Chinese star marries in Queenstown

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Superstar Chinese actress Yao Chen has returned to Queenstown to tie the knot with her fiancé.

Chen has almost 26 million followers on China’s equivalent of Twitter, making her the world’s third most followed micro-blogger behind Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

The multi-award winning actress married Cao Yu at St Peter’s Church on Saturday before a reception at Matakauri Lodge.

Chen, Tourism New Zealand’s brand ambassador in mainland China, first visited Queenstown for a marketing campaign photo shoot last year. She has often expressed her love of New Zealand through the social media Weibo site.

The wedding was kept under wraps until after their special day, with the couple officially announcing it to Chinese media last night.

News of the celebrity wedding sparked a media frenzy in China, boosting New Zealand’s and Queenstown’s profile significantly overnight.

Destination Queenstown boss Graham Budd says: “We’re thrilled they chose to get married in Queenstown and enjoy some unique and memorable experiences here with close friends and family.”

Chen has starred in various films and TV series, including My Own Swordsman.

A number of local operators and organisations were engaged to assist with the wedding, hospitality and sightseeing activities.