Biggest celebrity weddings of 2020
COVID-19 threw a serious spanner in the works for weddings this year, but despite all the challenges, some lucky loved-up couples still managed to make it down the aisle and say "I do".
BINDI IRWIN AND CHANDLER POWELL
Six years after getting together, Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell made it down the aisle just hours before pandemic restrictions were rolled out across the country on March 25. Still, due to the nature of growing restrictions the intimate day looked substantially different to what they'd originally planned.
The pair said 'I do' in the gardens of Irwin's family home at Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland, with the then 21-year-old Bindi being given away by her younger brother, Robert, and the tight-knit family lighting a candle to honour Bindi's dad, Steve Irwin.
"We held a small ceremony and I married my best friend," Irwin said when sharing the happy news to Instagram, continuing, "There are no words to describe the amount of love and light in my heart right now."
In August, the happy newlyweds announced they are expecting their first baby together in early 2021.
SEAN PENN AND LEILA GEORGE
Hollywood icon Sean Penn tried to keep his third marriage private, but news of his low-key July nuptials to 28-year-old Australian actor Leila George was leaked after the couple's friend shared the happy news to social media.
"We are so happy for @leilageorge #seanpenn getting married," the couple's friend, philanthropist Irena Medavoy wrote in an Instagram story post showing the pair wearing matching wedding bands. "We love you. We are over the moon to find your soul mate true partner. You are meant to be together, God bless you."
The pair have been quietly dating since 2016, when George began making a name for herself in Hollywood starring in Mortal Engines, and the television adaptation of Animal Kingdom.
59-year-old Penn was previously married to Madonna and later Robin Wright, with whom the Oscar winner has two children. Penn's daughter, Dylan is a year older than George … awkward.
TARA PAVLOVIC AND NICK SHEPHERDSON
Australia fell in love with Tara Pavlovic, a down-to-earth nanny and self-proclaimed "bogan", during her stint on The Bachelor back in 2017.
After failing to win Matty J's heart, Tara headed to Fiji for Bachelor of Paradise, and left engaged to former Bachelorette contestant Sam Cochrane. Sadly, the pair had a messy and very public separation shortly after the finale aired.
But Pavlovic found love again, and on September 25 married Nick Shepherdson in a fairytale ceremony deep in the forest of the Gold Coast's hinterland. And just one month later the happy couple announced they're expecting a baby in May 2021.
"Nick and I are so excited to finally share that we are expecting a little baby BOY in May 2021. We are both so grateful and we just can't wait to meet the little fella," Pavlovic wrote to Instagram. Here's to the happy couple.
MATTHEW MITCHAM AND LUKE RUTHERFORD
Like many weddings in 2020, the big day of Olympic gold medallist Matthew Mitcham and his long-time partner Luke Rutherford was not without its hiccups.
The pair celebrated their love in late February and made it official in fairytale style marrying at Chateau de Halloy in Belgium, surrounded by 65 of their closest friends and family members (Rutherford's mum even officiated the ceremony!). However due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of Mitcham's loved ones were unable to make it to Europe, including Matthew's uncle, who was forced to quarantine after sailing on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
To make the absence easier, Rutherford organised a video montage of messages for his 32-year-old groom from everyone unable to attend.
"The whole thing was so beautiful," Mitcham told Confidential in the days following the celebration. "I was crying for basically the entire ceremony."
DANIEL AND NADIA LISSING
While Aussie actor Daniel Lissing had planned to marry his girlfriend Nadia in an OTT celebration in Bali surrounded by friends and family, COVID-19 changed everything, and instead saw the couple walk down the aisle in a "very small and sweet service" in California with just two guests who also served as witnesses.
"We kept it all very simple," Lissing told Entertainment Tonight in June. "It was our favourite moment. Ever."
So private was the occasion, the pair still haven't publicly confirmed the date they actually made it official.
The Rookie star said changing their plans was an "easy decision to make," explaining, "When you've met your 'one' you just want to start your married life together as soon as possible."
Lissing confirmed they're still planning their Bali celebration, just a little later than they'd hoped.
"We're married now and we're looking forward to everything ahead of us," Lissing said.
