Now that Bindi Irwin and longtime boyfriend Chandler Powell are engaged, it seems that wedding planning is already in full swing, and the adorable pair have some big plans for the special day.
Speaking to ET about her upcoming wedding, which the couple are expecting to take place sometime next year, Bindi explained that one of the things she thinks is most important is incorporating her family, and honoring the memory of her late father, Steve Irwin.
The young nature conservationist reflected on her plans, which she says she's thought about since she was "a little girl," and one thing she wants for certain is for her younger brother, Robert Irwin, to accompany her down the aisle when the time comes, stepping into the role that would have otherwise been filled by her dad.
"I think that for me, it'll be really important that Robert walks me down the aisle," Bindi shared. "That's something that I really want to do."
"I'm always so grateful that Robert is there, and he has been such a big part of my life and he's always stepped up and been the one to give me a hug when I need it and encourage me forward in life," Bindi reflected. "So he will definitely be the one to walk me down the aisle when the time comes, and I think that will make it really special."
"And I think that's what dad would have wanted as well," she added.
The 21-year-old animal expert lost her father, the famed "Crocodile Hunter," in a tragic accident in 2006, when she was only eight years old. Since then, she and her family -- including Robert and their mom, Terri Irwin, have dedicated much of their lives to honoring and preserving Steve's memory, and continuing his efforts in the field of animal conservation.
Bindi plans to ask Robert to walk her down the aisle, but when it comes to the traditional father-daughter dance that is a staple of so many weddings, Bindi said she'd likely be turning to her mother for the honor.
"I think, if I was going to do a dance, it would be with my mom. My mom and I are so close. She's my pillar of strength in life and I love her beyond description," Bindi shared. "So I think, when the time comes, Robert will walk me down the aisle, [Chandler and I] will have our wonderful moment and I'll have my dance with mom. I think that would be wonderful."
"She said to me a few months ago, she said, 'Your dad and I used to always talk about what makes a perfect marriage, or a really wonderful marriage, and what's interesting is that for us, it was kind of that feeling of comfort.' So you know, your relationship can be this wonderful, exciting adventure, but you want to find someone who, at the end of the day, you're really comfortable with," Bindi explained.
According to Bindi, Terri once compared the amazing connection between herself and her late husband to a favorite pair of beloved "old shoes."
"It sounds really weird, but if you have your most comfortable pair of shoes, you can always count on them, you know, that they're always gonna hold up, and they'll walk you through life and they're dependable," Bindi explained. "And she said, 'That's what our marriage was. It was like the most comfortable pair of shoes... That's what you're looking for, so you can enjoy all of this wonderful adventure, but then at the end of the day, you'll come home to someone who will always be there for you and who will back you up and just be that comfort and support in your life.'"
"Her marriage advice is so wonderful, because I feel like that's what we have," Bindi added.
Later that day, she shared a snapshot of the proposal itself, captured on camera by her brother.
"The most beautiful surprise. Chandler and Robert worked together to capture the moment I said ‘YES’. We were in the gardens of Australia Zoo and it was beyond perfect," Bindi captioned the pic. "I never even knew Robert was there photographing and I’ll always be grateful to have these special memories of the most amazing day of my life."
"It was so special. I think I was crying enough for both of us," Bindi shared with ET. "I'm like, 'Oh no! I just got all this mascara on, please don't cry too much.'"
However, Bindi admitted that there was a certain "bittersweet" element to the special moment. "It was so incredibly special. But then, at the same time for me on a personal note, there's people who I really wish could be here today for this time in my life," she shared. "Particularly my dad."
"I wish that he could be here to be getting excited and welcome [Chandler] into the family, and I think that's really challenging [for me]," Bindi explained. "I think that Dad would have loved him so much and he would have been so excited that he's now part of our family."
It would be hard not to appreciate Chandler's effort and his devotion. While they just now got engaged, it seems that sharing his life with Bindi has been something Chandler's been sure of for years.
"This was six years in the making," Chandler added. "Ever since day one, I knew Bindi was the perfect girl for me and the one and the most beautiful person in the world."
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Bindi Irwin's Boyfriend Chandler Powell Gushes She's the 'Most Beautiful Girl in the World' (Exclusive)
According to the 22-year-old former professional wakeboarder -- who now works with the Irwins at the Australia Zoo in Queensland -- he got Terri and Robert's blessing before popping the question.
"We've been a family for six years, so they feel like family to me too, and they're just the most supportive people in the entire world… So I really wanted to ask them but also make that special too," Chandler recalled, before detailing the heartfelt and earnest way he broached the subject with his future mother- and brother-in-law, with a picnic in the Australia Zoo gardens.
"I asked them, 'You know, I really love Bindi, she is the girl of my dreams and I am so blessed to spend my life with her,'" he recalled, "'and I really want to ask you guys permission to marry Bindi.'"
"Immediately, they were so supportive, they gave me the biggest hug and said welcome to the family, and it was really, really special," Chandler shared, adding that he's always felt accepted and appreciated by Bindi's family, who have been "involving me 100% from day one."
"It's been the best adventure of my entire life," he added with a smile.
"I think that's what Dad would have wanted the most [for me]. He would have wanted someone for me that would just be ready to take on anything, and that's definitely you," Bindi shared with her future husband. "So it works out."