An Exclusive Look Inside MLB Star Bryce Harper's Wedding

Plus, the sweetest details from his love story with wife Kayla.
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Mar 29, 2024

Bryce Harper and his wife Kayla are on top of the world. Amid the start of the 2024 baseball season, the Philadelphia Phillies star first baseman, 31, has his sights set on a third postseason appearance in three years. When he signed with the team in 2019, his record-breaking $300 million contract was the largest in baseball—and it instantly catapulted him into Philly legend status.

Off the diamond, though, Bryce and Kayla Harper's sweet love story is one of our favorites. Throughout his incredible rise as one of the biggest stars in baseball today, Bryce Harper's wife has been by his side since the very beginning. The Knot had an exclusive look inside Bryce and Kayla Harper's wedding day back in 2016, which took place at The San Diego Latter-day Saints Temple. They've since welcomed two kids together: son Krew, 4, and daughter Brooklyn, 3, with their third due later this year.

Here, we look back on Bryce Harper and his wife's endearing romance, breaking down when and how they met, and how they balance raising kids as an MLB family. Plus, relive the sweetest (and most emotional!) details from Kayla and Bryce Harper's wedding day.

  • Bryce Harper's wife is Kayla (Varner) Harper. The Nevada natives met and began dating in high school.
  • After getting engaged in 2014, Bryce Harper married his wife Kayla on December 16, 2016, in San Diego, California.
  • Bryce and Kayla Harper share three children: a son, Krew, and two daughters, Brooklyn and Kamryn.

In this article:

Who is Bryce Harper's Wife, Kayla Harper?

Bryce Harper's wife is Kayla (Varner) Harper. She's a native of Henderson, Nevada—and much like her husband, she has the athletic gene. She played soccer in high school and was named team MVP from 2009 to 2011. Upon her graduation in 2011, she held the Nevada state record for career assists. She also helped lead her team to a state championship title.

Kayla Harper attended college at Brigham Young University from 2011 to 2012, where she continued to play soccer. She transferred to Ohio State University for her junior year and played until she graduated in 2015.

Now, Bryce Harper and his wife split their time between Philadelphia (during baseball season) and Nevada (in the off-season) as they raise their young family.

How Did Bryce Harper Meet His Wife, Kayla Harper?

Bryce Harper, arguably one of the most prolific players to currently take bat in the sport, was ushered into the major leagues with the Washington Nationals in 2010 as the No. 1 overall draft pick. Later, he emerged as an MLB MVP and an All-Star. But long before the fanfare around his name, he was a high school kid from Nevada with dreams of making it big. In fact, Bryce Harper met his wife Kayla while they were freshmen attending separate schools in Las Vegas. "She's known me for so long that she knows when I'm upset or going through something hard," Bryce previously told The Knot. "But we make it fun."

According to Kayla Harper, her husband's personality in real life is far from the tough persona he displays on the field. "He's this big, professional baseball player and you would never know it off the field because he treats everyone with respect and is genuine," Kayla said of her husband. "He's selfless, the most selfless guy ever… I think that's what always attracted me to him. And he's goofy and funny—he loves to play pranks on me, and as much as I get annoyed by it, I secretly love it—he's just the best. I love him."

Bryce Harper and Kayla Harper's Wedding Photos & Details

Bryce Harper and his wife Kayla got married on December 16, 2016. As practicing Mormons, the couple sought to seal their marriage within a Church of Latter-day Saints-approved temple. "I dreamt of being sealed in the San Diego Temple, and Bryce agreed that this was the right place for us," Kayla previously told The Knot. Mormon couples who want to marry in an LDS temple must first receive permission from a bishop. Once approved, the bride and groom will then partake in a ritual typically only open to LDS members known as the "Sealing Ordinance." There are no personalized vows, ring ceremonies, or traditional "walks" down the aisle. Instead, there's faith, spirituality and intimacy.

"Religion was obviously the most important part of our marriage," she continued. "The temple marriage is very sacred. Our religion is very private, and only certain people can attend the ceremony. So it was really nice to just enjoy that with our immediate family."

On the day of Bryce and Kayla Harper's wedding, it poured. "By pour, I mean it rained for a few days straight at historic levels," Kayla recalled. "With no break in the weather, we chose to embrace Mother Nature instead. By the end of the first look and ceremony portraits, the train on my dress was muddy and sooted." Bryce added, "The weather didn't make us change anything, and the pictures turned out beautifully."

Celebrity wedding photographer India Earl captured Harper's raw reaction during the first look session, which included the 6'4" athlete in complete awe with his face buried in his hands. "I was very excited and overwhelmed with emotion—just the whole process and getting everything done and finally seeing my bride and wife," he remembered. "You know, you dream about things like that."

