Wedding of the Week: Alexandra Brown and MacGregor Obergfell
Pandemic pivots made for a stunningly beautiful event.
Jan. 23, 2021 | Like many COVID-era wedding couples, Washington, D.C., residents Alexandra Brown and MacGregor Obergfell had to make major changes while planning their nuptials. After getting engaged in June 2019, the pair began a long-term engagement to give them time to plan a 200-person wedding at Strongwater in Franklinton. When social distancing required them to create a Plan B and cut their guest list, Alexandra and MacGregor rolled with the punches. But then things got tougher.
“As we were stuffing invitations for our 130 guests in November, we got word that [Gov.] DeWine was announcing new restrictions regarding events,” Alexandra says of the no-dancing and one-household-per-table mandates enacted late last year. “We were devastated. We wanted to have a safe event and were planning to follow every guideline recommended by the state, but we were heartbroken when we realized just two months out from our wedding [that] we had to completely start over.”
Plan C was enacted quickly thanks to help from their planner, Angela Rango-Patterson of Red Letter Day Events, and florist, Rita Kenner of Prema Designs. They shifted the Strongwater reception to a future date—”We didn’t want to spend our day reminded of what our wedding was supposed to be,” Alexandra says—cut the guest list to just 20 and redesigned the entire wedding at a new venue in just over a month.
“I don’t know how they pulled it off, but it was the most beautiful day,” Alexandra says. “Because we weren’t able to have dancing, we opted not to have a DJ and instead focused on centering the evening around the meal. The idea was that it would be a fancy dinner party with a wedding in the middle.” Guests were greeted at the door with rinks and individual charcuterie boards, which they enjoyed during the ceremony. Appetizers and bubbly were served during speeches and the first dance and parent/child dances; a coursed meal followed.
The pandemic also affected the couple’s wedding party; only one of Alexandra’s seven bridesmaids, and five of MacGregor’s seven groomsmen, were able to attend in-person. The couple’s solution was both pragmatic and a little silly.
“We had cardboard cutouts of their faces printed to take a few ‘wedding party’ pictures with,” Alexandra explains. “We thought they were hilarious, but our missing family and friends were really touched that we found a way to include them, even though they couldn’t be there.”
The goofiness continued into the reception with a first dance that the couple choreographed themselves. It ended up being “kind of hilarious,” Alexandra notes, because she and MacGregor admit that they’re not great dancers. Still, it was fun, she notes. Their final dance was also particularly memorable, she adds. After their sparkler exit, Alexandra and MacGregor went back into the venue for a private dance together. Even the vendors left momentarily, though photographer Benjamin Derkin of Derk’s Works Photography captured the moment through the front window.
“The day goes so quickly, and even with 20 guests we were pulled in so many directions,” Alexandra notes. “Having those few minutes together was one of the most special parts of the day. There were definitely some tears shed and some of our favorite pictures of the day are of that moment.” In fact, she and MacGregor ordered one of the shots as an oversized canvas to display in their home.
“We still can’t believe it was our wedding,” Alexandra says. “While it was different in almost every way to what we had originally planned, we are beyond happy with the way it turned out. … It is the most beautiful wedding either of us have ever been to.”
Ceremony, reception, caterer and cake: The Kitchen
Florist: Prema Designs
Rentals: Aiden and Grace
Planner: Red Letter Day Events
Photographer: Derk’s Works Photography
Videographer and livestream: Feikert Creative
Invitations: Designed by a friend and printed by Avant-Garde Impressions
Signage, menus and wax seals: The Paper Vow
Calligraphy: Lovely Arrows Designs
Guest favors: Macarons from Pistacia Vera
Transportation: Cardinal Transportation
Accommodations: Hotel LeVeque
Bride’s attire: Wtoo by Watters gown and a veil from Wendy’s Bridal, shoes from Macy’s, accessories from Olive + Piper; hair and makeup by Hey Pretty! Beauty
Groom’s attire: Pursuit and Tie Bar
Rings: Brilliant Earth
Bridesmaids’ attire: Renzrags.com
Groomsmen’s attire: Pursuit
Ring bearer’s attire: Macy’s