-Photographs by Kate Osborne Photography-
When Sophia Rex became engaged to Tyrell Barker, the "shy cowboy" who first stole her heart eight years prior, she knew she wanted an elegant backyard bash for the couple's wedding. And she knew just the woman to make it happen: her sister, event and interior designer Martha Hatfield. "I was on a tight budget, but I knew that with her help I could still have my dream day," says Rex.
To start, the sisters swapped ideas and drew on experiences and memories from their childhood as inspiration for the June 2014 nuptials at the Brigham City LDS Temple and reception at a private property in River Heights. "Being on a budget didn't mean sacrificing the aesthetics of the event," says Hatfield. "We simply needed to spend wisely."
They saved on the gown and floral centerpieces (read the details below) and splurged on Mexican cuisine catered by Cafe Sabor and tables, chairs, and linens from Diamond Rental. They also handmade many of the day's decor elements and invited others to get in on the DIY action. "Don't do it alone!" advises Rex. "Include family members and friends to help lighten the load and stress of planning."
-Rather than purchase an off-the-rack wedding gown, the sisters bought silk and lace and worked with local seamstress Mary Savage to create a custom gown. Hatfield (at right) made foliage crowns for the bridal party.
-Their mom, "an incredible baker," says Hatfield, made the chocolate two-tier cake, and their younger brother crafted the topper in his high school shop class.
-Their paternal grandfather, a woodworker, made six frames to display the couple's portraits at the reception. Hatfield repurposed orchard ladders found on the groom's family farm to showcase photos and created a "dinner and dancing" sign using pieces of weathered wood from the farm.
-Floral centerpieces for 19 dinner tables were out of the question, so the sisters foraged tree branches to create simple yet striking arrangements in tall vases. "I will never forget the experience of clipping branches the night before the wedding," says Hatfield. "Every time we saw headlights, we turned off our flashlights and stood still!"