'It felt like he was there': Bindi's touching wedding day tribute to late dad Steve

·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read

She tied the knot to Chandler Powell in an intimate ceremony at Australia Zoo last week and now Bindi Irwin has revealed her touching tribute to her late dad, Steve Irwin, on the day.

The 21-year-old made sure Steve, also known as ‘The Crocodile Hunter’, who passed away in 2006 in a stingray accident, was included in the ceremony.

Steve Irwin poses with his daughter Bindi Irwin October 2, 2006 in Uluru, Australia.
Bindi Irwin paid tribute to her dad Steve Irwin in the sweetest way at her wedding last week. Photo: Getty Images

"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,” Bindi told People magazine in an interview about her big day.

"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."

Bindi and Chandler said ‘I do’ in the Australia Zoo gardens last week after being forced to move everything forward due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Within hours, critics slammed the pair for defying coronavirus safety precautions by going ahead with the nuptials.

Irate fans initially slammed the move as dangerous and risky, pointing out the government’s limit of five people per wedding, which came into effect at 12:00 am March 26, was not an arbitrary measure, but rather a necessary safety precaution that should be followed instantly.

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Some wrongly assumed the wedding featured guests.

While initially confusing, as the decision to fast track the nuptials indicated it was to allow guests to attend ahead of the ban coming into effect, it was, in fact, a private affair.

The event reportedly only including Bindi’s mum Terry, and brother Rob Irwin who walked her down the aisle, as well as what looked like a camera crew, standing at a distance.

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"

Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell in wetsuits
Bindi and Chandler met when Chandler's family took a tour of Australia Zoo in 2013. Photo: Instagram/Bindi Irwin

Bindi and Chandler met in 2013, after the star took his family on a private tour of Australia Zoo in Queensland.

However, they didn’t start dating until July 2015, after Chandler reached out to Terri and asked if he could take Bindi out and they’ve been inseparable ever since.

The loved-up Australian star told the Australian Women’s Weekly in an interview in 2017 that she believes her dad would have approved of Chandler.

"I'm lucky I have found the one, the person I want to spend all of my time with," she said.

"Mum and Robert and I have talked about that a lot. We think dad would have loved Chandler."

With extra reporting by Bang Showbiz

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