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Alvin Foo and Li Junhui were so impressed with Christchurch's beauty they flew halfway across the world to have their wedding photos taken.

The recently married couple from Singapore wanted an overseas destination for their wedding pictures, and Christchurch's Cathedral Square was what they decided on.

Then came Saturday's 7.1 magnitude earthquake, and the couple feared their plans would be in ruins.

Mr Foo told the Herald they saw pictures of collapsed buildings on the internet. They saw the cathedral was still standing and were determined to make the trip.

"We'd heard of the curfew and buildings destroyed. The pictures were quite terrible." Along with some friends and their photographer, they flew to Christchurch on Sunday night.

The couple had never been to New Zealand - or felt an earthquake before.

They were eating breakfast in their hotel yesterday when a 5.1 magnitude aftershock struck.

The power was briefly cut and Mr Foo said his wife didn't know what to make of it.

"It wasn't so much scared, just the expression on her face [that showed her fear]," Mr Foo said.

Another tremor hit while they were shopping. "We hadn't realised the extent of the damage until we saw the damaged businesses."

After Christchurch, the couple will visit Hanmer Springs, Queenstown, then Queensland.