China's Justin Timberlake, Nicky Wu, dazzles in NZ wedding photos

Nicky Wu and Liu Shishi chose to get pre-wedding photographs taken at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Photo / Liu Zongyuan
Nicky Wu and Liu Shishi chose to get pre-wedding photographs taken at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Photo / Liu Zongyuan

A Chinese celebrity "power couple" have chosen Waitomo Glowworm Caves for their pre-wedding photos and the result is dazzling.

Nicky Wu, dubbed China's answer to US singing powerhouse Justin Timberlake, and actress Liu Shishi were photographed in the caves, 20 kilometres north-west of Te Kuiti.

Liu Shishi inside the caves. Photo / Liu Zongyuan
Liu Shishi inside the caves. Photo / Liu Zongyuan

The images include the couple posed under stalactites and, spectacularly, a blanket of glowworms. They were taken by top fashion photographer, Liu Zongyuan, whose work has featured on the cover of magazines including Harper's Bazaar.

Nicky Wu posing inside the caves. Photo / Liu Zongyuan
Nicky Wu posing inside the caves. Photo / Liu Zongyuan

Since the photos were released, one image of Shishi appearing to float in a world of stars has gained huge attention from fans. It has been shared more than 10,000 times on Chinese social channels Weibo and WeChat.

Wu's love life and marriage have been the stuff of soap dramas. Wu was forced to remarry, then re-divorce his ex-wife Ma Yashu before he could tie the knot with Shishi.

Wu and Yashu were first married for three years, from 2006-2009.

To make matters even more complex, Yashu married Australian billionaire James Robert Hayes in 2010.

According to an interview Mr Wu's mother did with media outlet, the Taiwan Apple Daily, the couple were forced to remarry and re-divorce due to an unusual set of legal requirements in the country.

Apparently Wu and Yashu never registered their marriage in Taiwan during the three years they were together, because Wu was "interrogated like a criminal" when making a visa application for his then wife.

It appears because of this oversight, Wu and Yashu were required to remarry, register their marriage in Taiwan, and then re-divorce so that Mr Wu and Ms Shishi's nuptials were legal in the country.

Wu and Shishi met on the set of the Chinese television series Scarlet Heart in 2011.
It is unclear if they became romantically involved at this time or later.

Wu announced on his Weibo page in January 2015 that the two had registered their marriage in Beijing, but the wedding ceremony was only held in Bali on Sunday.

In China, the legal element of a wedding must be completed in the offices of the Civil Affairs Bureau, so many couples choose to officially marry before proceeding to hold a ceremony and party the following weekend or later, according to the Travel China Guide.

It is possible the unusual circumstances that surrounded Mr Wu's previous marriage and subsequent divorce was the reason behind the 14-month delay between the marriage and the ceremony.

The wedding was held at the luxurious Ayana Resort and Spa in Bali, which sits on a cliff edge and has stunning views.

Approximately 350 guests attended the wedding, which reportedly cost more than 20 million yuan, or AU$4 million.

The wedding was held outside with thousands of white, blue and pink flowers decorating the clifftop space. Ms Shishi cried during the ceremony as her new husband spoke of his love for her.

During the ceremony, Ms Shishi wore a white strapless gown with a full lace skirt and veil. For the reception, the new bride changed into a traditional red Chinese dress with delicate flower beading.

The couple had both a traditional Chinese ceremony and a more Western style ceremony.

Waitomo Caves general manager Gordon Hewston said the Chinese couple's pre-wedding photoshoot was nothing out of the ordinary as the company received many requests from people wanting to be photographed inside the caves.

However many were turned down.

"We are very careful around photography and look at all activity that is planned, both inside and outside the cave, and the potential risk to humans and glowworm and the wider eco-system," he said.

He said for each photoshoot request, a risk assessment was completed by the company's glowworm health expert scientist and an environmental specialist.

"We looked at what they wanted to do, their choice of lighting, the number of people in the cave, where they wanted to position themselves and type of equipment they're using."

If the risk of harming glowworms or the caves were too high, the requests were denied.
"There were no potential risk to glowworms and cave in this photoshoot.

"We've been monitoring the caves and glowworms for 25 years and this type of activity if managed properly, is fine," he said.

He said glowworms were unharmed in a low light environment and lights were always used inside the caves to "highlight the formation so people can see the beauty".

Low light was also used for safety purposes for visibility.

Mr Hewston said after the release of the Chinese couple's photoshoot, the company received "a lot of interest" from China.

"So it's been very positive which is fantastic."

- NZ Herald

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