Ideas to make any special event unforgettable

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In this sponsored post, “CityNews” speaks with experts who are passionate about making any occasion an unforgettable one.

WHETHER it’s saying “I do”, celebrating a birthday, or any other special moment in life, there are many things that go into making an event a memorable one for years to come. 

From learning some dancing to “wow” a crowd, to finding the perfect venue for the ceremony, or the reception, “CityNews” speaks with experts who are passionate about making any occasion an unforgettable one.

Gungahlin Lakes Club Function room

Club venues aim for perfection 

OPERATING across two clubs in Canberra, the Ainslie Group has function spaces that offer a special wedding experience that will be personalised for each couple, says marketing manager Matteo Belladonna.

Located in Ainslie and Gungahlin, the Gungahlin Lakes Club has several segregated function spaces, all with a variety of options to tailor to different tastes and budgets, says Matteo.

“Whether it’s the extensive catering options, use of a dancefloor, audio and visual equipment or anything else, the club will make sure you have the perfect wedding,” he says. 

Matteo says their Gungahlin club also features a new and upgraded private beer garden and courtyard, to make the day even more special.

As for the Ainslie Football Club, he says it offers elegant facilities for weddings of up to 500 people.

“We know every function is unique,” says Matteo.

“All dietary needs and budget requirements can be tailored to with our award-winning catering team that has a wide variety of packages.”

And, with free parking on site, he says both clubs are the ultimate function venues.

Gungahlin Lakes Club, 110 Gundaroo Drive, Nicholls, call 6242 6283. Ainslie Football Club, 52 Wakefield Avenue, Ainslie, call 6248 8422 or visit

Royal Hotel’s Upper House

Hotel wins award for its boutique space

A UNIQUE blend of contemporary architecture mixed with the Royal Hotel Queanbeyan’s original historic feel makes its upper house space the region’s best-kept secret for weddings, says co-owner Sandy McDonald.

She says the space, which recently took the top prize for boutique weddings in the “Brides Choice Awards”, is characterised by a beautiful atrium bar and outdoor rooftop terrace overflowing into an open courtyard. When it comes to weddings, Sandy says the Royal Hotel Queanbeyan offers a wide array of options to ensure the occasion is one to remember for years to come.

“We have an extensive range of affordable menu packages, or we can work with you to tailor a menu that reflects your personal taste and style,” she says.

“Our executive chef can also cater to dietary requirements such as people who are gluten free, diabetic, have allergies, or for religious and lifestyle choices.

“We also have a beautiful dressing space for the bridal party, so that they can comfortably get ready for the special day.”

The upper house space, however, is not just for weddings, and Sandy says it is a comfortable space for any type of event.

“The upper house offers a variety of rooms that we can make suited to your private function,” she says.

“[No matter what the event is] our professional team is dedicated to delivering an amazing experience.”

Royal Hotel Queanbeyan, 85 Monaro Street, Queanebyan. Call 6297 1444, email or visit

Historic church has a lot to love

Interior of the All Saints’ Church

COUPLES looking to commemorate their special day in a beautiful and traditional building will love the All Saints Anglican Church in Ainslie, says parish council member Betsy Dixon.

Hosting Anglican services, the church features an organ and incredible acoustics, wonderful photo vantage points and is backdropped by a beautiful stained glass window from Sheffield in England, she says.

“The heritage-listed building has a fascinating history, first being built as a railway station for the Rookwood Cemetery and then being converted to a church in 1954,” says Betsy.

“People who want to celebrate their day in a historically significant setting will find it the perfect place.”

Betsy also says that the church is delighted to help plan and organise the big day. 

“Whether its music and prayer choices, flowers, or decoration of the church itself, we are happy to help make the day as memorable as can be,” she says. 

“People can feel free to get in touch about how they would like their service to be held, and we can work with them to make that happen.

“It’s a special place for a special day.”

All Saints Anglican Church, 9-15 Cowper Street, Ainslie. Call 6248 7420, email or visit

Dance routines that will make a statement 

DALE’S Ballroom Dancing offers classes to help couples and bridal parties impress the audience on the big day, says owner Dale Harris.

“I have a private suite for teaching all types of dancing that people want to learn for the occasion,” says Dale.

“Students can pick the music and style and I’ll work with them from there.”

Dale says it’s a fun way to get fit and socialise in a friendly environment.

