film + digital photography

How to Leave No Trace during your Elopement

How to Leave No Trace during your wedding is important if you’re considering a nature elopement because chances are protecting our national parks is important to you.

When you visit a National park your heart skips a beat at witnessing the expansive beauty this world has to offer. 

That is why Leave No Trace is so important not only as an elopement photographer but as a human who shares air on this planet. 

Couple on beach on their wedding day

What is Leave No Trace?

Leave No Trace is a set of guidelines to help keep our parks, land, outside world beautiful and better for the next time you or someone else visits it.

These guidelines aren’t exactly rules, but they do really play a big role in ways that you (your clients, anyone) can ensure we are doing what we can to keep national parks for a place to get married, explore, and return to.

The 7 Principles to Leave No Trace

Learn the 7 principles, get ready to share them and add them into your photography brand!

  1. Plan ahead & Prepare
  2. Travel & Camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave what you Find
  5. Minimize Campfire impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Others

Want even more info, then check out Leave No Trace’s website through the link here.

Why does this matter during my Wedding or Elopement?

This is huge if you want to get married in a national park, state park, or even just a venue but take photos in nature.

Think about a few years after your wedding, wouldn’t you be heartbroken if you couldn’t take an anniversary photo or family photo at your wedding spot because it is gone or closed due to people not respecting nature?

Make sure aspects in your Wedding are LNT friendly such as..

-Bubbly water instead of champagne for a spraying photo

-Making hole punches from leaves found in the area instead of confetti

-Not bringing in florals / plants that are not native to the area

-Taking all your trash with you

-Not feeding wildlife on a hike

-Walking on trails, not creating new trails

-Reading the trailhead signs, being aware of the situations in that location

Plus so much more!!

Need help with your wedding, then reach out to me right here

How can I become a Leave No Trace aware Photographer?

This mini course is an excellent resource for bringing awareness to our photography community to how we can do better. 

The goal is always to do better not shame for past mistakes. We are all human, no one is perfect. 

Maddie Mae, photographer, and photographer put this course together to educate photographers who love being in nature and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to jump into more adventure elopements. 

Link to course 

Not an affiliate link, just a great resource for any photographer!! 

How to be better as a client in nature 

One thing I like to stress is that these guidelines are there to bring awareness and help keep our parks beautiful for generations to come. 

It is okay if you’re realizing mistakes you’ve made in the past because I have made them too. 

Our goal is strive to be better, not controlling, not gatekeeping, not a toxic positive mindset, but a hey, let me observe this beauty and take in my surroundings to do my part to maintain this. 

See if your photographer is aware of these guidelines and if they are willing to become aware. 

Pick up any trash you bring in, and be mindful of others in a space.  


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We help quirky and untraditional couples find joy and adventure on their special days by providing passionate and wild photography that captures the big moments of love… and all the little candid ones in between.


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IOWA ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER | Iowa Microwedding photographer