Who Is Bryce Harper's Wife? All About Kayla Harper
Kayla Varner Instagram
Bryce Harper has had a meteoric rise through the world of professional baseball — and his wife, Kayla Harper, has been by his side the entire time.
He started his career with the Washington Nationals after being the number one pick in the 2010 MLB draft. In the years since, Bryce has been named the National League Rookie of the Year and the National League Most Valuable Player twice. In 2019, he signed a record-breaking $330-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Bryce's personal life has been equally eventful. The baseball pro married his high school girlfriend, Kayla, in December 2016 and the couple are now parents to two young children: son Krew Aron, born in August 2019, and a daughter Brooklyn Elizabeth, born in November 2020. The outfielder attributes his success both on and off the field to the support of his wife and family.
"I have an amazing family, I have an amazing wife, two beautiful kids that keep me very humbled and grounded," Bryce told a Los Angeles radio station in 2022. "When I leave the field, it's all about them.
He continued, "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."
So who is Bryce Harper's better half? Here's everything to know about Kayla Harper.
She and Bryce are high school sweethearts
Both Bryce and Kayla, née Varner, hail from Henderson, Nevada, and have been dating since their high school days — Bryce at Las Vegas High School and Kayla at Green Valley High School. And even though Bryce was already being called the "LeBron James of baseball" by his freshman year of high school, Kayla was initially drawn to his less-serious side.
"He's selfless, the most selfless guy ever … I think that's what always attracted me to him," Kayla shared with The Knot. "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."
She's a former high school and college athlete
Kayla Varner Instagram
Bryce may have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school freshman — but Kayla was a decorated athlete in her own right, as well. As a soccer player at Green Valley High School, Kayla was the team MVP from 2009 to 2011. By the time she graduated high school in 2011, she held the Nevada state record for career assists, had led her team to a state championship title and was a national All-American.
While Bryce was beginning his MLB career, Kayla continued her soccer career at Brigham Young University for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. She transferred to Ohio State University for her junior year, playing soccer there until her graduation in 2015.
They once ended their engagement
The MLB pro first popped the question to Kayla in 2014, when she was still attending Ohio State, the Washington Post reported. They made their first public appearance as an engaged couple at the Washington Nationals' annual Dream Gala fundraiser in June 2014, with Bryce's teammate Gio Gonzalez calling the engagement a "blessing."
Their wedding was due to take place in January 2015 — but the nuptials never happened. Signs of their breakup first appeared on social media, with both Bryce and Kayla unfollowing each other on Twitter and removing mention of the other from their Instagram bios, according to the Washington Post.
Bryce and Kayla's split was short-lived, however. The duo reconciled by the second half of 2015 and announced their engagement (again) in July 2016. Kayla shared a photo of the couple attending the 2016 ESPY Awards with an engagement ring prominently featured on her left hand.
"ESPYS last night with my love. So proud of you, B! Oh and WERE ENGAGED... Again 💍✨ #TheSequel," she wrote on Instagram.
She married Bryce in 2016
Their second engagement was a quick one, and Bryce and Kayla were married six months later on Dec. 16, 2016. As practicing Mormons, they first had their marriage sealed in the San Diego Church of Latter-day Saints Temple.
"Religion was obviously the most important part of our marriage," Kayla told The Knot. "The temple marriage is very sacred … it was really nice to just enjoy that with our immediate family."
Though the ceremony was private, the reception — held at San Diego's Polo Fields, where Kayla played soccer as a child — had 270 guests in attendance. To house the large reception, Bryce and Kayla had a barn built specifically for their nuptials. It was filled with nods to their athletic backgrounds, including a vintage baseball scoreboard and inscribed soccer ball as part of the décor. Other personal touches included Bryce's tuxedo jacket being lined with their engagement photos and a food menu that paid tribute to their first date at a Mexican restaurant.
"Our wedding day was a dream ✨We are so lucky to have such amazing family and friends who came to support us," Kayla wrote about their big day on Instagram.
She and Bryce have two children
Kayla Varner Instagram
The Harpers are parents to two children: a son named Krew Aron and a daughter named Brooklyn Elizabeth.
Bryce and Kayla announced they were expecting their first child, a baby boy, in April 2019. The announcement came just a month after Bryce signed a $330 million, 13-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Both Kayla and Bryce announced the news on Instagram with a photo of the couple holding a pint-sized jean jacket that read "Baby Harper" on the back — and featured Bryce's new number, 3. Their son Krew Aron Harper was born on Aug. 22, 2019.
Less than a year later, in June 2020, Bryce shared he was going to be a "Girl dad!": The couple revealed on Instagram that they were expecting a baby girl in early December 2020. On Nov. 12, 2020, Brooklyn Elizabeth Harper was born and was named after her "grandmas," Kayla shared on Instagram.
On Jan. 16, 2023, Kayla posted on Instagram about a recent family trip to Disneyland. The mom of two shared various photos from their trip, including one sweet snap of the family of four taking in the views in Disney California Adventure park. "First timers ❤️," she wrote in the caption.
They share a dog together
Bryce and Kayla are also parents to a Maltese-Yorkshire terrier combination (also known as a Morkie). The puppy, who they have had since at least 2015, is named Wrigley — in an apparent nod to the famous Chicago baseball field. Wrigley frequently appears on Kayla's Instagram: sporting a Phillies bandana, celebrating National Puppy Day, traveling by private plane and enjoying a birthday cupcake. Bryce, Kayla and Wrigley even posed for a pet calendar with the Humane Rescue Alliance in 2017.
She sticks up for her family
As an MLB wife, Kayla knows that heckling is part of the game — but she proved she's not afraid to take a stand when fans take it too far.
In September 2019, Bryce and the Phillies traveled to play against his former team, the Washington Nationals. The Nationals fans had plenty of smack talk for Bryce, including mentioning his then 4-week-old son Krew. Kayla slammed the hecklers following the game, defending her husband and young son.
"When you bring his son or family into it, yes you're crossing a line," Kayla wrote in a tweet. "Stick to your overused overrated and Harper sucks chants if you're really that loser that goes to a game to heckle someone. Phillies fans might boo him but they don't bring his 4 week old son into it. Classless."
She's Bryce's biggest fan, both on and off the field
Kayla Varner Instagram
Kayla frequents Bryce's games with their two small children in tow and often posts photos on Instagram of them cheering on their favorite Phillie. After Bryce was named the National League MVP for the second time in 2021, Kayla wrote a touching tribute to her accomplished husband on Instagram.
"I'm so dang proud of you! I've been present to watch you do some amazing things in your career, but this season has been my favorite to share with you so far," Kayla shared. "Thank you for being so fun to watch on the field and so present with our family off the field. Congrats babe, you are so deserving!"
In 2022, she was there to celebrate Harper and the Phillies' National League win.