“Social dance lessons are also back on the second Thursday of every month, where absolutely anyone can come have a go regardless of experience,” she says.

“You don’t realise how much exercise you’re doing, you’re constantly on the move.” 

She loves seeing her students having fun and improving in her classes, teaches styles such as the 10 traditional ballroom dances: waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, Viennese waltz, cha cha, samba, jive, rumba and paso doble. 

Backed by more than 20 years’ experience teaching dance, Dale started dancing at the age of six, when she developed an interest in ballroom dancing. 

She’s since received many qualifications in ballroom dancing and is also a championship adjudicator who travels interstate to judge ballroom competitions. 

Now that school’s back, Dale says junior classes have also started back up again so everyone can get involved.

Dale’s Ballroom Dancing, 245 Cowlishaw Street, Tuggeranong. Call 6296 4009, email or visit

Scenic centres that are great for weddings

QUEANBEYAN-Palerang Regional Council’s scenically-located community venues are perfect for weddings or any other special occasions, says the council’s community facilities team leader Mandy Tomlinson.

The council has venues for hire such as the Googong Community Centre, Letchworth Community Centre, in Queanbeyan west, as well as the Jerrabomberra Community Centre, which each hold a maximum capacity of 100 people.

The Jerrabomberra Community Centre, which overlooks a pond, adjacent to the roundabout at the entry to the suburb and has five multipurpose rooms, says Mandy. 

There’s even a playground which is great for kids, she says. 

At the Googong centre, Mandy says event holders can take advantage of a terraced facility with a large, dividable room, as well as an upstairs, outdoor area overlooking the Tinderrys which is great for cocktail receptions.

All facilities are equipped with heating and cooling, a cleaning room with basic cleaning facilities, televisions, and tables and chairs.

There’s an online tour for people to look at each facility, or Mandy says they can pick up a key from her office and go have a look. 

The facilities often host significant birthdays, children’s parties and engagement parties, including first birthdays and any party too big for the backyard.

“They’re open facilities so people can make what they want of them,” she says. 

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s community facilities. Call 6285 6583 or email 

Owner Ashleigh Switalski fitting a client’s dress

Making the bride’s dream dress a reality

LA Belle Bridal Boutique makes wedding dresses special and unique to every bride, says owner Ashleigh Switalksi.

“We pride ourselves on focusing on the individual’s ideas,” she says.

“Brides can come to us with what they want and our expert team can offer suggestions and feedback to ensure we design and make the perfect dress for your special day.”

Ashleigh says that with more than 35 years’ of industry experience, brides-to-be can trust that La Belle Bridal Boutique will help make the big day unforgettable.

“We are also dedicated to staying to your budget,” she says.

“Give us a figure, and we will give you the best dress for your price.”

La Belle Bridal Boutique also offers alterations and improvements to dresses that customers might currently already have, she says. 

“Even if you think the dress you imagine is too unique to be possible, or you’ve been turned away by other designers, give us a call, we love a challenge,” she says.

“Our vision is to make the bride’s dream wedding a reality.”

La Belle Bridal Boutique, 103 Anthony Rolfe Avenue, Gungahlin. Call 6255 4055 or visit

The Kamberra room

Rural charm in the heart of Canberra

KAMBERRA Function Centre blends its unique ambiance with rural charm to make for a one-of-a-kind wedding destination, says events manager Madison Jenkins. 

Situated on the site of the old Kamberra Winery, Madison says the centre is conveniently located 10 minutes from Civic with nearby access to the light rail.

“It’s a private feel within the heart of Canberra,” says Madison, who adds there are different settings on site for the wedding reception and ceremony. 

There’s even a reflection pond amid the “rustic but elegant” features, she says. 

Onsite “premier” catering is provided by Swirl Catering which provide canape-style or seated-style dining, including a sit-down service or a “feasting”, share style service, says Madison. 

The rooms can host between 40 and 330 people and include the spacious Kamberra Room, which opens out onto a covered veranda, the Meeting Place, with a view of the reflection pond and Thoroughbred Park, or Barrel Room, which is located in the original barrel storage area from when the site was a vineyard, she says.

Guests can also take advantage of more than 300 free, onsite parking spaces.

As well as weddings, the centre also hosts a number of private events such as milestone birthdays, wakes and conferences.

“It’s a unique space you can make into any type of event,” says Madison.

Kamberra Function Centre, 595 Northbourne Avenue, Lyneham. Call 0458 425015, email or visit

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