Joseph Terrill, who drowned on Marine Parade Beach, died not only on the spot where they had their wedding photos taken but on the anniversary of moving in together.
Wife, Anahera, said it got worse - as a week prior to the Tuesday incident Mr Terrill had been swimming off Marine Parade Beach again and lost his wedding ring.
"We both had a pounamu wedding band and when he was out in the surf it fell off. It is so sad that it all happened on Marine Parade but he loved the water and I guess he went peacefully, as it was meant to be our special spot," Mrs Terrill said.
Mrs Terrill said the time she spent with him was some of the best.
"We met on an NZ dating site and when his profile popped up I thought 'he looked alright'."
"We decided to meet up and when I got off the bus from Palmerston North and saw him for the first time I fell in love instantly."
From that day on she said they spent every second of the day with each other, before tying the knot in April this year.
"He was amazing and I will miss him so much but I want him to know how much I loved him. He was incredible."
Sonya Terrill, Mr Terrill's sister, said Joseph went to Te Awa School and was the speaker of the family.
"He was the oldest brother of four and could just speak with anything, whether it was in the bible, in Maori or in English. He was the speaker of our family," Ms Terrill said.
Mrs Terrill hoped to create a Trust in memory of Mr Terrill and what the couple had hoped to achieve together.
"We both felt NZ did not need homelessness or poverty so we wanted to set out and help to reduce the problem. My dad has given us $5000 to start it up and I hope to do it for Joseph."
Ms Terrill said their cousin had been in contact with the council regarding the safety of the beach and the possibility of implementing different safety measures.
"No one goes looking for the signs as there looking at the ocean but if there was a statue or wall explaining the history of the beach more people may listen, as it will stand out."