leave no trace

Leave No Trace

Embrace These Principles for a Truly Sustainable Wedding

The Leave No Trace organization is dedicated to promoting responsible outdoor behavior, and has established 7 principles for outdoor enthusiasts to follow in order to minimize their impact on the environment. These principles serve as a guide for those who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, and are designed to help preserve natural areas for future generations to enjoy.

The Leave No Trace Organization’s 7 principles can also be applied when planning a wedding your outdoor wedding. By incorporating these principles into your wedding plans, you can ensure that your special day has a minimal impact on the environment, while still creating the wedding of your dreams.

Plan ahead and prepare

Before finalizing your wedding plans, research the area you will be getting married and photographed in and familiarize yourself with its rules and regulations. This includes understanding the weather forecast and having contingency plans in place. It’s also important to bring all the necessary supplies, such as chairs, decorations, and waste disposal materials.

Travel and camp on durable surfaces

When choosing a location for your wedding ceremony and reception, select areas with established trails and durable surfaces to minimize the impact on sensitive habitats and wildlife. Avoid trampling vegetation or disturbing the surrounding ecosystem.

Dispose of waste properly

Encourage your guests to pack out all waste and litter, including food scraps, used paper products, and any decorations that may have been used. Have designated waste bins or bags available for this purpose.

Leave what you find

Leave natural and cultural features undisturbed, such as rocks, plants, and historical artifacts. Avoid altering the environment in any way that could negatively impact future generations.

Minimize campfire impact

If you plan on having a campfire, consider using a portable stove for cooking instead. If you do build a fire, choose established fire rings or fire pans and keep it small. Make sure to fully extinguish the fire before leaving the area.

Respect wildlife

If your wedding takes place in an area with wildlife, respect their space and avoid disturbing them. Do not feed the animals, and store food and trash securely to prevent attracting wildlife to the wedding site.

Be considerate of other visitors

Keep noise levels down and avoid overcrowding popular areas. Be respectful of other people’s property and privacy, especially if you are using public lands for your wedding.

By incorporating these 7 principles of Leave No Trace into your wedding plans, you can create a beautiful and sustainable outdoor wedding while minimizing your impact on the environment. Your special day will not only be memorable for you and your loved ones, but also for the natural world.


Using the power of science, education and stewardship, Leave No Trace is on a mission to ensure a sustainable future for the outdoors and the planet.

No matter where or why you get outside, it’s yours to protect. It’s Your Nature.

Learn more about Leave No Trace and how to make sure your wedding is as environmentally friendly as possible in our Sustainability Issue.