Months after saying "I do," Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell still have that newlywed glow. The couple got married on March 25 in an intimate, surprise ceremony, just as the whole world began locking down amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The two couldn't have looked happier while talking to ET’s Lauren Zima ahead of their Animal Planet special, Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Life in Lockdown, sharing how they've been spending their "honeymoon," and their favorite wedding day moment.
"It is amazing to have gotten married. We are so grateful to take on this new era as a married couple, but it has been a really funny time," Bindi, 21, shared. "We have spent our honeymoon here at Australia Zoo caring for 1,200 animals. It’s been really fun."
"It’s been slightly crazy," added Chandler. "So shortly after we got married, the zoo had to temporarily close which was unbelievable to everyone."
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Chandler, When I went to write my vows I found I couldn’t stop writing them. I started by sharing all the ways you make my life beautiful and wrote close to a thousand words. Then I moved on to write about what an extraordinary person you are and I needed a new pen. Finally I wanted to share all my hopes for the future and I ran out of notebook paper. I thought about how there is no way to describe genuine, unconditional love. A love like this is meant to be felt, in every part of our soul. Marriage marks an incredible beginning and yet I feel like we’ve already experienced so much life together. We say all the time that it feels like we’ve been married for years. We’ve been a team through life’s wonderful highs and difficult lows. You’ve held my hand as we’ve run towards every new adventure. My dad used to say that I couldn’t marry anyone unless he could swim across the croc pond first. And now, here you are, helping us during our regular crocodile demonstrations. One of your jobs is to jump into the water with our biggest crocs to help encourage them home! They say there’s a moment when you know you’ve fallen in love with someone, for me it was watching you happily jump in the water with a 15 foot crocodile and then tell me how much you enjoyed it. You are my soulmate. I promise to love you with all my heart through every twist and turn the world brings our way. I promise to encourage your dreams and help you achieve them. I promise to stand beside you as your wife, teammate and friend. I promise to share an ‘I love you’ before I sleep each night no matter what our day has brought. I promise to be your strength and light when you need a it. I promise to revel with you in each breathtaking moment we are given in this life. Chandler, Thank you for loving me for me. You love me when I’m uncontrollably laughing or falling asleep by 6pm. You validate what unconditional love really means. You’ve been my best friend for over six years. You’ve made me smile every day since I first met you. That’s amazing and so are you. My husband, my teammate and partner in conservation. To quote our favourite show, “I love you and I like you”.
Bindi added that their honeymoon has "quite literally been spent busier than any other time" in their life as they try to keep up with all of the animals and making sure the entire Australia Zoo team is take care of. "It's been a whirlwind to say it lightly. But it's been great. You know, I would expect nothing less of an Irwin honeymoon," the 21-year-old added.
The pair, meanwhile, loves introducing each other as husband and wife -- even if they don't get to do it as much as they'd like to right now. "It is so cool introducing you as my wife," Chandler told his lady love, with Bindi replying, "I love that and saying that this is my husband. We haven't really been able to say it to many people because everyone in the zoo already knows."
"No, we said it to a lot of animals," cracked Chandler.
The couple had planned to tie the knot on April 4 at the family's Australia Zoo. However, the pandemic forced them to move their special day up and make it a smaller event. Chandler's parents, who live in Florida, weren't able to be there after travel restrictions were put in place.
While all the last-minute changes would make any bride stress out, Bindi said it was thanks to her husband that she stayed so calm.
"Chandler has the most calming presence. He was very nice just to say, 'Everything's gonna be OK.' But it was crazy," the conservationist explained. "First and foremost, we wanted to ensure that everyone's health and safety was the priority, so whatever happens in life we just wanted to be happy. We made the decision not to have any guests at our wedding to make sure everyone was safe, and it was a really tough choice to make."
Thankfully, Chandler's parents understood and "were so lovely," Bindi said. But it wasn't all easy going after they had to move the date up. As previously shown in their wedding special, Crickey! It's the Irwins: Bindi's Wedding, the paparazzi and helicopters flying overhead ruined their outdoor wedding in the Africa Savannah at the Australia Zoo, scaring the animals and making it extra windy.
"They were scaring our baby rhino and giraffe and everyone was running around," Bindi recalled. "So we had to entirely shift our wedding ceremony as we were about to get married. And I remember I was in my wedding dress and we found this beautiful, old -- it's like a barn where we filmed Crocodile Hunter and Bindi the Jungle Girl -- and I went, 'This is gonna work! It's inside, animals will be safe.'… I was doing my wedding, just putting up flowers and routing tables, trying to make it work. We somehow got married."
Acknowledging that her and Chandler's nuptials were "the opposite of a normal," Bindi added, "But it was our perfect [day]. And that's the reality of life."
"Life is messy and crazy and filled with obstacles, and what an incredible foundation to face," she said. "And marriage is overcoming anything and just focusing on love. We didn't have any of the fancy frills or anything. And it's great if you do when you get married, but for us it was about being together no matter what happened."
Of course it wouldn't be an Irwin wedding if there weren't animals involved -- with one gentle giant photo-bombing their wedding pics.
"There was so much going on the day of our wedding," Bindi reflected. "I think it was so funny when we were getting all of our wedding pictures, so the one thing photo-bombing every picture was our giant giraffe, Forest. He decided that he had to be in every single wedding photo... It was cute."
The pair also shared a never before seen photo from their wedding day with ET. "It's a really, really sweet photo," Bindi said.
The picture was snapped on the day of, while the pair were trying to reorganize their wedding. Bindi explained how she took a minute to sit on a chair in the corner of a studio, feeling like she was "going crazy," when Chandler came up to her and started listing things that make them happy.
"That's what we do whenever I get stressed out, Chandler just lists happy things," Bindi shared. "And in that moment, one of our lovely team members snapped the photograph of Chandler talking to me and making me smile. And I love it so much because here I am just like, 'Ugh, the world is falling down around me.' But you were there just to remind me that everything was gonna be OK."
"And I'm so glad that that photograph was taken because I'm just in the middle, it doesn't look like a wedding at all," she added. "I love that so much because sometimes it is so hard to find happiness, and that's why we have to have people who love us and support us around always. During the hardest times in your life, those are the people that are gonna lift you up and remind you that the meaning of life is unconditional love. So, I was really grateful for that because, oh my goodness, life is wild right now! But we could all use a little love and a little light."
Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Life in Lockdown will air Saturday, June 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet.