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Rebecca & Chris

Real weddings

Real weddings

Rebecca and Chris got married at the Ashdown Park Hotel in East Sussex on Rebecca’s birthday. They hired top function band The Cool Cats, who provided an evening of slick and stylish jazz, soul, Motown and pop that was great for dancing!

Rebecca & Chris

'The ceremony itself was in St Swithuns church. It went really quickly... The vicar was great – he was quite relaxed and made everyone feel quite welcome.’

They chose their own readings and had different people to do the readings. Rebecca particularly remembers what the vicar had to say: ‘The address that the vicar made was quite a nice surprise. It was very light hearted and quite humorous... we really enjoyed that bit of it!’

The Cool Cats ticked the box perfectly and are fantastic musicians!

‘I drove myself to the church in my Fiat 500, and we hired a Cobra 427 for the journey to the reception. Luckily the weather held off long enough for the roof to be off!’

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For the reception, they chose the Ashdown Park Hotel as they live in the area, and it was also close to the church: ‘We wanted somewhere that was quite nearby – and it’s up on Ashdown Forest, which is somewhere that we walk quite a lot and like to be.’

They were also very impressed by the staff, both when they visited the venue and on the day itself: ‘The staff there were really, really friendly when we first went round to look round it. They were very professional. They were really organised on the day itself. So much stuff was going on that we were just oblivious to, it was really good.’

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‘The actual room that we used was a converted chapel. It’s now a function room, but it looks quite church-like!

The caterers were all on-site – Becky describes the food as, ‘Amazing... we had cured salmon, and then we had lamb, and then a lemon tart. We had a lot of compliments on the food, it was fantastic.’

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‘It wasn’t a themed wedding at all, but we had a bit of a Winnie-the-Pooh theme. We were up on Ashdown Forest, where Winnie-the-Pooh lives, so the tables were all named after the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.’

Rebecca’s godmother made the cake – fortunately, making sugar icing is one of her godparents’ hobbies.

These are Rebecca and Chris’s favours. ‘There’s the tradition of having the five sugared almonds as a wedding favour, but we don’t really like sugared almonds... so we had five little chocolate eggs. And we’re quite into our gardening, so we thought of the little terra cotta pots.’

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Rebecca and Chris wanted live music at their reception because of the atmosphere it creates (‘We wanted something live!’), and they both love jazz. ‘We wanted something that everybody would know... across quite a few different generations, and in style that we like, which is why we went for jazz funk.’ They found that the style worked really well for lots of different age groups.

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‘The Cool Cats were great. We really didn't want a cheesy disco, but still wanted people to dance and The Cool Cats ticked the box perfectly and are fantastic musicians!’ Were they glad they booked live music? ‘Definitely!’

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‘The band that we actually chose had a huge repertoire, which was one of the reasons we chose them ahead of other wedding bands in East Sussex. We printed off their repertoire and just highlighted all the songs that we wanted them to play - and they did absolutely everything. It was exactly what we wanted!’

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‘We also really liked them on the actual night, because they didn’t talk though their songs. They just literally went from one song straight into the next. We went to a wedding shortly after our own where there was a DJ that was playing and they kept taking between songs, which was irritating, but The Cool Cats were really good – they just kept playing the whole time.’ They found Function Central and The Cool Cats jazz band through Google. ‘Obviously it was a bit of a risk booking a band that we hadn’t actually heard live, so it was a bit of a gamble, but luckily it really paid off.’

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‘I would also highly recommend Zara Flora - our florists. That was the one thing I was quite specific about – I really know what I wanted for my flowers, and she met all the expectations, she was absolutely fantastic!’

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Any tips for other couples? Rebecca advises knowing what your priorities are: ‘For some people it’s an amazing dress, some an amazing venue...’ and staying calm and organized: ‘I would do as much as you can as early as you can. Try not to get too stressed about it – keep everything in perspective!’

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Featured act



The Cool Cats
from£1,165

The Cool Cats

  • London
  • 5-9
  • (26)

One of London's most versatile jazz bands play cool and unobtrusive ballads for your reception right through to swinging standards, pop and soul for dancing in the evening.


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