St. Pete Elopement at Fort Desoto

For J + J’s St. Pete Elopement they wanted something simple to celebrate so we set up a picnic, shared cannoli’s, and enjoyed the views as the sun set.

Fort Desoto has an amazing beach with really cool ruins just off the shore, the Battery Bigelow. Fort Desoto is an abandoned military outpost now turned into a gorgeous state park that offers camping, places to swim, mangroves to paddle through, and plenty of wildlife to spot.

After walking down to the beach we explored the area for the perfect spot to exchange vows. Once they felt ready they exchanged vows by the water’s edge, followed by a first dance as a married couple. Incorporating some “traditional” elements into an elopement can be so special! Just because your wedding day isn’t in a huge venue or ballroom doesn’t mean that you can’t still do them.

After the vows we spent time taking photos and trying to find sea glass and shells along the shore. The gulf coast of Florida has so many amazing finds when it comes to shells and we found a few gorgeous ones! Then J + J set up their picnic blanket and spent a moment together sharing cannoli’s and relaxing. They also celebrated by popping champagne together!

As the sun went down we decided that we should explore the ruins of the Battery Bigelow and we had so much fun creating some epic photos of the newlyweds dancing on top of the stones. Of course I had to bust out the lanterns for some amazing images during blue hour.

Over all this evening was such a great time that was laid back, relaxed, and so much fun!

Want to plan your Florida elopement? Contact me for a free consultation!


My name is Jessica and I am the dreamer behind Jessica Lauren Photography! When I’m not behind the camera I love spending time with my dog hiking the beautiful Florida trails, out on my paddle board in our local springs, or getting some quality time with my husband while we explore local events. I have actual cravings for the ocean when it’s been too long since my last beach day. I roller skate – not in-line skate, I mean the old school quad skates! I have a deep love for all things J.R.R. Tolkien and my #1 wish is to travel to New Zealand one day!