Waikanae couple Michael and Noeleen Dodson celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Thursday.

The couple took it easy on the day in preparation for a busy weekend with family.

"We spent it getting the place ready for visitors," Noeleen said.

"We just had a nice home day."

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Reaching the milestone was a bit surprising.

"We can't believe it has been 60 years," she said.

Michael and Noeleen first met during a student party in Karori when he was studying to become a lawyer and she was a PE teacher.

"And it went from there," Michael said.

Their friendship was strengthened when Michael returned from Australia and invited Noeleen to a law ball in Wellington.

They married on May 23, 1959, in St Bernadette's Church, Dunedin.

A large chunk of their marriage had been spent in Dannevirke, where they lived for 40 years.

It was where they had their four children Stephen, Brett, Michelle and Joanne.

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Michael worked at the law firm Lloyd Dodson and Co.

"The firm is now 120-odd years old."

Noeleen taught at North School, St Joseph's and Matamau primary schools and was principal of Awariki School.

By 2001 the couple had retired to Waikanae.

Family had been the key part of their strong marriage, they say.

"Our family are just so good to us," Noeleen said.

"We've got four children, 12 grandchildren and two great granddaughters — so we're never at a loss for family."

"We've always maintained family values," Michael said.

"And the kids have adopted the same approach with their families.

"We have a lot of family functions."