Fans of Bindi Irwin have watched the young wildlife conservationist grow up on television, so it was only logical that the former Jungle Girl and husband Chandler Powell would want to share their wedding day with the Crikey! It’s the Irwins audience. However, more than two months after the pair exchanged vows, Bindi posted her favorite photograph from that special day on Instagram and revealed that, despite their happy ending, the event was not what she’d dream of her whole life.
“This isn’t the fairytale image capturing the ‘perfect’ wedding day feeling. In fact, it’s quite the opposite,” Bindi wrote. “This picture was taken after we had to change our entire wedding.” Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bindi and Powell initially decided against guests “for everyone’s health and safety,” but Australia’s sudden lockdown measures also forced the couple to change their wedding date “the night before we got married.” Still, they “were determined to let love win.”
Yet, while local businesses helped Bindi and Powell bring their vision to life, the couple had to alter their plans once again when some uninvited guests arrived. “On our wedding day we were finally about to get married and the paparazzi flew over us in a helicopter scaring our wildlife,” she added. “We had to leave our stunning wedding venue on the African Savannah for their safety. I said goodbye to the place I had dreamed of getting married for so many years.”
Bindi and Powell, however, were determined to wed.
Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell 'watched love win' on their wedding day
As the helicopters began to swarm the airspace above the Australia Zoo, Bindi Irwin knew they couldn’t get married among the beloved animals as expected. “We had to entirely shift our wedding ceremony as we were about to get married,” Bindi told Entertainment Tonight in May 2020. “And I remember I was in my wedding dress and we found this beautiful, old — it’s like a barn where we filmed Crocodile Hunter and Bindi the Jungle Girl — and I went, ‘This is gonna work!'”
After that, the zoo’s crew helped them move inside. Bindi explained via Instagram, “I watched love win. I was there in my wedding dress, husband-to-be by my side, moving tables and flowers and trying to make our day finally become a reality… Sure, things weren’t perfect but that’s life. Life is messy and beautiful and meant to be felt. We were overcoming great obstacles to prove that unconditional love is the most important foundation.” While she admitted the wedding wasn’t quite what they planned, Bindi deemed it an “extraordinary starting point” for their marriage to “bloom.”
“We didn’t have any of the fancy frills or anything. And it’s great if you do when you get married,” Bindi told ET, “but for us it was about being together no matter what happened.” It’s clear that, together, these two can overcome any unforeseen obstacle that comes their way!
Chandler Powell's 'calming presence' soothed Bindi Irwin's 'crazy' nerves
Despite months of preparation, Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell’s wedding day wasn’t anything like what they’d planned. But, as Bindi told Entertainment Tonight, Powell’s “calming presence” soothed her when she felt like she was “going crazy” amid the chaos. It was at that moment that the photographer took the picture that Bindi posted on Instagram.
“At one point I sat on a chair in the corner doing my best not to think about how overwhelming things seemed. I missed the people who couldn’t be there, my dad, Chandler’s family, our dear friends, my family,” she recalled. “Chandler stopped what he was doing and sat next to me. I asked him to list me happy things. He proceeded to remind me that love ALWAYS wins.”
Bindi told ET she appreciates the photo, since it doesn’t even look like a wedding. “I love that so much because sometimes it is so hard to find happiness, and that’s why we have to have people who love us and support us around always,” she said. “During the hardest times in your life, those are the people that are gonna lift you up and remind you that the meaning of life is unconditional love.”
Bindi added that, although their nuptials were “the opposite of a normal,” it was their “perfect” day and “that’s the reality of life.” They’re right — love won that day.
Bindi Irwin kept her last name to honor her father Steve Irwin's memory
While it’s customary for brides to adopt the grooms’ last name after they say “I do,” Bindi Irwin chose to keep her notable moniker to honor her father, the late Steve Irwin.
“I think that for me personally, after dad [Steve] passed away it was really important for me to feel close to him, and having his last name means so much to me,” Bindi told Entertainment Tonight. Her husband Chandler Powell explained that, although they discussed her potential name change, both agreed she’s “an Irwin through and through” at the end of the day. “It has become a part of me. Everyone has their own ideas, but the nice thing is that it’s 2020 now, anything works!”
And while Bindi hinted that Powell could assume her surname, as he’s “become an Irwin now,” he’s just thankful that the Crocodile Hunter essentially brought them together. After all, Powell grew up watching Steve’s wildlife documentaries in his khakis at only 4 years old.
“[It] made me really fall in love with all forms of wildlife,” he told ET. “So in a way, he brought us together because when I came to Australia after watching his documentaries, I wanted to come visit Australia Zoo and that was when we met… if it weren’t for him, I don’t know how we would have met.” A love story for the ages!
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