how to have an
eco-friendly wedding

Your guide to eco-friendly wedding

Why should we plan eco-friendly weddings?

If you’re dreaming of saying your vows outdoors, surrounded by Australia’s awe-inspiring natural landscapes… Then I’m betting that you’re an outdoor over just like us. And I’m also willing to bet that you want to be able to enjoy the outdoors for years, and generations, to come. That’s why you should can an eco-friendly wedding and leave no trace.

Outdoor weddings are on the rise

Outdoor, adventurous weddings are increasing around the world, largely due to the rise of social media and the viral sharing of amazing elopement photographs. And that’s a good thing – we want couples to be inspired. We want couples to know that they don’t have to get married in a chapel surrounded by hundreds of people who don’t even know your middle name. We want couples to get married in a raw and authentic way that celebrates their shared values and passions. And for many couples, getting married outdoors is the perfect venue.

We must protect our beautiful lanscape

However, on the flip side, with the rise in couples getting married at these amazing locations, there is a risk – if we’re not careful – that these locations are not cared for and ultimately shut down. This has happened in the US; many National Parks have had strict restrictions put in place that limit the accessability for elopements and weddings. This is to protect the environment, because over the past couple of years these locations have not been treated with the respect they deserve.

So that brings us full circle to why you should consciously plan an eco-friendly wedding and leave no trace when you’re out in nature. Because if we all do our bit, then our favourite, magical outdoor spaces can stay open for generations to come.

What is Leave No Trace?

Leave No Trace is a world-wide movement and ethic. Leave No Trace outlines a set of practices that we should strive to follow to protect our outdoor environments. It includes:

Leave No Trace is not about doing it 100% right, every time. It’s about learning from your mistakes and doing a little better the next time you hit the trails.

How to have a green, environmentally friendly wedding

It might be tempting to think “I’m only getting married once, I don’t need to worry too much about the impact my wedding has because it’s a once in a lifetime thing”. And I totally get it, but the thing is, while it may be only one time for you – there are potentially many, many other couples getting married outdoors just like you, and it’s this cumulative impact that causes the real damage.

So here’s some easy things you can think about when planning your outdoor ceremony to make sure you’re being good stewards of the outdoors. 

Step 1 - Choosing your location

When picking your location, consider:

What activities you want to do on your elopement day and if they are possible at your location.

Each park has it’s own rules and regulations that are designed to protect the natural environment. Make sure you follow the park’s rules and apply for the correct permits. Here’s some information on permits for small scale events in NSW National Parks. 

Step 2 - Preparing for your elopement

Preparation is key to reducing the impact your wedding has on the environment. Some important things to consider include:

Step 3 - Communicating with your guests

It’s important to share your Leave No Trace knowledge with your guests before your elopement day. Here’s some key information you should share with them:

Remember, tell your guests how stoked you are to be getting married in the outdoors, and how you want to protect this location so you can return for years to come!

    Step 4 - Enjoying your elopement

    Now that you’ve done all of the planning and prep work, you’re ready to head out into nature and really embrace your wedding experience. Soak up the sun, enjoy the fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature and say your vows surrounded by the things and people who matter to you. 

    Remember, take nothing back photos, leave nothing but footsteps. 

    Step 5 - Sharing your memories

    Once it’s all done and dusted, you’re going to want to share your amazing news with the world! You’ll no doubt have some EPIC photos to share as well. There’s just a couple of things you can do to make sure your special elopement spot remains protected:

    What is a Leave No Trace Aware Photographer?

    A Leave No Trace Aware Photographer (I’m one!) is a photographer who has completed specific training. The training educates photographers who use outdoor spaces, such as National Parks, on how to leave less impact when photographing. The training was developed by the Leave No Trace Centre for Outdoor Ethics, in partnership with three of the best US-based Adventure Elopement Photographers – Maddie Mae, Anni Graham and The Foxes.

    I completed the Leave No Trace Aware Photographers course because I value Australia’s natural landscapes, and it breaks my heart to think that some of our public spaces could be closed if we aren’t all consciously aware of our impact. I want you to be able to get married in whatever outdoor location you want, and I want you to be able to re-visit that location for years and generations to come. 

    P.S. All The Wild Pair couples receive a 20+ page guide on how to leave no trace while getting married outside! It dives deep into the practicalities of outdoor weddings, and how to make sure you’re being a good steward of the environment while enjoying your epic elopement!

    Contact us to chat about how we can help you create your dream elopement, in a sustainable way!

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