Yesterday, a photograph posted on social media featuring Marine Corps Corporal Caleb Earwood and his bride Maggie went viral, due to a combination of both public admiration and outrage.
The couple was supposed to be enjoying their honeymoon in Dollywood, Tennessee, when they were hit with the backlash over their controversial wedding photo – which was posted by the photographer on Memorial Day.
The couple has now responded to all of the unexpected attention:
“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 was relieved] to know the person I was getting ready to marry felt the same way about God.”
Photographer Dwayne Schmidt spoke to ABC News earlier today, saying:
“As soon as their hands touched he started getting emotional,” Schmidt told ABC News.
“The whole room was full of emotion,” Schmidt said. “I tried not to cry and focus on what I was doing.”
The resulting image shows the couple turned away from each other, their hands joined, as Caleb prays out loud and Maggie tries to hold back her tears. Caleb prayed for their marriage, asking that their union be strong enough to serve as an example for all young couples, Schmidt said.
It’s a honeymoon that the young newlyweds are sure to never forget, and for a lot of unexpected reasons.