This Retro-Inspired California Wedding at Skyview Los Alamos Kicked Off With a Pool Party
Both the East and West Coasts hold immense meaning for Kellen Schefter (36 and a clean energy professional) and Philip (Phil) Javellana (38 and a nonprofit professional). Though the couple has roots in Washington, DC, where they live, they serendipitously met in Los Angeles and got engaged in San Luis Obispo, California. The couple jumped right into planning a wedding in their beloved Golden State, but when the pandemic forced them to postpone, Kellen and Phil said “I do” at a minimony in DC. A year later, the couple celebrated at Skyview Los Alamos, a revamped 1950s motel, with a bicoastal-themed event befitting their jet-setting love story. “We combined East Coast sophistication with West Coast fun and the rustic surroundings of wine country,” says Phil.
The weekend began with a chill pool party with rosé and tacos, so guests could relax after a day of travel. In their welcome booklet, the couple “highlighted experiences that were special for us in our relationship and recommended wineries and sights to give people a feel for Los Alamos and Los Olivos.”
Phil says it’s critical to be “clear about your values and what matters to you before you start the wedding journey.” For the ceremony, “it was important to us to walk in together as equals, rather than having one of us wait for the other at the altar,” explains the couple. "In my vows, I shared how Phil was the first person I could truly be myself around. I ended up comparing him to a rocketship, as he is the creative fuel that drives our adventures," said Kellen.
When it came to decor, “we juxtaposed buttoned-up elements in the midcentury modern aesthetic with the lightness of the color palette, all set against a beautiful backdrop of golden rolling hills, autumn colors and vineyards,” says the couple. The couple describes their floral arrangements as “magical designs full of texture and interest, made up of cactus, ranunculus, orchids, anthurium, dahlias and dried palm leaves with fun pops of blue.” Phil loved the velvet couches and black ottomans in the lounge area because they “brought a chic and sophisticated vibe to the rustic surroundings.”
One of the signature cocktails on offer, a vodka soda with a splash of cranberry and pineapple juice, carried over from the couple’s minimony menu. As Phil’s go-to, it was a must for both events: “It’s a nod to my typical order at the bar after dodgeball games,” he says. For their cake topper and stationery, Kellen and Phil took inspiration from their home decor and elements of the hotel. The Skyview’s restaurant, Norman, has a gold-and-brass sunburst design reminiscent of the chandelier in the couple’s living room.
Kellen’s mom suggested that the mother-son dance transition from a slow song to an upbeat number. “We started with some basic ballroom dancing to ‘Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To),’ by Diana Ross, before breaking into ‘Shining Star,’ by Earth, Wind & Fire, for choreographed disco moves,” Kellen says.