with a polaroid. The final destination was a greenhouse, which was engulfed in white tulips and cherry blossoms. Once guests arrived, they noshed on hors d’oeuvres and sipped a “Gardener,” a beloved cocktail at Matsuhisa Aspen, where Carlos used to work.
The newlyweds hosted their reception in a tent that local woodworkers made by hand. Just outside of the enclosed space, hundreds of flickering candles and lush arrangements of roses animated the pool.
Guests dined beneath chandeliers at wooden tables, which were lined with assortments of pink peonies, ranunculus, and white candles. They selected their choice of ribeye, chicken, or sea bass smothered in Guatemalan sauces from menus adorned with a custom gold wax seal and affixed with a satin ribbon. To evoke a romantic ambiance, pink curtains were draped around the perimeter.
“The cake itself was a simple white tiered cake, but it was surrounded by gorgeous flowers,” Sarah explains. “This made it a ‘wow’ moment in and of itself.” The flavor was just as noteworthy: strawberries and cream.
The newlyweds shared a few words with their friends and family before hitting the dance floor. Although the couple didn’t arrange a first dance, music was nonetheless a focal point of their post-ceremony celebration. A live band, a mariachi band, and a DJ all made an appearance.
A surprise taco truck, a fireworks display, and a late-night swim concluded the couple’s special night with a bang. Sarah and Carlos say they wouldn’t have been able to host such a memorable wedding without their incredible vendor team. To help make your dreams a reality, they recommend hiring a trustworthy group of talented individuals. “They were passionate about our event and made us feel like a priority,” the newlyweds note. “It made our lives easier because instead of having to micromanage every detail, we trusted them to just get it done.”