Bindi Irwin has decided to keep her last name for a very personal reason. The 21-year-old conservationist and her longtime love Chandler Powell married on March 25, and she has decided to not take her husband’s last name.
“I’ve kept Bindi Irwin,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I think that for me personally, after dad [Steve Irwin] passed away it was really important for me to feel close to him, and having his last name means so much to me.”
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Chandler chimed in that the pair talked about the possible name change. but at the end of the day, Bindi is “an Irwin through and through.”
“Chandler has become an Irwin now,” Bindi quipped. “It has become a part of me. Everyone has their own ideas, but the nice thing is that it’s 2020 now, anything works!”
Bindi and Chandler let fans have a look at their wedding day – as well as all the last-minute changes that were needed to be made amid the ongoing public health crisis and paparazzi crashers. On the couple’s special day, to honor her late father, Bindi had a photo of her father with their late dog Sue and lit a candle in Steve’s honor.
“I love that photo so much. It’s probably one of my favorite photos we have of him because he is with his beautiful dog, Sue,” Bindi shared. “My middle name Sue, I was named after the family dog. Suey will always hold a special place in my heart and growing up she was one of the very first animals I loved. She was there from the moment I was born…Sadly Suey and dad both passed away, but I love that photograph because it symbolizes everyone who could not be there with us on that day and it’s just beautiful and it’s such a perfect moment. Just dad, our dog Suey. They always shared a cup of tea together in the morning.”
Chandler also had a beautiful message for Steve on their big day. He expressed how even though he was not there with him on their wedding day, he did bring him and Bindi together.
“The biggest thing I would like to say is just, thank you on behalf of the world and especially me for inspiring my love of wildlife,” Chandler expressed, adding that he grew up watching the crocodile hunter’s documentaries. “[It] made me really fall in love with all forms of wildlife. So in a way, he brought us together because when I came to Australia after watching his documentaries, I wanted to come visit Australia Zoo and that was when we met.”
“Bindi was giving me a tour of Australia Zoo on the day I came to visit,” he recalled. “So the biggest thing I would like to say to him is, thank you for inspiring my passion in life and also bringing me and Bindi together because if it weren’t for him, I don’t know how we would have met.”
Now, Bindi and Chandler are enjoying their “honeymoon” at the Australia Zoo.
“I love the fact that Chandler and I actually met quite like when mom and dad first met at the Australia Zoo,” Bindi said. “Mom and dad got [a] picture together when they first met…Looking at the photo of me and Chandler, it’s quite similar. And then all the way into our honeymoon. It was spent with film crew in the middle of a crazy [situation].”
“Mom and dad’s honeymoon was spent catching crocs with an entire film crew. So, you know, we tried to set the bar even higher with our zoo being temporarily closed,” she joked.
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This moment. My favourite wedding day photograph. This isn’t the fairytale image capturing the ‘perfect’ wedding day feeling. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This picture was taken after we had to change our entire wedding. We decided not to have wedding guests due to the global crisis for everyone’s health and safety. Our family and friends couldn’t be there to celebrate with us. However, they all encouraged us to continue on and get married. From their love and support, we felt love win. We changed our wedding date the night before we got married but we were determined to let love win. Everything from the cake to the flowers were different. Thankfully, we worked with local businesses to make it happen. They helped love win. On our wedding day we were finally about to get married and the paparazzi flew over us in a helicopter scaring our wildlife. We had to leave our stunning wedding venue on the African Savannah for their safety. I said goodbye to the place I had dreamed of getting married for so many years. At that moment I remembered the filming barn where I’d spent much of my life with my family working on Crocodile Hunter and Bindi The Jungle Girl. I knew we could make it work and our zoo crew helped us to move everything inside. I watched love win. I was there in my wedding dress, husband-to-be by my side, moving tables and flowers and trying to make our day finally become a reality. At one point I sat on a chair in the corner doing my best not to think about how overwhelming things seemed. I missed the people who couldn’t be there, my dad, Chandler’s family, our dear friends, my family. Chandler stopped what he was doing and sat next to me. I asked him to list me happy things. He proceeded to remind me that love ALWAYS wins. That’s when this picture was taken. Despite everything, we got married and I’ll forever be grateful. Sure, things weren’t perfect but that’s life. Life is messy and beautiful and meant to be felt. We were overcoming great obstacles to prove that unconditional love is the most important foundation. Our wedding day wasn’t what we planned but it was an extraordinary starting point for our marriage to bloom. ❤️