On a sunny day in May, as the waves crashed in the background and their closest friends and family standing beside them, Sarah and Zachary said their “I do’s” in the Dominican Republic. The newlyweds exchanged vows in an oceanfront ceremony at Hilton La Romana with one goal in mind – to live in the moment, and they certainly succeeded.
From a welcome party at sunset by the pier to singing and dancing all night on the elevated deck with a beachfront view, and all the details in between, we think it’s safe to say that with the help of their LUXE wedding planner and Hilton coordinator in destination, Sarah and Zachary’s wedding will be an event they never forget. Keep reading to see more of Sarah & Zachary’s luxury wedding in La Romana!
About the Couple
Bride: Sarah Schlotzhauer
Groom: Zachary Zettel
Occupations: Sarah is an international account manager for Rebel Athletic, a Cheerleading Apparel Company, and Zachary is an electrician.
How you met: We met online.
What attracted him to her: Sarah’s long blonde hair and blue eyes. She’s also very funny and has an easygoing personality.
What attracted her to him: Zach’s athletic lifestyle, sense of humor, and his family values.
Engagement story: In October 2021, we took a vacation to the beautiful island of Aruba. We love to travel to the tropics and have been lucky enough to visit nearly ten beach destinations together, where we started the tradition of watching the sunset from the beach each night. Our second night on the sands watching the sun go down, Zach surprised me by getting on one knee and asking me to be his wife. I conveniently had my iPhone set up on a gazebo to record the sunset and take a few photos, so was able to catch the special moment as it was happening. I knew an engagement was on the horizon, but I had no idea it was happening so soon; Zach and I just bought our first home together and decided we should save for our next big purchase. It was the best surprise ever!
The Wedding Day
Wedding date: May 16, 2023
Number of guests: 46
Her most memorable moment: Walking down the aisle and seeing Zach at the altar surrounded by family and friends. With the ocean behind him, it was such a surreal moment and I felt so loved.
His most memorable moment: Reading our vows to each other in private before the reception. This was the first moment alone just the two of us, so being able to take a second away from the day’s craziness and share our vows with each other was so special.
Advice to couples: Make sure you take the time to pause and savor every moment.
Wedding song: How Would You Feel by Ed Sheeran.
Favourite wedding detail: Twinkling lights hung above our reception venue and dance floor, and the florals that we chose for the ceremony were STUNNING.
Signature drinks: Zach’s was a mojito and Sarah’s was a Sangria. Chilis (the couples dog) was a spicy strawberry margarita.
Honeymoon destination: COCOS Hotel, Antigua.
The day in three words: A – fairy – tale.
Ceremony location: Oceanfront gazebo.
Reception location: Oceanfront deck and garden.
Bridal gown: Ceremony dress was from Mikaella Bridal and reception dress was found at Made With Love.
Bridal party attire: BHLDN and Anthropologie.
Groom’s outfit: Banana Republic.
Groomsmen attire: Amazon.
Favours: Bottles of Mamajuana.
Music: Our own playlist.
Flowers: Hilton’s resort stylist.
Astrological signs: The bride is a Gemini and the groom is a Capricorn.
Type of rings: The bride chose a 14k white gold pavé diamond band to pair with her 14k white gold pavé crown diamond engagement ring. The groom donned a titanium brushed band.
Wedding colors: Palm green, beige, and white.
Wedding guest color palette: Pastel blue and green, and soft tan.
Bride’s shoes: Call It Spring.
What was borrowed? The bride borrowed a diamond tennis bracelet from her mother.
What was new? Sarah’s something new was a crystal pendant gifted to her by Zach.
What was blue? The ocean – and how beautiful it was.
What did you put in welcome bags? The bridesmaids’ bags included rattan beach bags, light green robes, custom drink cups, bridesmaid shot glasses, and scrunchies. Groomsmen’s boxes had custom drink cups, custom flasks, suspenders, and cigars inside.
Most romantic moment: Reading their vows to each other in private before the reception.
Anything else that helps tell the story of the day? Two days before our wedding, with the help of Awilda at Hilton and Tiffany from LUXE, we planned the most stunning welcome party on the pier at sunset where we made the dress code all white. I would highly recommend that couples plan a welcome party for their guests as it set the tone for the week and allowed everyone the time to get to know each other. The sunset that night was also STUNNING and if you can imagine, the photos were incredible.
What tips would you give to newly engaged couples about planning a destination wedding, or advice for the wedding day?
Hilton La Romana’s wedding coordinators and LUXE’s wedding planners are truly so skilled at making your wedding dreams a reality. We recommend starting with a clear vision of your day and providing your coordinators with as much detail as possible – no detail is too small. After that, trust the process. Personally, I love to be in control and do it all, but this is one situation where you should let the professionals do their thing. Don’t stress about every tiny thing, that’s their job. Your job is to be in the moment and stay present, especially on your wedding day. Whenever I felt stressed or overwhelmed, I reminded myself that no matter what, our day would be beautiful. Being surrounded by our closest family and friends, in one of the most beautiful destinations on earth, how could it not be?!
Can you please tell us a bit about your experience (prior to departure) working with your LUXE wedding planner and travel manager?
I am SO thankful for Tiffany, my LUXE wedding planner and Awilda, my Hilton coordinator. They truly made the entire planning process so easy and seamless. Right from the start, Tiffany understood our vision for the day and provided valuable recommendations, feedback, and took care of every last detail. From the décor to the wedding timeline, vendor coordination, and everything in between, Tiffany worked closely with Awilda to ensure that our wedding would be nothing short of amazing – in fact, it was perfect.
Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Zettel! Wishing you all the best on your upcoming honeymoon!
Wedding & Travel Planning: LUXE Destination Weddings
Photography & Videography: Cores Films
Venue and Stay: Hilton La Romana an all-inclusive Family Resort
Hair & Makeup: Anna Nuet