Real Wedding: Nicole Rusenko and Frederick Ferguson

The bride DIY'd much of the festive decor at this wintry celebration.

All photographs by Aaron Watson Photography.

Nicole Rusenko and Frederick (Fred) Ferguson’s relationship didn’t start off too smoothly. They met at Capitol Lounge when Fred tried to intervene in a confrontation between Nicole and one of his friends, which only made matters worse, and on their first date at the Willard Hotel’s Round Robin Bar, Nicole insisted on splitting the check after Fred said he wasn’t “really into dating right now.” Thankfully, they agreed on a “re-do” first date, which included a romantic after-hours tour of the Capitol building, and from then on the relationship was smooth sailing. Two years later, on Halloween, Fred asked Nicole to return to the Capitol rotunda for what he said was a ghost tour—and then surprised her by getting down on one knee and asking for her hand.

They celebrated their wedding on December 13, 2014, at Trump Winery, using festive pops of red and an abundance of sparkly gold to incorporate the holiday spirit into their day. The bride DIY’d much of the decor, with glitter-filled ornaments as table numbers, hand-painted dining plates, and place cards with her own calligraphy—and surprised her new husband with a golf cake at the reception. The guests sipped a hot apple cider and whiskey cocktail, enjoyed an outdoor bonfire, and danced the night away.

Venue: Chapel and Pavilion, Trump Winery

Photographer: Aaron Watson Photography

Bride’s Gown: Watters, Betsy Robinson Bridal Collection

Groom’s Tux: Ralph Lauren, Beecroft & Bull

Hair and Makeup: Faces by Joy

Event Coordinator: Cristelle Koerper, C&O

Caterer: C&O Catering

Music/Entertainment: Greg Tutweiler, National DJ Connection

Cake: Sweet Confections

Cupcakes: Pearls Bakery

Florist: Amy Webb, Blue Ridge Floral Design

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Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.