SELBY was the unlikely centre of international attention, when one of the Far East's biggest pop stars held his wedding ceremony at the town's historic Abbey.

Jay Chou, from Taiwan, married his girlfriend of four years, Hannah Quinlivan, on Saturday, a day before his 36th birthday. 

The couple reportedly followed the service with a private concert at Castle Howard near Malton.

This video has now been posted on YouTube:

Matthew Tomlinson, manager of the Londesborough Hotel, just yards from the Abbey, told The Press: “We had a couple of floral artists who worked on the wedding staying with us for a couple of days.

“It was very busy and there was a lot of mini buses turning up throughout the day, and a Bentley was parked outside.”

Jay Chou's facebook page describes him as a musician, singer, producer, actor and director who has won a raft of awards, and he has almost 2.8 million facebook fans.

The service has drawn huge attention from Chinese media. Some have reported that the ceremony cost the equivalent of $1 million. 

The service was held amid great secrecy, with guests reportedly told in advance only that they should arrive in London for a connecting flight.

The couple's parents and about 50 relatives and friends attended, say reports.

Selby Abbey remained tight-lipped about the service, although a notice on its website said the Abbey would be closed on Friday and Saturday.


The Abbey rules restrict who can marry in the church, with permission granted to parishioners, former parishioners, anyone who was baptised or confirmed in the Abbey, anyone who has at any time regularly attended the Abbey services for at least six months, anyone whose parents or grandparents were married in the Abbey, or anyone whose parents have lived in the parish or regularly attended Abbey services.

However the Abbey also allows blessings services, not governed by UK Marriage Law, for anyone who has married elsewhere but wants a service. There is no fixed cost, with the Abbey instead inviting donations. As optional extras, it charges £118 for an organist, or £168 if the service is videod; £120 for a choir; £160 for bells and £80 per pedestal for flowers.

Above & below: Selby Abbey


The inside of Selby Abbey


Castle Howard, where the couple reportedly held a private party after the service


10 facts you maybe didn't know about Selby Abbey



  • It was founded by Benedict of Auxerre in 1069 and built by the de Lacy family.
  • The interior was modelled on Durham Cathedral with a nave boasting one of the finest lessons in the development of 12th century church building.

  • The Abbey is known for its 14th-century Washington Window, which contains a rare and famous piece of stained glass, including the heraldic arms of the ancestors of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Its three red stars above two red bands on a white shield is said to have been the model for the United States national flag.
  • A fire in 1340 caused severe damage to the Chapter House, Dormitory and Treasury, forcing major repairs.
  • The Abbey was spared in the dissolution, after the Monks did not take part in the Pilgrimage of Grace, opposing the closures.
  • In the late 1600s, the central tower fell and destroyed the South Transept. Selby then languished for another 200 years before being overhauled and fully repaired.

  • It was gutted by a devastating fire in 1906 but restored after a huge fundraising campaign.
  • In 1969 Selby Abbey became the first parish church to hold the Maundy Money celebration.
  • The surviving church is all that is left from a huge monastic complex.
  • The Abbey sits on a base of sand and some sections collapsed in the 17th century.