Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort | A star-crossed pair of Tar Heels turn a fateful connection into a forever romance

Courtney Hall & Ben Pugh
September 6, 2014
Hyde Park Farm & Polo Club


Fate, destiny, kismet, karma. Whatever you call it, something almighty most certainly played a part in bringing Raleigh, North Carolina, residents Courtney Hall and Ben Pugh hand-to-hand to exchange vows before friends, family, and a flock of well-mannered chickens last September.

The couple’s “God story” (so dubbed by Ben’s grandmother) began in October 2013 when Raleigh native Courtney was across the pond for a once-in-a-lifetime trip with her sister, mom, and grandmother. While cruising through the English countryside on a tour bus, the ladies began chatting it up with a couple seated nearby who turned out to be Tar Heels too, and happened to have a son (Ben) about Courtney’s age who had recently moved to Raleigh. Apparently Ben was choosing between two job offers, and since Courtney was familiar with both companies, she passed along some professional advice. She also gave them her business card (the same card that is now framed and hanging in the newlyweds’ home).  

After arriving back in the States, Courtney received a thank-you text from Ben along with an invitation for drinks. “Within minutes, our lives collided,” says Courtney of that first date, “and it’s been effortless to love him ever since.” A two-month courtship led to a proposal on Ben’s parents’ porch complete with twinkling bistro lights, flickering candles, and tons of candid shots courtesy of  his sister.

To plan their wedding, Courtney called upon skilled family friends (Ooh! Events’ Jerri Heater is her godmother while the event group’s owner, Lisa Thomas, is the mother of the bride’s best friend) and tapped into her other easy, effortless love: Pinterest. “I had been imagining my wedding ever since my very first ‘pin’ years ago,” admits Courtney. Her boards were filled with rustic, romantic, and, above all else, Southern details—all of which could be found in the Lowcountry, where her dream team of planners call home.

While deviled egg hors d’oeuvres and Hyde Park Farm & Polo Club’s barn said Southern for sure, the flock of fluffy chickens that crashed the reception cemented the day’s down-home vibe. “One of my bridesmaids considered herself a chicken-whisperer and scooped one up,” says Courtney. “The next thing I knew chickens were being passed around left and right!”
Throughout the day’s rain (a deluge blew through that morning), shine (the skies parted just in time for the ceremony), and chicken chasing, the couple’s laid-back, fun-loving spirit reigned supreme. “Our wedding was filled with more love and laughter than we could ever have hoped,” says Courtney. Her only regret? “I’d have married him sooner.”

Vendor List:

Wedding design, rentals, linens: Ooh! Events,

Location: Hyde Park Farm & Polo Club,

Florals: Out of the Garden,

Photography: Timwill Photography,

Videography: Dock House Digital,

Catering: Mosaic Catering + Events,

Cake: DeClare Cakes,

Bar service: Squeeze OnSite,

Stationery: handmade by bride

Bride’s gown: Legends by Romona Keveza (available locally through Maddison Row),

Hair: Wedding Hair by Charlotte,

Makeup: Pamela Lesch Makeup,

Bridesmaid dresses: Various designers from Bella Bridesmaids,

Menswear: Calvin Klein (suits),; Lilacs & Company (bow ties),; No Slip Suspenders (suspenders; Etsy),

Music: (ceremony) Coastal Chamber Musicians,; (reception) Nu South Players, East Coast Entertainment,