Alyona Kudina & Robert Smith

Married July 9, 2016, in Arlington

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The couple: Alyona Kudina and Robert Smith. Both work in consulting. They live in Clarendon with their two dogs, Cora and Hana, and are currently house hunting in Arlington and McLean.

How they met: Rob moved to Arlington in 2003 to attend George Mason University after getting out of the Navy. Alyona moved to the area in 2009 after graduating from University of Virginia. They met at work.

First date: “We went to a Nats game,” Alyona says. “Rob gave me a Nats hat with pink writing—which I later learned had required trips to multiple stores to find. The Nats won that night. He joked that he had also bought the fireworks just for our first date!”

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The wedding: July 9, 2016 at the historic Hendry House in Arlington’s Fort C.F. Smith Park. Keeping it laid-back, they opted for a red-white-and-blue summer barbecue theme. “We wanted to keep things simple to focus on the beauty and greenery of the park in summer,” Alyona says. “Aside from the faded-glory reds and blues, our accents were gray/steel and burlap.” After a “first look” on the side lawn (dogs included), the ceremony was held in a green field and officiated by Rob’s cousin Sidney Traynham.

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Life Gallery Studio

Life Gallery Studio

The party: A cocktail hour on the porch featured his-and-hers signature beverages (Mister’s Mule for him and Tipsy Tea for her). The reception kicked off under a lit-up tent on the Hendry House lawn. In lieu of table numbers, each table was identified with a framed photo of the couple in a city they had visited. Guests enjoyed a barbecue buffet dinner, followed by dessert from a doughnut truck (Mama’s Donut Bites) and a make-your-own-ice-cream-sundae stand. The evening’s entertainment included lawn games, a deejay, dancing and a photo frame with props.

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Life Gallery Studio

Life Gallery Studio

The after party: After departing through a line of glow sticks, the couple caught an Uber to Ballston and closed out the evening with a bouquet toss at Pepita Cantina. The next morning they enjoyed brunch with family at Oby Lee and then headed to Charleston, South Carolina for a mini-moon. “We stayed at the beautiful Zero George Hotel and spent our time riding bikes around historic Charleston and eating all the delicious southern cuisine and seafood the city has to offer. We even squeezed in a trip to the beach and a musical,” Alyona says.

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Photographer: Life Gallery Studio

Details: Caterer: Helga’s Caterers; Flowers: Potomac Wholesalers (a family friend created the bouquets and centerpieces); Cake: Pastries by Randolph (plus a canine cake-topper that was an Amazon score); Bridal gown: BHLDN (Anthropologie); Groom’s attire: Zara and Macy’s; Guest book: A rustic find from Etsy.

Life Gallery Studio

Life Gallery Studio

The official honeymoon: A few months after the wedding, the couple spent two glorious weeks in Thailand.

Favorite hangouts: Citizen Burger Bar, Green Pig Bistro, Glencarlyn Park, Fort C.F. Smith Park. “We also have a tradition of watching the July 4th fireworks from Gateway Park in Rosslyn. And we take frequent weekend trips to Charlottesville, where we got engaged. ”

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