Styled Weddings Supplier Spotlight Wedding Planning

Conscious Weddings Series – Meet Kate Cooper

by:   on: 26th February 2018

Photo by Alexandra Blackburn


Thank you for stopping by, let me introduce myself:

I’m Kate, I’m a Norwich-based Creative Stylist, Fashion Researcher and Activist, and proponent of Conscious Weddings.

I believe that life should be heart-driven, authentic, and filled with meaningful connection, with ourselves, with others, and with the planet we call home. I find that this more often than you’d think involves drinking hot beverages.

As a stylist, I have always been completely captivated by the power of style and beauty. I fundamentally believe in this power as a means of communication and of transformation, and I believe we can use this power for good, to create positive social and environmental impact.

I haven’t got it all sorted yet, but I’m on a journey, exploring ways this could be done. You can join me, if you like! Or at least, let’s have a cup of coffee and talk about it sometime? I love coffee.

Kate Cooper AKA By Kate Elizabeth - Sustainable and Conscious, Ethical Fashion Stylist in Norwich

Meet Kate Cooper. Photo by Alexandra Blackburn


Planning a wedding nowadays can be pretty crazy! Times certainly have changed considerably in wedding-land since the sepia-tinted days of yesteryear, and while many of these changes are undoubtedly for the better, some are, quite frankly, slightly baffling.

Let’s step back for a moment and consider; right now, in 2018, ‘minimoon’ is legitimately a word (I know), a first dance flashmob is, let’s face it, slightly passé already (I mean, have you seen youtube? So 2017…) and the perennial ‘band or DJ?’ dilemma is likely soon to be replaced by a new classic: ‘magician or roaming sketch artist?’

Is it me or is it all getting rather… a lot?

For starters, conventional weddings are an expensive business. According to one survey carried out in 2017, 50% of the couples who responded stated that they now regret spending so much money on their big day. Despite this, during the same year, the average UK wedding hit an all-time high at £27,000.

So where’s all this money going? Type ‘wedding ideas’ into Pinterest and you might get some idea; The Wedding Dress, obviously. The rings, diamond-encrusted and otherwise, a given. Food and drink, standard. Bridesmaid dresses, fair. Suits for the chaps, flowers, a beautiful venue, all seems legit. But what about the balloon arches, personalised favours or the hand-painted wedding cake-bites? Entertainment for guests? Outfit-change for the evening? Outfit for the brunch the morning after? Outfit for the dog? Outfit for the escort who you pay to attend your wedding to look after your dog for you (this is a genuine thing)?

Now, don’t get me wrong- weddings are supposed to be beautiful. Most of us set out to only get married once during a lifetime and the opportunity to stand beside the one you love most in the world, agreeing to stand beside them forever, then celebrating this fact with all of your favourite humans (and potentially canines) is a beautiful, magical thing. It’s absolutely right and fitting to mark your special day in the way that’s right for you, and to include every element that’s important to you; and if that includes a performance by a fire-breathing spoken-word-artist festooned in balloons, then go for it (I hear it’s the new flashmob first dance, anyway)!

For me, the way you choose to get married is one of the most special and personal things you can do; and it will be different for every couple. It’s a chance to be truly imaginative, to have fun, and to creatively communicate your love story to the community of people around your lives, while inviting them to share and support you in it.

But if this is the case, why are so many couples doing the same things, in the same way, and according to the data, regretting it afterwards?

My fear is that with all the noise, the whole wedding thing can become a production line in consumerism, with people making choices and spending money on things they never would do in their everyday lives. People can end up doing things, not because it truly resonates with who they are and what they care about, but because ‘that’s what you do’ at a wedding.

I’m passionate about a different way of doing things – a Conscious way.

So what does that mean?

Being Conscious is more than just trying to be ‘ethical’, because what does that mean? It’s completely subjective. Being Conscious means planning your big day with what’s important to you at the forefront, without compromising on style or quality. It means that every element of your wedding day is the way it is because you truly believe that’s the right way.

It might be that you’re concerned with conserving the environment; you can plan your day with sustainability in mind; keeping things organic, natural, seasonal and local, which means your wedding can be beautiful from the inside, out.

Perhaps you’re passionate about animal welfare; you can ensure your whole wedding is vegan-friendly, all the way from the food to the bridal make-up.

This series aims to look closely at every area of the wedding industry and provide an alternative viewpoint. I’ll be looking at everything from where to source the most stylish vegan leather shoes to how to plan a carbon-neutral honeymoon. Conflict-free diamond rings, fairtrade wedding dresses, feminist ceremonies, I’ll be tackling it all over the coming months, tracking down pioneering couples and suppliers who are doing things in a beautifully different way (and providing you with some suitably pinterest-worthy inspiration in the process.)

I hope that you enjoy following this journey with me



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about the author

Kate Cooper

Introducing you to the Conscious Wedding planning series with Kate Cooper - a fashion stylist and designer from Norwich, Norfolk. Kate is a Conscious Creative, Feminist, Fashion Educator and Activist, focusing her efforts in promoting Ethical and Sustainable Wedding Design.

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