Timeless Meets Modern Clearwater Beach Surprise Wedding | Sandpearl Resort

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While most couples plan every aspect of their wedding day, Clearwater Beach bride Allyson woke up one morning to discover her fiancé, Jason, organized a surprise wedding for the couple.

“We wanted a destination wedding and Mexico got shut down. We originally had 40 guests, but 10 decided not to come due to COVID,” the groom shared. “It was important that the day be magical and a surprise to Allyson. I have been with her for 17 years, and it was a surprise wedding for her 40th birthday. You only turn 40 once!”

The day before the wedding, Jason gifted Allyson an invitation to their own wedding to reveal the big surprise. Then, a limo pulled up filled with her friends to shop for a wedding dress.

With the help of Tampa Bay wedding planner Parties A La Carte, the groom coordinated a private shopping trip to Isabel O’Neil Bridal Collection, while Seamless Alterations Studio was on stand by to provide overnight alterations.

“Since Allyson had such little time to say yes to her dream dress, we spoke with her friends and family to get their thoughts on what they think she would picture herself in on the big day!” wedding planner Jessica Ralph Bova, owner Parties A’La Carte, shared. “Our team took a trip to the dress studio a few days before and pulled 12 dresses that matched the description of the information we had gathered. We also ordered 15 pairs of shoes for Allyson to choose from when trying on her dress!”

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No strangers to coordinating unexpected events, as the wedding planner, Jessica, also hosted a surprise wedding for her own nuptials.

“In this case, this wedding was a surprise for the bride! She did not know she was getting married until the day before her wedding!” Jessica revealed. “There were many moving parts when it came to pulling off this unique wedding. Starting with trusting the guests with this secret, we clearly indicated the wedding was a surprise on the invitation.”

After speaking to the groom about the couple’s style, Parties A La Carte created an elegant outdoor garden-style beachside affair for 30 guests.

“When it came to the decor and design, we had Jason send us photos of their home for us to get a feel for Allyson’s eye for design. After reviewing images and scrolling through all the bride’s social media, we came to the conclusion that a Restoration Hardware theme would be perfect for this occasion,” the planner shared. “We decided to go for a ‘timeless’ wedding. The groom had described their style to be timeless with modern elements.”

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Wooden farm tables, decorated with gold-rimmed glass chargers, gold flatware, and white napkins from Kate Ryan Event Rentals added to the ambiance of the Restoration Hardware theme.

“When Allyson got a glimpse of the decor she was in love with how everything came together,” Jessica beamed.

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Organizing a surprise wedding, especially when the bride is unaware of the event, adds a unique challenge, but with the help of their planner and friends and family, the day was executed flawlessly.

“Throughout the planning process, we made sure to put ourselves in the bride’s shoes continuously. We wanted to take the time to make sure we included all of the little things we would’ve wanted to be included in our own big day. Allyson’s bridesmaids were thoughtful and purchased matching robes for getting ready, and we made sure to have breakfast and mimosas present in the suite the morning of,” Jessica explained. “Everything came together beautifully, and Allyson was so excited to celebrate her big day with her closest family and friends. Jason was thrilled to have pulled off a surprise of a lifetime, and we were beyond grateful to be apart of it. This wedding could not have turned out any more perfect!!

The team at Parties A’La Carte shares their advice for hosting a surprise wedding,

“Let as few people know as possible. You have to have the mindset that whoever is meant to be there will be there, to avoid convincing someone to come and risk ruining the surprise element,” Jessica advised.

“Since Allyson had such little time to say yes to her dream dress, we spoke with her friends and family to get their thoughts on what they think she would picture herself in on the big day! Our team took a trip to the dress studio a few days before and pulled 12 dresses that matched the description of the information we had gathered. We also ordered 15 pairs of shoes for Allyson to choose from when trying on her dress!” -Jessica Ralph Bova, owner of Parties A’La Carte

The Proposal:
I proposed 10 years to the day prior on a private yacht sunset in Greece. It as amazing.

“This wedding was a surprise for the bride! She did not know she was getting married until the day before her wedding! There were many moving parts when it came to pulling off this unique wedding. Starting with trusting the guests with this secret, we clearly indicated the wedding was a surprise on the invitation.” -Jessica Ralph Bova, owner Parties A’La Carte

“When it came to the decor and design, we had Jason send us photos of their home for us to get a feel for Allyson’s eye for design. After reviewing images and scrolling through all the bride’s social media, we came to the conclusion that a Restoration Hardware theme would be perfect for this occasion. We decided to go for a ‘timeless’ wedding. The groom had described their style to be timeless with modern elements.” -Jessica Ralph Bova, owner Parties A’La Carte

Venue: Sandpearl Resort Clearwater Beach
Photographer: Photography by Avery
Planner: Parties A’La Carte *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Botanica
Farm Tables, Chargers, Flatware, Glassware, and Napkin Rentals: Kate Ryan Event Rentals *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Lounge Furniture, Rugs, Cake Backdrop Rentals: Style House Florals
String Lights: Gabro Event Services
Cake: Hands on Sweets
Ceremony and Reception Music: Matt Winter Band
Transportation: Olympus Limo, Ambassador Limo
Dress Shop and Designer: Isabel O’Neil Bridal Collection *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Alterations: Seamless Alterations Studio
Hair & Makeup: Lasting Luxe

MEET THE EDITOR

Marry Me Tampa Bay editor, Anna Coats, created Marry Me Tampa Bay in 2012 to showcase the area's best local weddings and vendors. She has been featured as a wedding expert on the national talkshow Daytime, Fox13, ABC Action News, Great Day Tampa Bay, and Bay News 9 (now Spectrum).

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