It starts with an intimate ceremony in a kitsch, peachy-pink chapel in Collingwood, where an Elvis impersonator will officiate your ceremony and serenade you as you walk down the aisle. Then, step outside to find a vintage Cadillac waiting to whisk you away to either the dreamy ’50s-style Kyneton Springs Motel for two nights or this Airstream caravan on a CBD rooftop for one night. Very Vegas.
The Altar Electric is a wedding business founded in 2018 by celebrants Sarah Dobson, Anthony Cribbes and Dee Brinsmead. For the past three years they’ve been running unconventional weddings, and now, as Melbourne eases out of restrictions, they’ve introduced a new package – the Honeymooner – which focuses on the people who can often be overlooked in the madness of a big wedding: the couple themselves.
“Once you leave that chapel, you jump in that Cadillac, it’s about you two,” says Dobson. “And I think that’s something that actually often gets lost in the big day.”
There are lots of reasons the trio has introduced this package now. “Part of this is about bringing that experience, that raw romanticism of Vegas – a kind of F U to tradition and running away [and] getting married,” says Dobson with a laugh. It also takes some of the pressure off after an intense year, where many couples had to drastically change their plans and reassess what really matters to them. With the Honeymooner package “couples don’t have to think about anything”, she explains. “You literally just have to rock up on the day and everything is sorted out for you. So it really does take the stress out.”
Every aspect of the package is infused with nostalgia. Get a heart-shaped cake that wouldn’t look out of place in an ’80s movie, and to complete the picture, a retro bouquet – “think red carnations, baby’s breath, kind of prom-style,” says Dobson. The entire ceremony will be captured on super 8 film, plus there’s an option for polaroid photography.
Sure, it’s kitsch. But for The Altar Electric team, it’s all about paring things back to what really matters.
“It just becomes about a couple celebrating what’s important to them in front of just their really special people,” says Dobson. “Something really magical happens, because they’re not thinking about anything else – except for each other.”
The Honeymooner package costs $7950, but the first 10 couples to book pay just $6950.