Newlyweds in cool portrait outside tipi at night time

Bride & groom in cool portrait outside tipi at night time

Luke & Polly’s Peak District Tipi Wedding Photography

Newlyweds in cool portrait outside tipi at night time

How wild was this Peak District Tipi Wedding? Well, when you open up the ‘Day in Detail’ document from your bride and groom and it rather optimistically says “If the weather is good…” with the location of the wedding ceremony simply as a link to google maps, it confirmed what had become apparent in my discussions with Luke & Polly – these two are a couple who are easygoing, up for anything, and were determined to get married their way, come rain or shine!! Even my 5 year old would be able to tell you that I am a little bit obsessed with checking the weather (“it’s the first thing you do when you wake up Daddy!”) but I became unhealthily obsessed with googling it in the days leading up to Luke & Polly’s big day. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a rainy wedding as much as a sunny one but with having a mother-in-law who grew up in those parts I had been duly informed that even on a dry, calm day elsewhere the top of the peaks can be wet and wild!! The couple’s “I expect it will be too gusty for formal photos” hinted as much too! 

Mermaids of the Peak District

Black Mere Pool on the south-western tip of the Staffordshire Peak District according to legend, is inhabited by a beautiful mermaid. The waters of the Mermaid’s Pool are believed to offer healing qualities to those brave enough to bathe in them. For those looking for eternal life, the best time to visit is at midnight at Easter, the only time of the year when the Mermaid is said to appear. If she looks upon you fondly then she will grant you the gift of immortality. Make sure you catch her on a good day though, otherwise you can expect to be pulled into the pool to your death!! Luckily for us no one fancied a dip on the wedding day!!

Peak District Tipi Wedding Photography

By the time we arrived at Mermaid’s Pool the wind was definitely on the wild side, and although it had rained in the morning it was now dry and sunny and I got the chance to really appreciate what an absolutely epic decision it was by Luke & Polly to get married here. The most amazing views as far as the eye could see, just stunning. The guests had obviously been well prepped so smart suits and fancy frocks were finished off by wellies and walking boots (obviously not me though as I slid down the hill following Polly and her dad). It was clear that the easygoing couple surrounded themselves by people who are willing to go with the flow and up for anything. Two close friends, Andy & Emma, led the ceremony with the benefit of a pa system to make sure voices weren’t lost in the gale that was beginning to blow. The PA system soon turned to music to celebrate Luke & Polly becoming Mr & Mrs and they had come very well prepared – how many people can say they’ve had prosecco on the rolling hills of Derbyshire 5 minutes after saying I do?! With the guests transported off to the reception location I was able to make the most of the dramatic backdrop and sky with some couple shots, making sure I included ones of the ‘old-school’ wedding car – there aren’t enough tin cans on strings and writing on the window nowadays in my opinion! Luke & Polly were also keen to go to The Roaches – a set of really cool rock formations overlooking Leek and Tittesworth Reservoir. Needless to say there were quite a few double takes by ramblers as they saw Polly climbing up to the top of the rocks in her wedding dress and flip-flops (making it look easy too I should say!)

As if my little photography mind hadn’t been blown enough by the stunning setting of their Peak District wild wedding ceremony, arriving at Meerbrook to be greeted by the sight of the tipi Luke & Polly had chosen for their reception nearly tipped (get it?!) me over the edge!! Effortlessly blending into the landscape to give a unique and atmospheric setting, with a full table set up, dancefloor, bar, chill out zone complete with fire pit, it’s safe to say that the tipi provided their guests with the surroundings conducive to an epic celebration! The weather gods were smiling down on the newlyweds by this time, the sky was beautifully blue and after a chilled out drinks reception the speeches were made outside the tipi giving the whole thing a really relaxed feel. 

Once inside the tipi the guests were treated to the most amazing looking food and the drinks starting flowing freely…which could have explained how my request for silly poses during the puddings may have led to a widespread no-hands pudding-eating competition..!!! As I’ve said throughout, Luke & Polly most definitely did things their way and the no cake-cutting and their first dance ‘dance to start the party’ (!!) followed suit. The newlyweds had all their guests create a walkway from outside the tipi all the way to the stage and they strutted their stuff and really got the party started by spraying everyone with confetti cannons. Following on from that, the band made completely sure that absolutely no-one could resist the pull of the dance floor. For the whole evening the tipi and quite possibly the whole village was bouncing and as you can see from the photographs there was not a space to be had on the dancefloor!!

I was able to steal the happy couple away from the dance floor for some dramatic photos in front of the tipi too ….I’ve nearly finished this blog and managed not to mention that Luke is an awesome photographer too….which could have meant a lot of pressure on the day but both Luke & Polly are just the nicest people I wasn’t even worried about that by the time their wedding day came. If anything, all it actually meant was that they were more up for anything I suggested!! Luke & Polly, your day excited me when you first booked with me and went through the details and it’s safe to say that the day itself surpassed my expectations, you guys are awesome together, your day that you planned was so completely unique and your family and friends made the whole celebration an absolutely amazing experience. I hope you enjoy these photos for many years to come, I thoroughly enjoyed being your Wedding photographer but you made me feel like a friend and a guest so thank you again!!

If you’re interested in booking me for Peak District Tipi Wedding Photography or Outdoor Wedding Photographer then please don’t hesitate to get in touch here.



Peak District Tipi Wedding Photography – Gareth Newstead Photography 

Hair & Makeup – Sarah Meredith Hair & Makeup

Ceremony Venue – Mermaid Pool 

Awesome Tipi – Tipi & Kata

Best food Ever (and bar drinks)- The Lazy Trout

Florist – Blossoms Florist, Leek

Party starters (The Band) – The dBs

Pretty much everything else – Luke and Polly



  1. Dan Morris says:

    Such a great location 🙂 Lovely moments captured and the night looked ace fun 🙂

  2. Zehra Jagani says:

    This is just gorgeous! What a fun wedding. Absolutely in love with image 130, of father and daughter, such a strong connection.

  3. Awesome work My N! Love this set of images dude. Awesome job!

  4. Paul Keppel says:

    Beautiful set of images, love the moment during the speeches with the child on the floor.

  5. What a place to get married, so beautiful.

  6. Zibi says:

    Awesome work Gareth!!!

  7. Joe says:

    Gareth, these are superb. I love the arrival shots at the ceremony in the hills. Really good work matey!!

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