Real Utah Wedding: Sophia Rex & Tyrell Barker
DIY Backyard Bash | June 12, 2014 | Photos by Kate Osborne Photography
We feature this adorable duo and their equally adorable DIY nuptials in the “Project Wedding” spotlight in our current issue. We fell in love with Sophia and Tyrell’s family-filled fête and the couple’s sweet story.
“Tyrell and I met in a middle school computer class—romantic, right?” recalls Sophia. “We were both at the awkward, geeky, braces stage. Tyrell was super shy and quiet, and I was loud and outspoken. As much as he does not like to admit it, he needed help in the class and I jumped at the chance to help/flirt. As months and years went by, we found ourselves inseparable. He was this shy cowboy who stole my heart and swept me off my feet.”
Sophia and her sister, event and interior designer Martha Hatfield, teamed up to create many of the handmade details for the couple’s big day on June 12, 2014. Other family members and friends joined in on the fun, too. Everyone from the bride’s little brother to her mother-in-law to her paternal grandfather pitched in. The result? A truly heartfelt celebration and fond, funny memories (be sure to read about Hatfield’s late-night foraging adventures below!).
Enjoy more photos of the pretty backyard bash by Kate Osborne Photography and scroll down to read about all of the made-with-love details.
From the wedding designer and planner (and bride’s sister), Martha Hatfield:
We were on a budget from the get-go, so when my sister asked me to help her plan and execute her wedding to her high-school sweetheart, I jumped at the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and get to work! I knew that being on a budget didn’t mean that the aesthetic of the day’s events had to be sacrificed—we simply needed to spend wisely.
I began the design process by asking my sister what was most important to her. Like many brides, the dress was at the top of her list. Wedding gowns can run you a small fortune, so we decided to purchase silk and lace ourselves and work with a local seamstress, a family friend, to create a custom design which turned out beautifully!
Sophia and Tyrell decided against a reception and instead opted for an outdoor dinner celebration for 150 guests made up of family and close friends. This allowed us to spend a little more on food and rentals. While it would have been wonderful to create lush floral arrangements for 19 tables, I knew it was not in the budget. Instead, we created tall arrangements using foraged tree branches. I will never forget the experience of clipping tree branches the night before the wedding with my parents: every time we saw headlights coming our way, we’d quickly turn off our flashlights and stand still!
Because the private property where we held the dinner was so beautiful, I didn’t need to plan for too much in terms of decor. I displayed family photos from Sophia’s and Tyrell’s childhood on two old orchard ladders we found on the groom’s family farm. I also used some old, weathered pieces of wood from their farm to create a “dinner and dancing” sign to direct guests to the dinner celebration out back.
My sister wanted a “naked cake,” and I somehow convinced our mother, an incredible cook and baker, that she could make their wedding cake. And boy, did she deliver! I also somehow talked one of our brother’s into making the cake topper in his high school wood-shop class days before school let out for summer break.
The finishing touches came in the form of six beautiful frames our paternal grandfather made using old cedar boards from the side of their home before a remodel and an old torn down fence made of Ponderosa Pine. The bride and groom will treasure this frames for years to come. At the end of the evening, guests took home little jars of homemade jam made by the groom’s mother using grapes from their family farm.
Thank you Sophia, Tyrell, and Martha for sharing this wedding story with us!