Bindi Irwin Marries Chandler Powell at Australia Zoo: 'Today We Celebrated Life'
The couple made the "difficult decision" not to have guests at their wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic
“March 25th 2020 ❤️ We held a small ceremony and I married my best friend,” she captioned a photo of the newlyweds on their big day. “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,” she continued. “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,” she added. “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!”
Chandler posted the same photo, writing, “We’re finally married!”
“Today, March 25, 2020, marks the most amazing day of my life,” he continued. “I married my best friend. 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. As we embark on this new life chapter I hope that we can share some love in the world, especially during this challenging time.”
The couple got engaged on July 24 last year — Bindi’s 21st birthday — after six years of dating. They had been planning a big celebration for their “I do’s” in April but cancelled just weeks before due to the outbreak of the virus.
Instead, the bride and groom exchanged vows in front of close family members during a private ceremony.
The pair first met in November 2013 when Powell, a Florida native and former professional wakeboarder, traveled to Australia for a competition. While there, he took a trip to the zoo with his family, where the Irwins live and work.
“It just so happened that Bindi was giving tours that day,” he recalled to PEOPLE in December. “I’m like, ‘Wow she is amazing.'”
The pair “hit it off right away,” he said, adding, “We haven’t looked back since.”
RELATED VIDEO: All About Bindi Irwin’s Engagement and Wedding — Including Plans to Honor Late Father Steve Irwin
When Powell, 23, popped the question to the Animal Planet star, he first got the family’s approval, then enlisted the help of her brother Robert, who documented the special moment with his camera. Afterwards Bindi shared a sweet tribute to her late father, Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin, who died after being attacked by a stingray in 2006.
“Dad, you would be so incredibly proud of Robert,” she wrote on the heartfelt post. “He has been such an amazing support during this beautiful new life chapter.”
“I know you’d be beaming with pride when the time comes that he walks me down the aisle,” Bindi continued. “I wish you could be here for these moments, but I know that your spirit lives on in us.”
Bindi previously told PEOPLE she couldn’t be happier to have found a partner who shares so many of her father’s qualities.
“He loves wildlife and conservation and he has this strength — which is necessary when you’re jumping on crocs!” she said.
There will be a wedding special coming soon to Animal Planet.