Leave no trace elopement

How to Have a Leave No Trace Elopement

Elopements, Resources

What is Leave No Trace?

“The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. The Center accomplishes this mission by delivering cutting-edge education and research to millions of people every year.

Enjoy your world. Leave No Trace.”

(© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org)

Leave No Trace is all about ensuring the outdoors is being utilized ethically, responsibly and respectfully for all. There are 7 main principles that minimize impact and ensure we’re taking care of our planet.

The 7 Principles

  1. Plan ahead and prepare. (Have a plan. Where are you going? What trails? What equipment and attire should you bring? Do you need spikes for your shoes? Do you have enough water? Do you have the proper permits and documentation?)
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces. (This one is the most difficult to adhere to. It is so tempting to run into that beautiful wildflower field or climb up onto that boulder. But keep in mind that if everyone moved off the trails the local floral and tundra would erode. Stick to the trails and durable soil (rock, sand, gravel).)
  3. Dispose of waste properly. (Everything that comes into the park, needs to come out. Dispose of your poop, food waste, plastic etc. This also applies to celebratory materials, such as confetti.)
  4. Leave what you find.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts (fires can be devastating, as evident by the raging wildfires in 2020. Make sure to follow safe campfire practices. And absolutely no smoke bombs, fireworks, etc. I promise it’s not worth it.)
  6. Respect wildlife.  (Give wildlife their space, both for their safety and yours! Don’t feed the wildlife, try to pet them, etc.)
  7. Be considerate of other visitors. (As wedding vendors and couples, we don’t want to get a bad rep! Let’s be respectful of everyone that is escaping to the outdoors for peace, isolation, or enjoyment. For example, I love utilizing music to help my couples relax, but I will only play music if we’re isolated.)

What You Can Expect from Me as a Leave No Trace Photographer

  1. I will help you plan and execute your elopement. This includes helping with any necessary permits. I will aid you in helping you figure out what to pack and what to bring.
  2. I will stick to trails and durable soil. As much as we might want to venture off, I will make sure the ground we’re photographing on is durable and safe to stand on.
  3. I will give you some eco friendly celebratory ideas. I do not allow paper or plastic confetti at any of the elopements I photograph. They are just not possible to clean up so contribute to waste. Some different ideas are: dried flowers local to the terrain, leaf confetti, champagne (just don’t forget to grab the cork!).
  4. I won’t geotag locations. This one is a tough one, because I don’t want to come off snobby or gatekeeping. But I’ve seen the impacts of big influencers geotagging locations and then them being overrun with people. Some locations have had to literally close because of the amount of people.

If you have any questions or want any additional information about Leave No Trace, please check out their website!

If you are looking for an elopement photographer, I’d love to chat with you!

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