An Ultra-Chic Garden-Inspired Elopement at McCrady's in Charleston, South Carolina

With only a 12-week engagement, Juliette Winter (an editor) and Travis Rudowski (owns a plumbing business) didn’t have time to plan a giant wedding, s

With only a 12-week engagement, Juliette Winter (an editor) and Travis Rudowski (owns a plumbing business) didn’t have time to plan a giant wedding, so they started thinking about their dream ceremony spot where they could elope. Travis immediately remembered the picturesque city of Charleston, South Carolina, that they’d visited the year before, and with its Spanish-moss-draped oak trees, historic architecture, welcoming hospitality and incredible food, they knew it was the place for them to exchange vows. The Australia-based couple wanted a garden wedding and enlisted the help of Francesca from Pure Luxe Bride. “We knew with Francesca at the helm, she would pull off a gorgeous day full of stunning details,” Juliette says. “And she did.” Peonies and magnolia blooms (the couple’s favorites) filled Magnolia Plantation for an ultra-romantic ceremony. Afterward, the couple went to McCrady’s for dinner. “We are both big fans of chef Sean Brock and loved that he specialized in Southern cuisine,” Juliette says. They didn't skimp on dessert either, and enjoyed the most amazing gold-airbrushed, partially naked, traditional red velvet cake from Monica at Sablee. “It was by far the most delicious, stunning red velvet cake we’d ever eaten, and we’d travel back to Charleston just to eat it again,” Juliette says. There are so many details we love about this modern garden wedding. See them all, beautifully captured by husband-and-wife team Aaron and Jillian Photography, below.

Juliette completed her sparkly Rachel Gilbert wedding dress with equally glamorous litter-covered Mui Mui pumps. Although she picked out these shoes for her gorgeous Magnolia Plantation nuptials, it ended up raining all day, so the grass was soggy. “My superhero photographer, Jillian, had packed her own gum boots for me to wear with her husband’s Christmas socks, just in case I needed them,” Juliette says. “Now every time I see Hunter gum boots, it reminds me of our wedding.”
Pink Cushion-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
Juliette carried roses, peonies, sweet peas, magnolias, ranunculus and a touch of greenery in her loosely tied bouquet. Elise from Stems created all the stunning florals for the day, which provided a romantic garden aura. “I joked with our talented florist that I was standing on and under flowers, holding flowers and wearing flowers,” Juliette says.
As an editor for a wedding magazine in Australia, Juliette knew right away that she wanted a chic Rachel Gilbert gown for her wedding. She loved the lace detailing on the top and sequins covering the rest of the dress, and the sheath silhouette made it light enough to travel with.
Travis completed his mid-blue Prada suit with a single pink ranunculus bloom on his lapel. He and Juliette loved how it fit their soft palette and the romance of Magnolia Plantation.
White Cashmere Bridal Wrap
Low, Curled Bridal Updo
Lace Illusion Necklace Sequined Wedding Dress
Blue Prada Groom's Suit
Pink and White Peony, Magnolia Bridal Bouquet
Sparkly Gold 'Cheers Y'All' Wedding Sign
“We had our ceremony under an incredible old oak tree at Magnolia Plantation, the oldest public garden in America,” Juliette says. “Magnolia Plantation has lot of ceremony options but for us it was all about finding the perfect oak tree. There was something about standing under a giant tree that had existed for hundreds of years and continued to gracefully grow that really resonated with us.”
Justin Follmer officiated Juliette and Travis’s wedding at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. He worked with the Australia-based couple (mostly over Skype) to help them write their own vows and plan an alternative unity ceremony that they called a spirit ceremony. Juliette and Travis blended his Polish heritage with Juliette’s Irish heritage by pouring Polish vodka and Baileys together to symbolize a new beginning.
Wooden Wedding Arch With White Magnolia Leaves
Juliette and Travis didn’t have time to plan a giant wedding, so they started thinking about their dream ceremony spot where they could elope. Travis immediately remembered the picturesque city of Charleston, South Carolina, which they’d visited the year before. With its Spanish-moss-draped oak trees, historic architecture, welcoming hospitality and incredible food, they knew it was the place for them to exchange vows.
Partially Naked, Gold-Airbrushed Wedding Cake
“Our wedding style was garden with a modern twist,” Juliette says. Everything was covered in flowers—magnolias to remind Travis of his grandparents, who had an oversize magnolia tree in their garden when he was growing up, and peonies to remind Juliette of Travis, since he comes home with a huge bunch every year when peonies come into season. Natural cherry blossoms, Spanish moss and hanging amaranthus added to the stunning scenery.