They say that timing is everything and when wedding photographer, Dwayne Schmidt witnessed this soldier's reaction, he swallowed his own tears and focused on what needed to be done.
He released the shutter with a snap and captured an emotional moment so powerful, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. The image: a couple turned away from each other, hands joined as the groom prays and the bride holds back tears.
Soon to be married, U.S. Marine Cpl. Caleb Earwood and his bride Maggie knew that they wanted to uphold an old tradition before their wedding in Asheville, North Carolina.
Refusing to see one another until moments before they prepared to say "I do," the couple met briefly before the ceremony to pray for their marriage. Schmidt tells ABC News that Caleb prayed "that their union would be strong enough to serve as an example for all young couples."
"They hid me in a room and he stepped up on the stairwell and he stuck his hand out and I grabbed his hand," Maggie Earwood told ABC News. "It broke me down," she said, "to know that we felt the same way about God. It just made me happy."
Not long after they were married, Caleb spent seven months serving overseas in Europe and the Middle East. Although it was difficult, the couple emailed each other about three times a week and spoke on holidays.
Caleb and Maggie, who grew up in Asheville, tell TODAY that they've been friends since high school. They started dating in their early 20's and haven't left each other's side since.
"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," Caleb told TODAY. "I prayed to God for my beautiful and intelligent wife that he blessed me and the amazing family I was marrying into."
Two years later, the image of the happy couple before their wedding still touches lives. "We're thankful that our picture is able to bless so many people and touch that many hearts," Caleb said.