TRENT MAXWELL AND TAHLIA PLUCKE
Time was on the side of Tahlia Plucke and Bondi Rescue star Trent Maxwell, who married in a lavish coastal celebration surrounded by friends and family just weeks before pandemic restrictions came.
The long-time loves, who dated for seven years before tying the knot, held an intimate ceremony for friends and family at Whale Beach on Sydney's northern beaches, before heading to a nearby reception venue for a night of dancing, drinking, and all round good fun.
And while the pair's big day had lots of traditional elements to it, there were also sparks of the unexpected - like when Maxwell treated his bride to a lap dance in front of all of their guests!
JESSE SPENCER AND KALI WOODRUFF
Old-world romance was at the heart of Jesse Spencer's June 27 wedding to research scientist Kali Woodruff. Six years after meeting at a music festival, the pair tied the knot in Woodruff's hometown of Neptune Beach, Florida on the anniversary of her grandparent's wedding anniversary!
"What a silver lining to 2020," Spencer said of the happy news. "Despite a spike in COVID, a venue change, a Saharan dust plume, not to mention a torrential thunderstorm, we made it across the line to our wedding day, and I'm a very lucky man."
The Neighbours and House star added, "We're very happy. She is my port in every storm, and we're already excited to be moving into the next phase of our lives."
Spencer, who now stars in Chicago Fire, said his wife is "smart, pretty and way ahead of her years." Dr Karl and Susan Kennedy would be so proud.
TODD LASANCE AND JORDAN WILCOX
Former Home And Away star Todd Lasance and Jordan Wilcox kicked off 2020 in style, holding a lavish rural wedding in the Hunter Valley back in January.
With them throughout the day was their adorable then three-year-old daughter, Charlie, who served as flower girl and took part in the couple's first wedding dance.
Lasance and Wilcox first met and began dating in 2015, and welcomed Charlie a year later.
In a post shared with his 65,000 Instagram followers, Lasance wrote, "When I say that this day was the happiest day of my life other than seeing my little Charlie come into the world, I mean every, single word of it. It was pure euphoria. Pure bliss. Pure love."
The Fools Gold star said being with Wilcox "feels like home," and added, "I just want the entire world to know how happy I am to have found you." Naww.
ELORA MURGER AND AZRIEL WRATTAN
It was a busy year for former contestants of the Bachelor, with fellow Matty J alumni Elora Murger also getting hitched in January.
Unlike Pavlovic, though, Murger's trip down the aisle was seriously low-key. The 31-year-old married her carpenter boyfriend, Azriel Wrattan at a Queensland courthouse with only Wrattan's father and Murger's best friend, fellow Bachie contestant Megan Marx, as witnesses.
"He has my heart," Murger told her 68,000 Instagram followers. "Azriel my angel, you are the kindest soul I have ever met. I am proud to be the one in your heart."
The couple, who own a Mooloolaba cafe together, plan to host a bigger celebration in 2021.
Murger, who runs an active wear label and works as a real estate agent, says Wrattan is the "perfect man" and describes him as "everything I was looking for on The Bachelor, but couldn't find."
GRANT HACKETT AND SHARLENE FLETCHER
Olympic gold medallist Grant Hackett farewelled 2020 with an ultra-private wedding to his long-time girlfriend, Sharlene Fletcher.
The pair married in an intimate ceremony days before Christmas and at the height of Australia's latest COVID-19 travel restrictions. Of the impromptu decision Hackett said, "With COVID-19 continuing to delay our nuptials and the ability to properly plan our wedding, with all of our friends and family in one location both locally and from overseas, Sharlene and I just wanted to say "I do"!"
The happy couple were joined by their 11-month-old son, Eddie, Hackett's two children, Charlize and Jagger, from his previous relationship, and the couple's two best friends. 11-year-old Jagger even served as his dad's best man and ring bearer.
"I feel so blessed to call you my wife @sharhackett. With a year that's been filled with so much uncertainty it's been such a perfect way to finish off 2020,'' Hackett wrote on Instagram.
Originally published as Biggest celebrity weddings of 2020