This Photo Of A Marine And His Bride Is Going Viral, And I Can Understand Why — PHOTO

A moving photo of a marine and his bride praying before their wedding ceremony has gone truly viral. Since being posted to Facebook by photographer Dwayne Schmidt only a few days ago, the photo has been “liked” on Facebook more than 43,000 times. That’s a huge audience for an small, intimate moment between a soon-to-be husband and wife!

The photo shows 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Caleb Earwood and his now-wife, Maggie, 22, standing together with clasped hands before the ceremony. He’s standing at the base of a staircase while she leans against a door frame; both have their heads bowed and eyes closed so that they don’t see each other before the ceremony. Caleb told Today.com that they chose to pray together in order to start their marriage on the right note, saying,

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. 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 both hail from Asheville, North Carolina, have been dating for two years. Caleb tells Today of his new wife, "She's so beautiful. I couldn't help myself!”

Schmidt’s original Facebook post has received hundreds of comments from people who love the image, many saying that it moved them to tears. I think that what makes this picture so affecting for so many people are the expressions on Caleb and Maggie’s faces: Both emotional, he is intent, while she weeps with her hand to her face.

Awww. Look how happy they are! Congrats, Earwoods!

Images: Scott Beckner/Flickr; Dwayne Schmidt Photography/Facebook (2)