Bindi Irwin honored late dad Steve Irwin before her wedding day.
On Tuesday, the oldest Irwin child shared a heartwarming tribute to the late Crocodile Hunter star, who would not be there to walk his daughter down the aisle as she married fiancé Chandler Powell..
“Thank you for being my guiding light. You’re always with me,” Bindi, 21, wrote alongside an old photo of her and her dad, who died after being attacked by a stingray in 2006.
Stepping in for their dad was Bindi’s younger brother, Robert Irwin, who walked his sister down the aisle on Wednesday as she exchanged vows with Powell in a private ceremony at the Australia Zoo.
“I was beyond honoured to get to walk Bindi down the aisle today,” the 16-year-old shared on Instagram after the couple announced their nuptials. “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.”
The newlyweds both announced the news on Instagram, sharing a sweet photo of themselves kissing. They revealed that due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, they decided not to have any guests at their wedding.
“March 25th 2020 ❤️ We held a small ceremony and I married my best friend,” the bride wrote on Instagram. “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,” she continued. “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,” Bindi added. “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!”
One week before their ceremony, Robert shared avideo of him and his future brother-in-law from one of their first family trips together after Powell and Bindi began dating. Alongside the footage, Robert expressed his excitement over welcoming Powell into the family as Bindi’s husband.
“This was one of our first family trips with Chandler many years ago!!😂😂Chandler, thanks for being my lip sync buddy from day 1!! Haha those were the days… driving a convertible mustang down the streets of Hawaii, my pre-teen bowl haircut waving in the breeze, set to the soundtrack of Adele 😂,” he wrote. “And soon you and Bindi are getting married, wow!!!! There’s no one more perfect for Bindi and I’m so happy for you both!”
After the couple’s ceremony, Powell also shared a post on Instagram, sharing his joy in “finally” marrying his “best friend.”
“We’re finally married! ❤️ Today, March 25, 2020, marks the most amazing day of my life. I married my best friend. After almost a year of planning, we changed everything so that we could enjoy a safe and small private ceremony at our home, Australia Zoo,” he wrote. “As we embark on this new life chapter I hope that we can share some love in the world, especially during this challenging time.”
The pair first met in November 2013 when Powell, a Florida native and former professional wakeboarder, traveled to Australia for a competition. While there, he took a trip to the zoo with his family, where the Irwins live and work.
Last year, he finally popped the question on Bindi’s 21st birthday, after first getting the family’s approval and enlisting the help of Robert, who documented the special moment with his camera.