If there was anyone's life I would want to live for a day (or a year!), it would be Bindi Irwin's. I mean, just look at her Instagram. Cuddling with cheetahs, snuggling with koalas, playing with meerkats — that's just, like, a Tuesday for this gal! Does it get any better? Apparently the answer is yes, because surprise, Bindi Irwin is engaged to Chandler Powell, her long-time boyfriend. She posted the announcement that Powell popped the question on social media on July 24, and of course, she said yes!
"On my birthday I said ‘yes’ & ‘forever’ to the love of my life. Chandler, close to 6 years ago I fell in love with you & every day since has been a whirlwind of adventure & true happiness. Here’s to a lifetime of friendship, purpose & unconditional love ❤," Irwin tweeted. I'm not crying! You're crying!
In case you haven't been following along with this love story, here's a little background info on how it all began. Powell originally hails from Florida and was a professional wakeboarder by the time he was 15 years old. He earned sponsorships that enabled him to travel the world and compete, which is how he happened to meet Irwin. He and his family were in Australia in 2013 visiting the Australia Zoo, and it just so happened that Irwin was giving the tour that day. The two had an instant connection.
“I’m like, ‘Wow she is amazing’,” Powell told PEOPLE, describing his thoughts the moment they met, adding that they “hit it off right away... We haven’t looked back since.” (You cannot make this stuff up, it's too freaking cute.) The two stayed in contact and finally went public with their relationship in 2015. Three years later, in 2018, Powell permanently relocated to Australia and now works alongside the Irwin family at the Australia Zoo in Queensland as a member of the Wildlife Warriors, a conservation program founded by Irwin's parents Terri Irwin and the late Crocodile Hunter star, Steve Irwin.
OK, so here’s how the proposal went down. (Warning: It’s about to get adorable up in here.) The couple was attending a special party for Irwin at Australia Zoo where they were celebrating her 21st birthday. “After Bindi’s birthday celebration at Australia Zoo, we had a photoshoot organized to celebrate her turning 21,” Powell told PEOPLE. "Just before we started the shoot, I took her to a special part of Australia Zoo to ask the girl of my dreams to become my wife. These past five years together have been the best of my life and we look forward to a lifetime of magical moments to come.”
Powell described the whole experience as “the most perfect and beautiful day of my life,” a sentiment shared by Irwin. “I am overjoyed to be sharing the news that Chandler and I are engaged! This has been the most special day celebrating my 21st birthday," she told PEOPLE. She added, “I’ve met my soulmate and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Chandler. We’ve been together for nearly six years now and he’s my happily ever after.” Seriously, are they the cutest? Yup.
￼The couple shared photos from the photoshoot right after the proposal, and the love and excitement is obvious. Also obvious: That ring! Of course, as soon as they made the announcement, fans had plenty of questions about Irwin's new bling. Irwin was more than happy to share the details on Instagram. "For those wondering about my ring, I’m so happy to share," she wrote in her announcement post's Instagram comments. "My ring features a lab grown diamond and is made with rose gold recycled metal. Chandler was incredibly thoughtful when he chose it, the ring captures the essence of who I am (with its vintage flare) and our life together, with the twisted band and scattered diamonds. ❤."
Honestly, I can’t wait to see this couple’s wedding day. You just know it's going to be amazing and full of wildlife. I, for one, am seriously hoping for a crocodile ring bearer and a wombat flower girl. I really don't think that's too much to ask — and, of course, for this adorable couple to live their happily ever after.