5 Awesome Alternative Wedding Photo Shoots

As someone who finds the whole white flouncy dress, tiered cake, and dad-giving-you-away-to-some-other-dude a bit nauseating, I think alternative weddings are the perfect antidote for tired traditions. If you're perfectly happy to recreate that Cinderella ceremony, go for it, but for the rest of us, a break from matrimonial stereotypes can make tying the knot a lot more personal — and meaningful.

I was never really all that interested in getting married, but when I changed my mind on a whim, I knew I could only go through with it if the ceremony and after party was true to life for me and my fiancee. We met playing in a band and are diehard metalheads, so of course we had to do the whole "rock n roll wedding" thing. We named the tables after our favorite bands (hello King Diamond and Skid Row) and had the ceremony on a stage in a club in front of guitars, amps, and a drum kit. Our vows included references to spandex and Aquanet and we had skull pinatas filled with condoms and candy — you get the picture.

Now more than ever, the alternative wedding industry is booming, with sites like Offbeat Bride and Rock n Roll Bride offering unlimited ideas for how to make getting hitched less of a white-washed cliche and more of a celebration that reflects who you really are. If you're going to make a serious commitment, you may as well do it right. These photos show couples who transformed their weddings to suit their unique aesthetics whether through attire, decor, location — or all three.

1. Sarah and Jamie in Cardiff, Wales, by Aga Tomaszek Photography

2. Robin and Michael in Los Angeles, CA, by Rawtography

3. Elizabeth and Joshua in Montauk, NY, by Zana Bayne

4. Barrett and Micol in Riverhead, NY, by Marlo Gamora

5. Kristen and Charlie in Brooklyn, NY, by E. Leigh Photography

Images: Courtesy of Aga Tomaszek; Rawtography; Zana Bayne; Marlo Gamora; E. Leigh Photography