Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, was married Wednesday in a ceremony at the family’s zoo just hours before the Australian government banned large weddings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Local news journalists captured photos of Irwin and her new husband, Chandler Powell, hiding under white umbrellas to avoid paparazzi, as musicians set up at the end of the altar at the zoo in Queensland, which was empty of any patrons.
“We held a small ceremony and I married my best friend,” wrote Irwin, 21, in an Instagram post. “There are no words to describe the amount of love and light in my heart right now.”
As Wednesday gave way to Thursday in Australia, the country implemented a tough national lockdown, which dictates that all non-essential gatherings are to be banned for the next six months.
Bar, restaurants, cinemas and gyms are closed. Weddings are limited to just five guests, but funerals allow 10.
It is unclear how many guests attended the Australia Zoo wedding, although Irwin explained in her caption that guests were limited.
“We’ve planned this beautiful day for nearly a year and had to change everything, as we didn’t have guests at our wedding,” she wrote. “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.”
Robert Irwin, Bindi Irwin, Terri Irwin and Chandler Powell at BuzzFeed in 2019.
The Irwin family and their Australia Zoo are the subject of the Animal Planet series Crikey! It’s the Irwins.
The young couple spoke their wedding plans during an appearance on BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM last October.
The wedding was always to be held at the family zoo. “I think we’d like to see some koalas maybe walking down the aisle with us,” said Irwin. “We’ll get some snakes and crocodiles involved.”
Unfortunately, the sole wedding photo released so far by Irwin only showed flowers and no fauna, so it’s unclear if the crocodiles were social distancing.
Perhaps conscious of being seen holding a wedding at a time when many are being cancelled, Powell’s Twitter post noted they held a “safe & small private ceremony at our home.”
Irwin explained that her mother, Terri, helped her get ready, her little brother Robert walked her down the aisle, and together with her new husband she lit a candle in honor of her dad’s memory.
“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!” wrote Irwin.
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Amber Jamieson is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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