Bindi Irwin held a “candle-lighting ceremony” for her later father Steve Irwin at her wedding last week
The 21-year-old conservationist tied the knot with Chandler Powell on March 25, and although her father - who died in 2006 after he was attacked by a stingray while working on an underwater film - couldn’t be there to walk her down the aisle, they made sure to include him in the ceremony
4 April 2020
Bindi explained to People magazine: “Where we got married was such a special place to dad. It’s a beautiful little area where he had filmed for many years. It felt really wonderful and just meant to be.
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“We had dad’s picture with his dog Sui blown up on an easel. So mom and Robert were standing right next to dad as we exchanged vows. We had a candle-lighting ceremony for him, and it really felt like he was there with us. It was a lovely moment of peace and happiness.”
The beauty married Chandler in the gardens of her family’s home inside Australia Zoo, and although she had originally planned a larger ceremony with 200 guests, the guest list was scrapped as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, the only people present at the ceremony were the newlyweds, as well as Bindi’s mother Terri Irwin and younger brother Robert Irwin, who walked Bindi down the aisle in the place of their late father.
The ‘Crikey! It’s the Irwins’ star spoke about the change to her wedding plans after some fans questioned why she had held her wedding during the pandemic, where gatherings have been banned to try and stop the virus from spreading.
She wrote on Instagram: "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"