Photography by Jenna Henderson
Summer Leigh Smith, daughter of Diane and Richard Smith of Murfreesboro, married Barton Hurst Barker, son of Joe and Carol Barker of Savannah, Tenn., on Saturday, September, 10, 2016, in a dreamy romantic wedding at Mint Springs Farm in Nolensville, Tenn., after an interesting relationship story, which the bride and groom love to share. The story of how Summer and Bart met has some unique twists and turns. It’s a story of how good things truly do come to those who wait. It’s a love story that combines a sweet mixture of classic romanticism with the help of a very popular form of modern day social media.
Summer and Bart first met at the turn of a new century. In the fall of 2000, during their college years at Middle Tennessee State University, though their paths crossed from time to time, it wasn’t until 14 years later would a romance blossom between the two.
In January of 2014, Summer and Bart have a mutual friend that reached out to Bart via social media to ask if he was dating anyone. If he wasn’t, she had this perfect person in mind that she wanted him to meet. With both of them having crossed into their 30’s, there was a growing feeling of disappointment from both of them on why they just couldn’t find that “perfect” person for themselves.
February of 2015 would be one of the coldest months that many meteorologists could recall at that time. However, it was about to get much warmer for Summer and Bart, but not until February 27, 2015. That was Bart’s birthday.
Summer posted a very simple, “Happy Birthday” on his Facebook wall. Prior to this, Bart had been trying to conjure up enough courage to reach out to her. He had seen enough amazing pictures of this beautiful brown headed green eyed girl pop up on his Facebook timeline. Especially a photo he saw of her in a red dress that she wore to a fundraising philanthropy event. A photo that still takes his breath away. Bart was ready to catch up on that birthday message from Summer and see if this birthday greeting could turn into a date, and he succeeded. Their first date included dinner at Bonefish Grille in Murfreesboro full of comfortable and fun filled conversation pouring across the table between these two. So much had happened in their lives since graduation: the good, the bad, the ugly. Life. They identified with each other on many life stories that night.
Last September, Bart decided the best place to propose to Summer would be her home. The proposal would happen where their relationship began. The night of proposal Bart would leave a dinner with friends and prepare Summer’s house for her BIG surprise! Bart filled her home with tea lit candles and red rose petals. He wrote Summer a letter that night that was given to her by a friend. The letter would state to her the time had come and he would need her to come home. Summer would walk home to find her house dark and lit by candles, rose petals scattered, and Bart down on his knee waiting for her to arrive.
Following a yearlong engagement, the wedding was absolutely stunning, where the bride choose soft romantic colors of creams, golds, and shades of rose quartz. The florals included garden roses, cafe dahlias, and succulents. Summer wore a Hayley Paige long sleeve A-line bridal gown, illusion floral beaded bodice with bateau neckline and low open back, layered English net circular skirt. Bart wore a Kenneth Cole navy suit and tie. The wedding day started with plenty of sunshine until right around ceremony time when the storms moved in. A stormy night couldn’t stop this beautiful Bride from walking down the aisle to her handsome Groom. The sound of the rain on the tin roof as the wind rushed against all sides of the pavilion wasn’t loud enough to drowned out their sweet vows. They both wrote their own vows and talked about overcoming the storms of life; unexpectedly appropriate. Their friend Chris Campbell was the officiant, an always sweet personal touch to a ceremony.
After the storms cleared, it was time to head into the reception. The Bridal party made their introductions to “Now That We Found Love” by Heavy D and The Boyz. After the introductions, the Newlyweds went into their first dance. Summer and Bart’s first dance was to “You and I” by Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle. The Father of the Bride joined Summer on the dance floor for the Father/Daughter dance to the song “Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison, while Bart and his Mom danced to “A Song For Mama” by Boyz II Men. The final dance was to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, the Dirty Dancing version where the bride and groom gave a dance routine complete with air lift and all at the end! Afterwards, the bride and groom would have a beautiful sparkler send off. The couple honeymooned in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. They continue to reside in Murfreesboro, where Summer is a pharmaceutical representative with Abbvie, and Bart is the assignment editor for WKRN News Channel 2.