Relaymedia

Photo of Marine and Bride Praying before Wedding Goes Viral: 'I Prayed to God for My Beautiful Wife'

( [email protected] ) May 26, 2015 06:01 PM EDT

The U.S. Marine and his bride who were photographed praying together moments before they said their vows have revealed the story behind the viral image.

Touching Image
(Photo : Dwayne Schmidt Photography)
US Marine Corps Corporal Caleb Earwood (R) and his fiancee Maggie (L), both from Asheville, North Carolina, were photographed saying a prayer just moments before they walked down the aisle

On Tuesday, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Caleb Earwood, 21 and his wife Maggie, 22, told Today.com that before they got married, they made sure to ask God for His guidance and blessing as they began a new chapter in their lives.

"We were about to take our first steps in life together, and we didn't want to take a step without it being in God's will," Earwood said. "I prayed to God for my beautiful and intelligent wife that he blessed me with and the amazing family I was marrying into."

The couple, who are both devout Christians, revealed that the heartwarming picture was taken mere minutes before the ceremony, after Earwood asked family members to bring him together with Maggie. Dressed in their wedding attire--he in his Marine uniform and she in her wedding gown--the pair met at a staircase, keeping their eyes closed so as to not see one another before the ceremony.

"It relieved me to know the person I was getting ready to marry felt the same way about God," Maggie Earwood told Today.com, adding that the prayer calmed her nerves.

The tender moment quickly went viral after Dwayne Schmidt, who served as the couple's wedding photographer, posted the picture to his Facebook page over Memorial Day weekend.

"I have photographed a lot of weddings. This has to be one of the best things I have ever got to see much less photograph," Schmidt wrote in a Facebook post. "Before the ceremony and before they saw each other Caleb said a prayer for their marriage and lives. AWESOME!!!"

Currently, the photo has over 6,888 shares, over 44,000 likes, and hundreds of positive comments from viewers.

"So fitting this beautiful photo be released this weekend Dwayne!" wrote one commenter. "We only pray the world understands the magnitude of its meaning, when God through his son Jesus is the figurehead of your covenant, it is forever blessed."

"This is an Honor to our Creator, the only way to begin a relationship, so touching!" added another.

Caleb Earwood, who is stationed at Camp Lejeune and has been in the Marines for three years, told Today.com that he's happy that the powerful image is inspiring so many across the country.

"We're thankful that our picture is able to bless so many people and touch that many hearts," he said.

The couple plans to live in Jacksonville, N.C.