A Fairy-Tail Wedding at The Barn at Valhalla

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Courtney Hewitt and Ryan Bushardt, with the help of their pup, Padme, celebrated their big day on Sept. 7, 2021

Courtney Hewitt and Ryan Bushardt

By Megan Tillotson | Photography by Photos By Clay

Courtney Hewitt and Ryan Bushardt’s love story began when the two met on Bumble in the summer of 2016. As a big animal lover, Courtney requested that their first date take place at a dog park so she could see how Ryan was with dogs. The couple hit it off and bonded over their mutual love for animals. After years of long-distance dating – Ryan attended Marshall University in West Virginia while Courtney began her master’s in French at UNC – the couple moved in together in Carrboro with their pitbull, Padme

Ryan proposed on April 28, 2019, the day before Courtney’s birthday. After an intimate homemade birthday dinner, Ryan told their pup to “go get it,” and she came back carrying the ring box. 

Courtney Hewitt and Ryan Bushardt
Ryan and Courtney smile alongside their dog, Padme, who played a role on their big day.

The couple was married Sept. 7, 2021, at The Barn at Valhalla, a fairy-tale setting with a natural forest backdrop and twinkling lights. As Courtney described it, the ceremony was “personal and heartfelt.” Her favorite parts were everyone cooing over Padme (who served as ring bearer once again), walking down the aisle and seeing guests emotional over their love. Courtney’s parents, Nanci Hewitt and David Hewitt, Ryan’s parents, Deb Bushardt and Jeff Bushardt, and other family members all came together to celebrate with the couple, enjoying Fords Fluent N’ Food and dancing the night away to DJ Willis. 

Ryan and Courtney live in Lexington, South Carolina, and plan to soon adopt a sibling for Padme. 


If you live in Orange County, North Carolina, or are from here and you’d like your wedding featured in Chapel Hill Magazine, please fill out this form in its entirety.

Courtney Hewitt and Ryan Bushardt

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