Bindi Irwin marries amid coronavirus pandemic: 'Stay safe, social distance and remember LOVE WINS!'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Bindi Irwin may have changed her wedding plans due to the coronavirus, but she didn’t let it ruin her day.

The Crikey! It's the Irwins star, 21, married her “best friend” Chandler Powell, 23, Wednesday at the Australia Zoo, where they reside. She confirmed the news and shared the first photo, which saw them kissing in front of a floral display.

Bindi revealed that the coronavirus pandemic and the call for social distancing did change their plans.

“We’ve planned this beautiful day for nearly a year,” after getting engaged last July on her 21st birthday, “and had to change everything, as we didn’t have guests at our wedding,” she wrote. “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.”

She said that her mother, Terri Irwin, and brother, Robert Irwin, were there — as they also all live on the expansive zoo property together — and played important roles in the big day. The ceremony took place in the zoo’s 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,” she said, referring to her dad, Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, who died in 2006. “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.”

Robert Irwin, Terri Irwin, Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell at the annual Steve Irwin Gala Dinner in Brisbane, Australia, in November. (Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Bindi ended her post with a reminder that love prevails — even in time of global crisis.

“Right now we’re encouraging the world to hold onto hope and love, which will carry us forward during this profound time in history. To everyone reading this — stay safe, social distance and remember LOVE WINS!”

Powell has since shared the same snapshot from the wedding, presumably taken by Robert, a photographer in addition to his animal rescue duties. The groom called the wedding the “most amazing day of my life.”

Robert also shared the wedding photo and a message to his sibling and new brother-in-law.

“Bindi and Chandler, words cannot describe how happy and proud I am that today you started your married life and celebrated love during a difficult time for our world,” he wrote. “And I was beyond honored to get to walk Bindi down the aisle today. Even though all of your wedding plans had to change at the last minute to keep everyone safe and healthy, it truly was an emotional and beautifully spontaneous day... I know that Dad was with us, and we are all so delighted for your future as husband and wife. I love you both.”

Terri said Steve “would be incredibly proud.”

The Australia Zoo is also celebrating the news, noting “our animals friends” were of course also wedding attendees.

Bindi went public with her romance with Powell in 2015, revealing that they had met at the zoo in 2013 and kept in touch. Things were long-distance at first — she resided at the zoo on Australia’s Sunshine Coast and the wakeboarder was in Florida. In early 2018, Powell relocated to the 100-acre zoo and by the end of the year, they were talking marriage, despite finding love at an early age.

“I’m lucky I have found the one, the person I want to spend all my time with,” she said in October 2018. “Mum and Robert and I have talked about that a lot. We all think dad would have loved Chandler.”

For the latest news on the evolving coronavirus outbreak, follow along here. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides. 

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