Open communication and trust are the secrets to a long and happy marriage say Eve and David Young, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday afternoon.

The couple, who live at the Elizabeth R Rest Home and Village, got married on March 27, 1965 at a registry office in Bromsgrove, England.

Eve says it was a very intimate ceremony. "There were about 20 close friends and family there to celebrate with us, we didn't want a big church wedding we just wanted to be married." Eve's father, who was a chef, made the couple their wedding cake which they shared with the wedding party at a reception in their home after the ceremony.

Eve says she was only 15-years-old and David was 17s-year-old when the couple got engaged after six months of courtship.

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"We met on a blind date set up by mutual friends, he came to pick me up on a motorcycle on our first date."

The couple were engaged for three years before finally tying the knot.

Eve and David moved to New Zealand in 1990 with their three daughters and settled in Auckland. David worked for a company making orthopaedic equipment and Eve was a manager at a Whitcoulls book store. The couple then moved to Taranaki to be closer to Eve's older sister, Joy and now enjoy spending time with their nine grandchildren.

Eve says her secret to marriage is "that a relationship is all about give and take, you do things for one another to make them happy". She adds that talking about problems is much healthier than bottling things up and "trust is also very important".

The happy couple spent their anniversary with friends and residents of the retirement village and enjoyed a cake that was a replica of their wedding cake made by Tracey Reynolds.