Weddings

This Couple Hosted a Reception at Maketto After Privately Exchanging Vows on the Spanish Steps

Phil and Kellen's dinner reception included bento boxes and Maketto’s signature fried chicken

Photographs by Ryan Greenleaf

Phil and Kellen exchanged vows in a private ceremony on the Spanish Steps in Kalorama on October 17, 2020, and celebrated with an intimate reception that followed at Maketto in DC. Their wedding was originally featured in the August 2021 issue of Washingtonian. See the details below.

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Phil and Kellen say they owe their meeting to “serendipity, and the fact that a gay version of almost every sport can be found in Los Angeles,” where they met playing capture the flag in 2011 and then joined the same dodgeball team, eventually beginning a seven-year romance. In fall 2019, Kellen proposed during a private wine­tasting.

By then they were living back in DC, and when Covid postponed their California nuptials, they exchanged vows on the Spanish Steps in Kalorama with just Phil’s sister, who officiated, and his brother-in-law as the DJ (one selection: “Simply the Best,” à la the Schitt’s Creek finale). The newlyweds lunched at St. Anselm in Union Market, then stopped home to dig up the bottle of bourbon they’d buried (no rain!) before heading to their reception, where they greeted 47 guests at Maketto and an additional 75 virtually. The couple displayed custom artwork and personal artifacts from various chapters of their relationship in the venue’s built-in light boxes and proffered glasses of Champagne on its sneaker wall. Outside, pods of guests dined on East-meets-West bento boxes with crabcakes and lumpia (for Phil’s Maryland roots and Filipino heritage), tri-tip gua bao (featuring the cut of meat popular in central California, where Kellen was raised), and Maketto’s signature fried chicken.

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The Details

Photographs by Ryan Greenleaf • Planning and design: Karson Butler Events • Florist: Floral & Bloom • Invitations, custom art: Emily Baird Design • Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals • Attire: Suitsupply (suits); J. Crew (ties); Shinola (watches) • Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens • Masks, sanitizer, napkins: Ah Louis Store • Videographer: 87 & Smith

See the couple’s wedding video below.

This article appears in the August 2021 issue of Washingtonian.

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Amy Moeller
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.