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How to have your own Royal wedding

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If you have never considered getting married in Queanbeyan, the Royal Hotel’s Upper House may change your mind.

Canberra has its fair share of wedding venues that seem to tick all the boxes but perhaps leave you underwhelmed—generic ballrooms, lacklustre photo opportunities, not the right size, nowhere to go outside, or perhaps just a case of everyone else has gotten married there lately.

That won’t be the case at the Upper House—a designer transformation of the first floor of the historic Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan.

We recently brought you the story of the Royal’s recent award-winning and multi-million transformation has made it Canberra’s newest hot spot (that isn’t actually in Canberra).

Now the latest unveiling of the Upper House promises a beautiful and bespoke wedding experience from the minute the bride and groom ascend the staircase.

For one thing, everywhere is a photo opportunity.

The Upper House takes full advantage of the historic beauty of one of Queanbeyan’s longest-operating hotel buildings. The main “Manhattan Room” is reminiscent of a huge New York loft space. From the giant steel rafters to the exposed bricks and historic sash windows, every effort has been made to preserve the heritage of the more than 100-year-old building.

Sydney-based interior designer Kat Thompson committed to seeing through the ambitious transformation of the previously dilapidated first floor. It took nine months to design and a further seven months to complete.

One of the many building challenges was converting an old uncovered internal courtyard which contained an air conditioning plant into a light-filled atrium with an outdoor bar and greenery in every corner.

It would be perfect for a vow exchange, or allowing guests to enjoy sunset cocktails before the formal wedding dinner and an enormous glass roof means nobody needs to panic if the weather turns sour on the big day.

Meanwhile, inside, the Chicago Bar has all the 1920’s charm you could muster for more photo opportunities—think brass accents, industrial pendant lights and heritage-style tiling. Rather than serving drinks from a make-shift bar in the corner of a ballroom as many wedding functions are forced to do, this bar delivers on maximum authenticity and atmospherics.

One thing the owners are extra excited about unveiling is the Royal Suite, which will provide a luxury bathroom, powder room, private bar and bedroom for bridal parties to make a day of the preparation stage. It should be ready for Spring weddings.

Catering to just over 130 people, functions and event manager Naomi Chen says the Upper House is a place where weddings can be tailor-made to suit the individual requirements of the bride and groom.

“We can do everything from bespoke cocktail events to full three-course formal dinners, completely catering to the wishes of the couple.”

Swiss executive chef Beat Ettlin can cook up a feast to suit any style or budget from a state-of-the-art kitchen on the first floor—ensuring wedding events run completely separately to events taking place in other areas of the hotel. You can peruse the extensive menu options here.

“Once you are up here, it is hard to even imagine where you are—it has this beautiful look and feel about it, you could be in 1920’s New York,” says Naomi.

“I absolutely love showing couples around because they literally cannot believe they are in Queanbeyan.”

More than 70 linear metres of gold velvet, including velvet-covered chairs and sofas, emphasise the feeling of luxury, while oversized glass and steel doors play up the vast space’s industrial feel.

While the finishes are luxe, the colour scheme remains neutral, allowing newlyweds to put their own stamp on the room.

The Upper House has only been open since October, but it has already taken bookings for more than a dozen weddings—several from Canberra brides looking to capitalise on the Royal’s charm and character.

Doesn’t every bride deserve a Royal wedding?

the essentials
What: The Royal Hotel Queanbeyan
Where: 85 Monaro Street Queanbeyan
Phone: 02 6297 1444
Website: royalhotelqbn.com.au/weddings

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