The couple enlisted the help of Courtney Stone and Kelly Morgan of When Pigs Fly Events to plan, design and coordinate the entire wedding. "Their attention to detail and their organization with everything was second to none," Kayla raved. "Every recommendation that they gave us was perfect and we never had to worry about anything going wrong because they had everything covered so well. I honestly couldn't imagine using anyone else and we will definitely use them in the future for other events."

To lean into the wintry aesthetic—which featured "lush and romantic" florals provided by Layers of Lovely, the bride opted for a long sleeve fit-and-flare dress by Salt Lake City-based designer Penelope Perkins. The elegant gown featured elegant lace and beading and was accompanied by a matching cathedral-length veil. The bottom of the gown got dirty during photos outside of the temple, but the tiny snafu was met with a quick fix. "Somehow, the hotel was able to dry clean my dress in an hour that day," said Kayla, "and I had a somewhat clean (and dry) dress for the reception." The bride wore shoes by Jimmy Choo, more accessories by Jason of Beverly Hills, and the celeb-beloved "Mrs" ring by designer Alison Lou.

The groom also opted for a fashion statement: a custom suit by Stitched that was lined with photos from the couple's engagement session. "Everyone was pretty shocked and the whole wedding people were coming up asking to see the inside of my suit," he said with pride. "It really made me excited and it was super cool to have all of those engagement pictures on his wedding tux, because I mean, who gets that?" says his wife. "Nobody."

The couple's reception was held on San Diego's iconic Polo Fields (where Kayla played soccer in college) and was a significantly larger spectacle. "It helps to get married in a chapel because you don't have to plan the actual ceremony part. It's very private," he said. "Then, you just have to plan a huge party for your guests."

The bride and groom incorporated modern wedding elements into their reception for their nearly 270 guests. "We made a grand entrance at the reception and then, we had a quick ring ceremony… We did it on the middle of the dance floor surrounded by our bridal party and all of our family and friends," Kayla shared. The newlyweds also showed a video from their ceremony held earlier that day. "My grandpa explained what we did in the temple, and then, we actually had our videographer do a same-day edit," the bride says. "So he kind of gave a little video of us at the temple so people could get a little piece of that too."

Most impressively, the couple commissioned an actual barn on the polo fields, which offered a clean slate for the pair to execute their vision. "We couldn't find a barn large enough to host our party near La Jolla," Kayla explained. "Since we couldn't find one, we made our own instead."

The couple implemented touches of their faith and their personal interests (for one—sports) into the reception decor, which included an inscribed soccer ball and a vintage baseball scoreboard. Cuckoo clocks that read "For Time and All Eternity"—a saying in the Church of Latter-day Saints, which believes that marriage binds couples for all eternity—were placed throughout the space.

The Harpers' first dance song was "You Got What I Need" by Josh Radin—and the artist was there to sing it. "Bryce and I first heard our first dance song in a movie we were watching a few years back and completely fell in love with it," Kayla said. "He surprised me."

Another important element was ensuring that the reception was unplugged. "We didn't want any cell phones, and not for the 'no pictures' element," Bryce said. "We [wanted] people to enjoy it and to actually talk to each other. You know, me and Kayla are very into communication… So our wedding was great with that. We sat with everyone at different tables and really brought [our guests] together and they enjoyed it. Everyone danced and hung out, and they talked. It was fantastic."

In retrospect, the final moments of Bryce and Kayla Harper's wedding day were the best. "We actually did a last dance and everybody cleared out. Yeah, it was just the two of us in the whole place," the athlete said. His wife added, "We kicked out all the caterers, the wedding planner, the DJ, and had our last dance just being Mr. and Mrs. Harper… It was definitely my favorite moment by far."

Bryce Harper and Kayla Harper's Kids

Kayla and Bryce Harper have three kids together. The couple's first child, son Krew, was born in August 2019—just one month after his historic signing with the Phillies. He became a big brother in November 2020 with the birth of the couple's daughter, Brooklyn. The Harpers welcomed their third child, daughter Kamryn, in April 2024.

Bryce Harper and his wife fiercely protect the privacy of their kids. Although they're often seen in attendance at Citizens Bank Park cheering on their dad, the couple hides their faces on social media. The athlete opened up about fatherhood a 2022 interview with a Los Angeles radio station. "I have an amazing family, I have an amazing wife, two beautiful kids that keep me very humbled and grounded," he said. "When I leave the field, it's all about them."

He added, "My wife takes care of the kids at home. She does a great job at that. She supports me each night, goes to every single game she can…I'm humbled to have a wife and a family like that."

Esther Lee contributed to the reporting of this article.

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