After being set up by a matchmaking mutual friend, sparks flew between Jennifer and Michael. Three years later they eloped - and had an intimate beach ceremony with only their closest friends.

But we'll let Jennifer tell it...

How did you meet? My husband Michael and I met in the Dunedin autumn of 2012. We sort of knew each other through mutual friends but not to any great extent. Our mutual friend thought we would be a perfect match for each other and she put her magic matchmaking skills to the test and voila - we were head over heels in no time.

The bride and groom share a special moment.

Images: halter neck wedding dresses

Tell us about the proposal: I am from Australia and Michael (from Tauranga originally) and I had been dating for almost three years, and thought it best I bring him back to my country to meet the folks. I was showing him my home city Brisbane and we were walking around the gorgeous city backdrop of South Bank after I had given him the royal tour of the Art Museum. As we were crossing the bridge over to the Brisbane CBD, in broad daylight, Michael asks me to stop for a moment to peer over the river with him. Then as we were taking in the views, he asked me to marry him. I said, "If you're joking right now, it's not funny". To which he replied, "Nah, I'm serious." I hugged him and said, "Yeah sure!". And from that moment on, we were pronounced fiance and fiancee.

Location of wedding: Purakaunui on Long Beach in Dunedin, February 27 2016. Right on the beach, it was beautiful.

Describe your wedding day: Well, it was very relaxed. We had organised our elopement in less than four weeks. We wanted it to be as casual and sincere as possible to reflect our personalities and our beliefs. We aren't the type to would host the conventional big white wedding that you see everywhere. I got ready at my best friend's house and Michael got ready with his mates at home. We then met up with the photographers, Acorn Photography, to get a pre-ceremony photoshoot in.

After the first look photos, we travelled down to Long Beach where we then set up our wedding table. There were quite a few people on the beach that day, so we ended up with a crowd watching us wondering if this was real or not. I wasn't even sure! We gathered together and went through the ceremony - I cried during my vows. Our four closest friends were there along with our beautiful golden retriever Herschel, who was our gorgeous ring bearer. It was just really fun.

The dress: I didn't want a "wedding dress", I wanted to feel like me on this day as to me it's about giving myself wholly in commitment to the person I love. So I purchased a bohemian styled dress from an Auckland store - Chiffon Boutique.

The flowers: I actually made the bouquets myself. I chose my favourite style of flower from a florist and arranged them myself the night before the big day. I absolutely love sunflowers and to me they're so bright and happy they were the perfect choice.

Highlight of the wedding: The weather. I know this seems silly, but it was forecast for rain and I was panicking so much seeing as we didn't really have a back up plan. Knowing Dunedin and how temperamental the weather is here I couldn't think of anything worse than having an outdoor wedding on the beach and it bucketing down. It turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer! It was bright and hot, a whole 27 degrees - it was glorious. We were all so relieved.

Was there any drama? No drama at all on the day. It was easy as. We were just enjoying ourselves so much that even if something did go wrong - we didn't notice. Even our families were stoked for us when we told them not long after (about a month later). It was the best drama and hassle-free wedding I've attended.

The honeymoon: We booked two honeymoons. We had a pre-honeymoon road trip around the West Coast and up to Hanmer Springs with our golden retriever Herschel - the three of us had a blast camping and exploring our South Island treats. We've also booked a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef for our honeymoon which we will be sailing away on very soon.

Your photographer and favourite photo? Acorn Photography did a fabulous job on our elopement. It's so hard to choose a favourite photo.

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