He wasn't a guest at their wedding.

But a homeless man will forever be a part of Bronia and Fabrizio Clementi's big day, after the couple - in a touching moment - found a way to include him.

The couple had just exchanged vows at The Community of Saint Luke in Remuera on Saturday when they spotted the man as they left for their wedding photos.

Barefoot and with belongings at his side, the man was sitting on the grass outside the Presbyterian church.

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On their arrival earlier in the day, the couple had seen the man sleeping.

What followed was a gesture that brought the man to tears.

It was a piece of cake.

Tindall, an Auckland chiropractor, said they had cut their cake outside the church, as some guests were not going to the reception.

They decided to give some of their wedding fruit cake to the man.

Wedding photographers Ben Franks and Steve May captured the moment.

"It was just a nice gesture, and we had a lot of cake. It's not the healthiest food to give him, but it was just what we had."

The trio spoke for a few minutes, and Clementi also gave the man a cigarette, Tindall said.

She could not remember what they said, but the man was grateful, and thanked them.

They did not see what happened next.

Bronia Tindall and Fabrizio Clementi on their wedding day. Photo / Ben Franks/Steve May/one2one Photography
Bronia Tindall and Fabrizio Clementi on their wedding day. Photo / Ben Franks/Steve May/one2one Photography

Their photographers told them that as they walked away, the man started to cry, she said.

"It's very touching that such a small gesture can mean so much to someone else."

They did not know the man or his situation, and a visiting church minister also did not know the man's story, she said.

The couple, who plan to settle in Rome, where Clementi works as a doctor, have a background in humanitarian work.

Tindall, 39, spent time working with sex trafficking victims in Thailand, and her husband, 49, had worked with Doctors without Borders.

The trio spoke for a few minutes, and Clementi also gave the man a cigarette, Tindall said. Photo / Ben Franks/Steve May/one2one Photography
The trio spoke for a few minutes, and Clementi also gave the man a cigarette, Tindall said. Photo / Ben Franks/Steve May/one2one Photography

He had also taken in a homeless refugee from Syria, and another from Pakistan.

One of the photographers at the wedding told the New Zealand Herald the couple's gesture, and its subsequent reaction, was unlike anything he had seen in more than 20 years as a wedding photographer.

The man's emotional response had brought him to tears, Steve May said.

"I don't know anything about him, I'd like to know more. They are not many people that can make me cry."

The moment was brief, but beautiful.

"It was only a piece of wedding cake, but it meant so much."