There are two kinds of people: those who love weddings and those who don’t. Brooke Engel loves weddings — the planning, the little touches. For her own October 2019 wedding she handmade blankets for guests to cuddle under during the ceremony, placing them next to a sign that read, “To have and to hold in case you get cold.” It was “the best day of [her] life,” she says. And she wasn’t going to spend any part of it scrunched in a port-a-potty holding the skirts of her wedding dress above smelly blue water. That’s just not what a queen does.

Queen of Thrones was launched in July of 2019, shortly after Engel attended a bridal fair while planning her big day. Among the vendors was a luxury portable bathroom company from Oregon. The idea struck her as brilliant but when she suggested renting it for their nuptials, her husband to be — Brett Engel, owner of Mr. Rooter plumbing — said, “Why not just buy one?” Maybe someone else would want to rent it and pay off their investment, he reasoned. Her fiancé was right. Queen of Thrones was booked almost every weekend up until the Engels’ celebration and it has a packed schedule for 2020.

The Queen of Thrones logo is a blinged-out toilet seat. It adorns the trailer Engel hauls behind their truck, essentially an RV with two rooms, one labeled “Queen,” the other “King.” The queen’s side has two stalls, the king’s has two urinals. Each bathroom includes porcelain toilets and sinks, air conditioning and heating, Bluetooth stereo, wood-grained flooring, a full-length mirror, artwork and light features, including mini chandeliers. Engel describes the décor as “glam,” with pink glitter-dipped soap dispensers and a sign that reads, “Always wear your invisible crown.”

“It’s so much fun to sit outside and hear people’s reactions,” says Engel. “I hear a lot of people say, ‘Oh, this is better than my bathroom at home!’”

Engel, who worked in childcare, marketing and advertising before becoming an entrepreneur (she also works for her husband in the family business), enjoys refining and tweaking her enterprise. She says she learned a lot from her own wedding and uses social media to get feedback on how to make others' big days a little easier. She used one poll on Facebook to ask people what last-minute items they needed at formal events. The list, which included double-sided tape, moleskin and spray deodorant, helped her create hygiene baskets for the Royal Package, a luxury offering that includes an attendant for the restrooms and décor to match the wedding colors. All services include transport within Humboldt County from as far north as Trinidad to as far south as Rio Dell, although the business will accommodate more far-flung locales with an additional travel fee. The full-sized restrooms can accommodate parties with up to 300 guests.

Outdoor weddings, while popular in our region, are fraught with logistical challenges, especially when it comes to the necessary pre-ceremony primping and prepping. Anyone who has ever changed into heels on a beach or dragged the train of their dress through a bed of pine needles will understand. Engel is working on a new offering to address this issue: a ladies’ lounge for the bridal party. The lounge will include a fridge for mimosas, mirrors, styling chairs, outlets and other necessities. Ever with the eye for details, Engel is working closely with professional stylists to make sure the lighting is just right. She will also be able to pick up the bridal party’s dresses before the event and have them waiting in the trailer.

All of this keeps Engel and her family very busy, on top of the day-to-day work of running a plumbing business and helping raise Brett’s 4-year-old son. Engel, who was raised in Blue Lake but lived in the Bay Area for many years before returning to Humboldt in 2013, says she is fortunate to have had many good role models during her life, people who encouraged her to take the risk of becoming an entrepreneur. She occasionally tries to give back by donating her services, including the wedding last summer of a friend whose father had recently died.

With wedding season about to get rolling again, Engel and her team are prepared to get rolling as well, possibly investing in a new truck and tow package to bring their luxury thrones to venues across the region. Whether it’s a cliff in Klamath, a field in Hydesville, a beach in Shelter Cove or a farm in Ferndale, using the bathroom on the big day no longer has to be a royal pain.
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About The Author

Linda Stansberry

Linda Stansberry

Linda Stansberry was a staff writer of the North Coast Journal from 2015 to 2018. She is a frequent contributor the the Journal and our other publications.

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