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Dress code: glamour

Emma and Matt chose a decadent vintage theme for their fun-filled fancy-dress wedding in Suffolk

Emma & Matt: In the beginning

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Emma knew Matt by sight back at university – and she also fancied him, even though he never seemed to notice her! – but it wasn’t until a mutual uni friend organised a group trip to Cornwall that she was able, as she puts it, “corner him”. Their first date was a trip to Highgate Cemetery. “I organised that one,” Emma remembers. “Then Matt invited me down to Bristol where he lived and plied me with pheasant casserole – his signature dish, him being a farming type.”

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Photography: Polly Alexandre alexandreweddings.com

Emma & Matt: The time the place

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Matt’s family farm was to play a pivotal role in the couple’s two-day wedding just over five years later, when they set up a marquee (cambridgemarquees.co.uk) in the grounds for their fancy dress reception party.

Emma & Matt: The theme

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The day after a simple civil ceremony at Islington Town Hall in London (islington.gov.uk), Emma & Matt were joined by 150 guests at the farm in Steeple Bumpstead, Suffolk, for a garden party themed around The Decades of the Last Century.

Emma & Matt: The dress code

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“It was a good theme for the oldies and well as the youngsters and meant we could have fun with the music which spanned the century,” says Emma, who welcomed guests as diverse as Elvis Presley….

Emma & Matt: The guests

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…to Adam Ant, with everyone game to join in the fun. “And what made it so amazing was the effort they all made with their costumes,” says Emma.

Emma & Matt: The dress

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For her own outfit, Emma twinned a blue Temperley gown (temperleylondon.com) from Selfridges (selfridges.com) with Forties-style accessories. “It was the first dress I tried on and I knew it was The One because mother got teary – plus it covered my bum, which made me very happy!”

Emma & Matt: The accessories

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To add to the vintage vibe, Emma hired a fur stole and gloves from Angels Fancy Dress (fancy.dress.com) – “to create a sort-of Greta Garbo look” – and wore them with a necklace her grandfather gave her grandmother on their wedding day, along with costume jewellery bought in a vintage clothes market.

Emma & Matt: The groom’s outfit

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Matt’s vintage white tie and top-hat regalia also came from Angels Fancy Dress (fancy.dress.com).

Emma & Matt: The shoes

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Emma chose Office (office.co.uk) for her big-day shoes – pink and silver for the ceremony and silver party shoes for the reception.

Emma & Matt: The flowers

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Alongside the flame pink of Emma’s bouquet lilies, the couple chose simple flowers from the English countryside.

Emma & Matt: The tables

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Marquee poles wound with fresh foliage made pretty focal points and set off the green and pink colour theme. “Draw on family talents if you want to stick to a budget,” says Emma. “As well as Matt’s mum doing the flowers, my mum made the place cards and my aunt did the invitations based around pink flock patterned paper from Paperchase (paperchase.co.uk).

Emma & Matt: The flowers

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Alongside the flame pink of Emma’s bouquet lilies, the couple chose simple flowers from the English countryside and lots of greenery to decorate the marquee.

Emma & Matt: The table names

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“We kept The Decades of the Last Century theme running throughout the day with tables named after our favourite eras – flappers, punks, crooners, new romantics and hippies,” says Emma, “and the place cards featured pictures of vintage accessories.”

Emma & Matt: The decorative touches

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The colour theme of green and flame pink inspired simple touches such as napkins tied with coloured ribbons. In the evening the marquee doubled as a dance floor, with Beautiful and Damned DJs (dickonedwards.co.uk) making the atmosphere. “We spotted them at Latitude Festival and they were great!” recalls Emma.

Emma & Matt: The menu

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After a champagne reception, Anna Shutes catering served 150 guests a menu of salmon and Moroccan lamb (annashutes.co.uk.co.uk).

Emma & Matt: The cake

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The four-tier chocolate cake, by Anna Shutes catering (annashutes.co.uk.co.uk) continued the colour theme with flame lilies and sprigs of fresh flowers.

Emma & Matt: The highlights

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“Everyone made such an effort but I think my brother-in-law George got the prize for building an old-fashion plane outfit and driving by on top of a farm quad bike!” says Emma.

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Photography: Polly Alexandre alexandreweddings.com