How to Include the Leave No Trace 7 Principles in Your Colorado Elopement

Eloping in the breathtaking landscapes of Colorado offers an intimate and unforgettable way to start your married journey together. Roaming the mountains together and being surrounded by wildflowers just feels so special, romantic, and adventurous! But with all this beauty comes great responsibility – to ensure that the environments remain untouched and well kept for future generations and local wildlife. That’s where the Leave No Trace 7 Principles come into play!

I’m a Colorado elopement photographer and someone passionate about being in nature and keeping it intact on our adventures. So this is how to include the Leave No Trace 7 Principles in your Colorado elopement day!

romantic bride and groom kiss in Colorado

What is Leave No Trace?

Leave No Trace (LNT) is a set of principles designed to promote conservation in the outdoors. It’s about making sure that we enjoy the natural world in a way that doesn’t impact its health and beauty. For couples planning to elope in Colorado’s wilderness, integrating the Leave No Trace 7 Principles into your special day is not just a gesture of respect towards nature—it’s a commitment to preserving the very scenes of your union. BTW – these principles can be applied for ALL outdoor activities, not just eloping!

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and 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 other visitors

LNT Principle #1: Plan Ahead and Prepare

Preparation is key to a Leave No Trace elopement. The more you prepare, the less impact you’ll have on the environment. This involves:

  • Researching Your Elopement Location: Contact local rangers, look up trail data, and find LNT-aware vendors.
  • Understanding Local Regulations: Check for area closures, necessary permits, and dog-friendly spots.
  • Evaluating the Timing: Be aware of high seasons or busy times that might affect your elopement.
  • Assessing Your Gear: Ensure you have everything needed to minimize your footprint.
  • Safety Measures: Know about cell phone reception, trail maps, fire bans, and emergency protocols.

Asking these questions not only helps protect the environment but also enhances your elopement experience, making it smoother and more enjoyable.

snowy bride and groom hike during a winter elopement in colorado

LNT Principle #2: Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Choosing the right spot for your elopement ceremony is crucial. Stick to established trails and durable surfaces to avoid damaging the land. When considering where to exchange vows, look for areas that won’t be harmed by your presence. This might mean staying on the trail, using existing campsites for your celebration, or picking a location that can withstand foot traffic.

LNT Principle #3: Dispose of Waste Properly

Pack it in, pack it out. This principle is simple but very important! Everything you bring to your elopement site, from flower petals to champagne bottles, should leave with you. Be especially mindful of organic waste like food peels, which can disrupt local wildlife.

LNT Principle #4: Leave What You Find

Preserve the past and the present for the future. Avoid picking flowers, moving rocks, or carving names into trees. Let your memories and photographs be the only things you take from your elopement location.

bride and groom colorado elopement picnic overlooking a lake and mountains

LNT Principle #5: Minimize Campfire Impacts

If you dream of a cozy campfire elopement, think again. Campfires can cause long-lasting impacts on the environment. Consider alternative light sources like LED candles or lanterns for that romantic glow without the risk.

If you want to include a campfire in your Colorado elopement day, make sure there is no fire ban in place and that you’re building your fire in a designated-for-it area.

LNT Principle #6: Respect Wildlife

Your elopement is a guest in the home of countless wild animals and other living beings. Maintain a respectful distance from wildlife, avoid feeding animals, and keep your celebrations quiet to minimize stress on the local inhabitants.

LNT Principle #7: Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Remember, the beauty of Colorado’s landscapes is there for everyone to enjoy. Keep noise levels down, avoid blocking trails or scenic spots, and embrace the spirit of sharing these stunning spaces respectfully.

As a Colorado elopement photographer, I love to help my couples plan their elopement and ensure it’s as private as possible. But we might still stumble across some people, so we all gotta remember to be respectful to each other!

bride and groom holding lanterns for an evening photo

Now You Know How to Include the Leave No Trace 7 Principles in Your Colorado Elopement!

Whether you’re eloping in Colorado or anywhere else, practicing the Leave No Trace 7 Principles is SO important. It helps us preserve the natural environment and respect the local wildlife. That is their home and we are just visiting!

Colorado Elopement Photographer | Alexa Jade Photography

Ready to get married in Colorado and still searching for the perfect photographer (who also respects the LNT principles!) reach out to me here! And in the meantime, you can also check out the rest of my blog where I share a lot of adventurous Colorado elopement inspiration and helpful planning tips!

  1. […] this is a great option if you need shelter against rain or wind. Just be sure to keep in mind the Leave No Trace principles when it comes to setting up your […]

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