Would you believe that this downtown Fredericksburg, VA wedding came together in 7 days? Yes, you read that right; SEVEN DAYS. To say it was a whirlwind of an experience would be a serious understatement. Everything came together so fluidly and perfectly due to an all-star vendor team (all linked below) that worked together to make it happen. Meg, with Happy to Be Events, was the superhero, MVP, dream planner of this story and she pulled out all the stops to make sure that Leigh Ann & Ben had the wedding they had dreamed of. We truly wouldn’t have been able to do it without her.
You may be wondering why someone would be compelled to plan a wedding in 7 days. Well, that portion of the story is much harder to tell. Leigh Ann’s father had been battling brain cancer for 22 long months and they knew his time on earth was coming to a close. When her father’s health took a turn for the worse shortly after Thanksgiving, it was becoming clear that his days were numbered. It was Scott’s greatest wish that he get to see his daughter marry the man of her dreams, and so, with time against them, they began to plan a wedding that would take place in a week.
On the morning of December 16th, we joined together at the Askeland home and awaited news that we all dreaded to hear. With only hours before the wedding, MGySgt Ret. Scott Askeland passed away in his home in Fredericksburg, VA.
With tearful eyes and heavy hearts, Leigh Ann and Ben were able to share their wedding vows to each other in the presence of her father. Although Scott was not physically present at the wedding ceremony, it was so clear to everyone in attendance that his presence was felt. There was a calmness and peace over the day that only God could give these two families. It was a day filled with love, which is the best kind of day any of us can ask for whether its our first or last. Though the day started with great sadness, it ended with great joy as we got to witness the joining of Leigh Ann & Ben in marriage; just as her father had hoped for.
Though their intimate wedding was planned in a just a week due her father’s health, Leigh Ann & Ben’s love story goes back much further. This year marks 10 years since they met in Norfolk, VA. Though their story had it’s twists and turns along the way, they eventually found their way back to one another in a way that they write movies about. Their souls are so connected and their story is so unique that you can’t deny that God had His hand in their story. It was truly an honor to be a part of and to capture their beautiful wedding ceremony as they finally became husband and wife.
Leigh Ann’s mother, Paula, was able to fly in from Arkansas to make her wedding and it was so wonderful having her there to get her in her dress.
Leigh Ann, helping her son, Kayden, with his tie.
The love between a mother and her son, displayed above and below. So, so sweet.
She’s a bride!
A blue heart cut from her dad’s dress blues to rest over her own heart as she walks down the aisle.
The honored wedding party.
The new Mr. & Mrs. Zahm!
We talked them into taking more portraits mainly because you can’t have this amazing couch and not take some romantic portraits on it.
Next, we walked over to Castiglia’s for dinner, but made sure to stop along the way anytime we saw pretty lights.
Random downtown Fredericksburg light show in an alleyway. We didn’t mind.
Castiglia’s wine cellar made for the perfect backdrop for some steamy bride & groom portraits before the end of the night.
Congratulations to Leigh Ann & Ben! We love you both so much.
Michael & Chelsea
Venue: 718 Venue
Planner/Coordinator: Happy to Be Events
Photography: Rowlands Photography
Videography: Rowlands Videography
Flowers: Blushing Blooms Event Florist
Cake: Kadi Bakes
Makeup: Glamper Salon
Stationary: Twila & Co.
Rentals: Something Vintage
Gown: Ava Laurenne Bride
Fur Rentals: Bash Boutique
Jewelry: Fredericksburg Jeweler
Post-wedding Dinner: Castiglia’s Italian Restaurant
Want to see more weddings like this one?