On Bindi Irwin’s 21st birthday – July 24, 2019 – she said “yes” to a marriage proposal from her boyfriend of several years, Chandler Powell.
Since that day, the only daughter of the late Steve Irwin has been planning every detail to her wedding.
A few days after the engagement, she spoke with Entertainment Tonight and revealed how she would be honoring her father, who died when she was just eight years old. She said her younger brother, Robert, would be walking her down the aisle in their father’s place. She believes that’s exactly what Steve would have wanted:
“I’m always so grateful that Robert is there, and he has been such a big part of my life and he’s always stepped up and been the one to give me a hug when I need it and encourage me forward in life,” Bindi said. “So he will definitely be the one to walk me down the aisle when the time comes, and I think that will make it really special.”
But, one month before their wedding date, COVID-19 began spreading all over the world.
“We had been planning for almost a year,” Bindi told PEOPLE for their latest issue. “As soon as this all started happening, we had to look at different options to make sure everyone was safe.”
Just a few days before the wedding were to take place, Bindi and Chandler essentially “cancelled” their wedding to anyone who didn’t live with them at the Australia Zoo.
Bindi told PEOPLE, “We thought about postponing, because you want to share this day with everyone, but when it boiled down to it, we both just said, ‘Look, we desperately want to get married, and no matter what the future holds, at least we’ll be husband and wife. We can take on the world together.'”
The only people in attendance were Bindi’s mom Terri – who helped the bride get ready – her brother Robert, and her father’s best friend Wes Mannion.
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March 25th 2020 ❤️ We held a small ceremony and I married my best friend. There are no words to describe the amount of love and light in my heart right now. We’ve planned this beautiful day for nearly a year and had to change everything, as we didn’t have guests at our wedding. This was a very difficult decision but important to keep everyone safe. We wish all of our friends and family could have been there with us, however it’s lovely that we will be able to share photos and videos. Right now we’re encouraging the world to hold onto hope and love, which will carry us forward during this profound time in history. Today we celebrated life and revelled in every beautiful moment we shared together in our Australia Zoo gardens. Mum helped me get ready, Robert walked me down the aisle, Chandler became my husband and together we lit a candle in Dad’s memory. We shared tears and smiles and love. Thankfully, since we all live at Australia Zoo as a family, we could be there for each other. To everyone reading this – stay safe, social distance and remember LOVE WINS!
They were saddened to not be able to share the day with Chandler’s family and the rest of their friends, but Bindi says, “It was a tough decision but absolutely the right one.”
Bindi also shared some more wedding photos with PEOPLE Magazine for their upcoming issue.
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From the day Bindi Irwin got engaged to fiancé Chandler Powell, the Animal Planet star has been planning her dream wedding at the Australia Zoo. ❤️ And although the couple had to dramatically alter their plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, they exchanged “I dos” in an intimate ceremony: “Even if it wasn’t by-the-book perfect, it was our perfect.” ? Tap the bio link for more on the couple's "whirlwind" ceremony. ✨ | ?: @australiazoo
To see more photos from their special day, click here.
Congratulations, Chandler and Bindi!