Hey there!! If you’re new here and don’t know who I am, let me introduce myself real quick. I’m Erin, and I’m an adventure elopement photographer based in North Carolina!! I help couples plan an intimate, meaningful and fun elopement day in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I recently became a Leave No Trace Aware Photographer by completing the LNT Course through the Center for Outdoor Ethics.
This past summer I moved to NC, and as I explored the area, I became more and more aware of how the increase in photographers is affecting the environment. For example, spots that used to be harder to find are now easily accessible through a location tag on instagram. In addition, photographers are tempted to go off trail to get the perfect shot, without realizing that they could be damaging the land, trash gets left behind, and parks put more and more restrictions on these places to help preserve them.
As someone who spends a lot of time outside, it made me extremely sad to see some of my favorite spots destroyed. Nature is my studio, therefore, it’s my responsibility as a photographer to be educated about how we can make sure these beautiful places last and continue to thrive for years to come. Throughout my time learning and studying the principles of leave no trace, the topic became increasingly important to me. It lit a fire in me to help and educate couples on the ways we can practice Leave No Trace during their elopement.
If you’re considering getting married on public lands, it’s important to be aware of your impact on nature and follow the principles of Leave No Trace to ensure that you leave the area better than you found it.
Leave No Trace is a set of ethics and practices we should follow to enjoy and protect the outdoors, as well as leave less impact. There are 7 principles outlined by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, that they describe as a “framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors”.
Plan ahead and prepare
Travel and camp on durable surfaces
Dispose of waste properly
Leave what you find
Minimize campfire impacts
Be considerate of other visitors
In this section, I’m going to break down each of these principles and how each one applies to an elopement day in the outdoors, so that you can plan a fun, memorable elopement and show up with the knowledge you’ll need to leave the area better than you found it!!
The first step to planning a LNT Elopement is to plan ahead and prepare for any possible situation. When you choose a location, make sure to review the rules and restrictions for that area. For example, The Blue Ridge Parkway does not allow you to use live flowers/bouquets, because it could introduce harmful insects to the park. You can read the full list of rules for the BRP here.
Here’s a preparation checklist:
Ending your elopement day with s’mores around a campfire sounds absolutely perfect, right? Campfires are one of my personal favorite ways to end an elopement day. If you plan to have a campfire during your elopement, make sure you’re familiar with the specific rules and regulations for the area.
Want some more elopement day ideas? Click here for 10 Things to do on Your Elopement Day.
Now you’re ready to plan your Leave No Trace Elopement!! If you want to learn even more about Leave No Trace, visit the website here!! If you’re looking for a Leave No Trace Aware Photographer for your elopement, I’d love to help you plan the day of your dreams out in nature!! Click here to contact me. Thank you so much for reading, I hope this was helpful!!
February 4, 2021