If a white wedding isn’t your thing, then the neon-lit extravagance of the Altar Electric could be right up your aisle.
The Altar Electric was founded in late 2017 by marriage celebrants Sarah Dobson, Anthony Cribbes and Dee Brinsmead. The trio decided that Melbourne needed a low-key marriage option for people who buck tradition but still value the ceremonial aspects of a wedding.
Accordingly, Altar Electric celebrations are inclusive of all genders and identities. The dress code is whatever you want it to be. Vows are traded beneath the shimmer of a disco ball. The idea is that each couple is different, so their wedding should be too.
“We could have created a really pared-back ceremony space with pastels and palm trees, but everyone’s done that. We wanted a space where people walk in and recognise ‘this is Vegas!’ yet in a way that hasn’t been done before,” says Dobson.
Since its establishment, the Altar Electric has married over 60 couples across laneway bars in Melbourne, but it now has an official, long-term home at Collingwood’s Schoolhouse Studios.
The team worked with Good Day Rentals creative director Kate Forsyth to transform the studio with chains hanging from the ceiling, metallic glitter pillars, and a ’70s red velvet couch. The altar is tucked away at the back, which Dobson thinks gives it “the real Melbourne feel” of going down a few inconspicuous lanes in order to find something “new and exciting”.
The space is a humble four metres by eight metres, but can extend into Schoolhouse Studios’s communal space if the crowd or outfits are big enough. Weddings can be booked from Thursday to Sunday at a starting rate of $650 for an hour-long service, with extras (photographer, food, styling and full venue hire) available for additional costs.
For those who are expecting more than 30 guests and a longer celebration, there’s a “Wham Bam” four-hour package (available Thursday and Friday nights only) with photography, bar and food services starting from $7,500. The Altar Electric has also teamed up with their Rupert Street neighbours Rupert on Rupert, where couples can continue partying after they’ve said their “I dos”.