Bindi Irwin revealed that she married fiance Chandler Powell at a small ceremony without any guests in order to keep friends and family safe from the spread of the coronavirus.
The 21-year-old Australian TV personality and conservationist announced the news on Instagram showing a picture of her kissing her new husband while wearing an elegant wedding gown.
“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,” Irwin revealed.
She also noted that plans for her wedding had to be changed quickly due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, prompting people around the world to avoid large gatherings and stay inside their homes if possible.
“We’ve planned this beautiful day for nearly a year and had to change everything, as we didn’t have guests at our wedding,” she explained in the image's caption. “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.”
Irwin added: “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.”
Irwin and Powell announced their engagement in July of 2019 after dating for about six years. The daughter of the late famed animal expert Steve Irwin, who was killed by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef in 2006 at age 44, previously noted that her brother, Robert, would walk her down the aisle instead.
She concluded her caption by explaining that’s exactly what happened at her March 25 private ceremony and noted how the family paid tribute to her late father.
“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 shared. “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!”
Powell posted the same photo on his page to announce the big news and share a positive message amid the “challenging times” that the coronavirus presents.
“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 in part. “As we embark on this new life chapter I hope that we can share some love in the world, especially during this challenging time.”
Irwin and Powell, 22, started dating in 2013 when he was in Australia for a professional wakeboarding competition, People notes. He visited the Australia Zoo, where the Irwin family lives and works. Since then, Powell has grown to share her affinity for animals. She previously told the outlet that she's thrilled to find someone who shares her late father's love of "wildlife and conservation," noting "he has this strength. Which is necessary when you're jumping on crocs."