Former NRL star Alex McKinnon stood from his wheelchair and shared a first dance with his new wife during an emotional wedding ceremony three-and-a-half years after the tragic on-field accident which left him paralysed.
Tears flowed as the 25-year-old rose to his feet and exchanged vows with teenage sweetheart Teigan Power at Peppers Creek Chapel in the NSW Hunter Valley last Sunday.
‘I was pretty shocked to tell you the truth. I couldn’t believe Alex stood for all that time,’ Mrs McKinnon told New Idea.
‘It was lovely to be able to look him in the eye, rather than looking down at him in his wheelchair. It just made the ceremony that much more intimate. We started crying every time we caught each other’s eye. It was beautiful.’
Former NRL star Alex McKinnon, who was left paralysed after a shocking on-field incident, married his long-term partner Teigan Power last Sunday
Tears flowed as the 25-year-old rose to his feet and exchanged vows with his teenage sweetheart at Peppers Creek Chapel in the NSW Hunter Valley last Sunday
‘I was pretty shocked to tell you the truth. I couldn’t believe Alex stood for all that time,’ said Mrs McKinnon (pictured with her father)
The pair are said to have partied well into the night following the ceremony, attended by around 150 of the couple’s closest friends and family.
‘It was such a good time. And you know, I wasn’t nervous at all,’ Alex revealed. ‘The closer it got to the wedding the better it was. So many things could have gone wrong, but it was all perfect.’
Earlier, Alex shared a photo of the newlyweds on social media which he captioned: ‘Dreams do come true.’
He added: ‘Together we had the best day of our lives on Sunday, I can’t wait to share the photos and videos with you all.’
The stunning bride opted for a stylish white sequin dress by Pallas Couture on her special day
McKinnon (centre) was pictured in his wheelchair surrounded by friends and family
The bridesmaids wore pink (above) for the ceremony at Peppers Creek Chapel in the New South Wales Hunter Valley on Sunday
He was pictured making his way to the reception in his wheelchair, while his stunning bride was seen in a stylish white sequin dress by Pallas Couture.
Brisbane Broncos captain Darius Boyd was his best man and made a heartfelt speech during the reception.
‘Through adversity, the world has got to know the man who has inspired me every day since the day I met him,’ Boyd said, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The bride announced to her Instagram followers the night before the ceremony that the pair would tie the knot the following day.
Ms Power (pictured) wore a stylish white sequin dress as she married her long-term partner
McKinnon (pictured in his wheelchair) was left paralysed after a shocking on-field incident in 2014
‘Tomorrow is the day we say ”I do” to the rest of our lives,’ she wrote alongside a photo of the couple.
McKinnon shared the same photo of the pair with the message ‘not long now’.
The couple’s journey has been inspirational and harrowing.
Alex proposed to his new wife from his hospital bed just days after his promising career was cut short in 2014 when he suffered a devastating spinal cord injury.
He vowed to be on his feet when they married, despite being diagnosed a quadriplegic.
Teigan, 23, has shared progress of his rehabilitation and just weeks ago posted a video of McKinnon walking with the help of a frame and two medical staff.
‘So proud of all the hard work Alex McKinnon puts into his rehab,’ she said.
Light rain didn’t spoil the couple’s special day – three years after McKinnon suffered the life-changing injury
Friends and family as seen gathering for the wedding ceremony last Sunday afternoon
McKinnon, now 25, said earlier this year he considered himself lucky.
‘A lot of people with spinal cord injuries aren’t improving three years down the track,’ he told Fox Sports.
McKinnon revealed he had long carried ‘hate’ and ‘frustration’ over the incident, but said he had moved on from the matter as he continued his physical rehabilitation.
He said he wanted to meet with Melbourne Storm player Jordan McLean, after forgiving him for the tackle that left him wheelchair-bound.
‘So proud of all the hard work Alex McKinnon puts into his rehab,’ Ms Power (pictured) recently said
‘It is definitely something that has gone through my mind that I would like to sit down with him and have a different conversation,’ McKinnon said.
‘I understand he never went into that game to hurt me.
‘I watch football and see him on TV and it’s something unique that he went through as well. I cannot understand or know what he has gone through personally.’
McKinnon, who played 49 NRL games for St George Illawarra and the Knights, has rarely spoken publicly since the life-changing moment in 2014.
Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was among those pictured at the wedding ceremony
Ms Power is seen surrounded by loved ones as she prepares to marry the former Newcastle Knights backrower
Ms Power announced to her Instagram followers on Saturday night alongside this photo of the couple that they would tie the knot the following day
The newlyweds (pictured bottom centre) appeared in Monday’s edition of New Idea magazine