From the very beginning, Bindi Irwin knew she wanted her wedding to be a celebration of family. Her original plans for a 200-person gathering were derailed by the current health crisis around the world.
Despite that, those elements of her family still shined through on her intimate, special day.
Bindi has been open through her entire wedding planning process about the importance of incorporating her dad’s memory into the day. Despite the last-minute switch to a private ceremony, they were able to achieve that in a number of ways.
Bindi wasn’t interested in honoring only her father, however. Each member of the family played a special role in her and Chandler’s celebration.
Bindi recently revealed to People magazine that her wedding dress was inspired by her mother’s heirloom wedding gown. Bindi was unable to wear the original, but it still felt like a piece of her parents’ magic was wrapped into her own fairy-tale wedding.
Last but not least was brother Robert, who stepped in to walk Bindi down the aisle. The special role commemorated his important place in her life.
From the moment she got engaged, Bindi Irwin knew it was important for her family to be represented in different aspects of her wedding. She’s very close with her mom, Terri Irwin, and her 16-year-old brother, Robert Irwin. The family is also very serious about upholding late father Steve Irwin’s memory.
Bindi and longtime love Chandler Powell tied the knot on March 25. It was just days before their original wedding date in April. Their plans for a 200-person celebration were thwarted by global concerns over the virus that is making its way through the world.
Although her plans were changed to a more intimate gathering at the Australia Zoo, her goal to represent all members of her family was not disrupted. Each person played a special role. Robert got to walk his sister down the aisle.
He shared his well-wishes for the couple on Instagram. “25/03/2020. This is a day that we will never forget. 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 honoured 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.”
When it came to her mom, Bindi knew exactly what she wanted. Bindi had grown up captivated by her mother’s wedding dress, a family heirloom. “I wanted something very similar because I’ve admired [my mom’s] dress since I was tiny,” Bindi told People magazine.
“When I was about 12 years old, I put on mum’s wedding dress and it was a really, really special,” Bindi recalled. “It’s over 50 years old because it’s been in the family for that long.”
Unfortunately, the dress was unable to be tailored because of its age. It didn’t fit Bindi quite right, so she had to explore other options.
Bindi eventually happened upon Paddington Weddings. There, she found a dress that “mimicked” the design she felt so connected to. The sunflower lace, which “reminded me of my family and my dad,” sealed the deal.
“When we would go on projects and drives together, we’d often drive through these huge sunflower fields in the middle of nowhere and we always stopped to take them in,” Bindi recalled.
“[The dress] was really special and beautiful,” she said. The A-line gown was the one.
“It was just perfect, I said, ‘Oh my goodness, that’s the dress,’ and we all started crying again,” Bindi said of the moment she tried the dress on.
All the photos of Bindi from the day prove she picked the perfect dress. She looked stunning.
Of course, it was important to Bindi for her to feel like her dad was part of the day. This year will mark 14 years since Steve’s death, but you wouldn’t know it by how his family carries his presence in their everyday lives. It was an emotional process for the whole family as they found ways to include Steve in Bindi and Chandler’s day.
“Where we got married was such a special place to dad,” Bindi revealed of the spot on the Australia Zoo grounds where she and Chandler exchanged vows.
“It’s a beautiful little area where he had filmed for many years. It felt really wonderful and just meant to be.”
“We had dad’s picture with his dog Sui blown up on an easel,” Bindi said. “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.”
Bindi also had a special reminder of her dad incorporated into her bouquet. It was tied together with a khaki ribbon.
“Most brides have something blue; I had my khaki,” she joked.
Luckily, we’ll be seeing more of Bindi and Chandler’s special day. An Animal Planet special will offer behind-the-scenes looks at the celebration. Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Bindi’s Wedding special premieres April 18 at 8 p.m.