THESE are the pictures that reduced some of the NRL's hardest men to tears.

More than three years after the tackle that broke Alex McKinnon's neck, destroying his career and leaving him a quadriplegic, the former Knights and Dragons star stood to exchange vows with his high school sweetheart Teigan Power.

Last Sunday's wedding in NSW's Hunter Valley saw the 25-year-old stun everyone, including his bride.

"I was pretty shocked to tell you the truth. I couldn't believe Alex stood for all that time," Power 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."

Alex McKinnon proposed to Teigan Power not long after his career-ending injury.
Alex McKinnon proposed to Teigan Power not long after his career-ending injury. Supplied

The magic moment followed McKinnon's pledge to be standing at the altar when Power walked down the aisle.

He took to Instagram following the ceremony to declare "dreams do come true".

"It took 3 years of EVERYTHING I've got in me to achieve this moment of standing with my beautiful wife on our wedding day," McKinnon said.

The wedding was attended by a number of McKinnon's former teammates, including best man and Broncos star Darius Boyd.

Boyd was applauded for the powerful speech he delivered at the reception detailing his own personal battles, while revealing how his mateship with McKinnon began as flatmates in Wollongong.

Boyd went on to say how proud he was that "through adversity, the world has got to know the man who has inspired me every day since the day I met him".

Originally published as Images that reduced NRL tough men to tears