She calls herself the 'found' bridesmaid.

Taupō woman Laurel Johnstone, 86, was found by a genealogist who wanted to surprise her neighbours with a 65th wedding anniversary present.

Separated since 1954 - Laurel Johnstone was finally reunited with Maureen Wallace and her husband Rhodes Wallace last month.

Laurel and Maureen were trainee nurses at Thames Hospital and not long after, Laurel was one of three bridesmaids at Maureen's wedding. Maureen moved away after her wedding and the pair lost touch.

In 1961 Laurel married returned serviceman John Johnstone and became busy with family life and running a farm.

The Johnstones were among the first farming families on Oruanui Rd, with the government extending them a loan for their ballot farm that had to be repaid in 33 years.