Can’t come soon enough. Columbus Engagement Photography

It was a rainy, rainy, poo, crummy day.  And we had already rescheduled due to bad weather once.  Craig was about to go back to Afghanistan so we didn’t have the option of trying to meet again.  Oh wells, let’s just bear the crummy weather.

Well, guess what?!  Besides the wet ground and extra-humid-mess-my-hair-up-humidity, it was PERFECT!  Like top-notch perfection.  And that perfection all started with this perfect couple.

Meet Erika and Craig.

They are silly.  And fun.  And happy.  And, the best part, IN LOVE.Thank you, Craig, for your service.  We are all very thankful.  God Bless America.Erika pointed out this flag.  Good eye!  She says she notices them everywhere now.  An Army wife would!
I am a woman with a penchant for men in uniform, I stop and stare.  And clearly, Erika is one of these women too.  
Tee hee hee hee.I love this so much.  See.  There was a reason we had our photoshoot on this crummy, wet day.  Just for this awesome photo right here…
Adorable.  I love the body language.  Their hands.  The way Erika is kicking her little foot.  Speaks volumes.And, I’d say with that BIG smile, Craig is pretty smitten.Oh NO you di’int!Love. Love. LOVE.Double, triple, dog LOVE.Just having a little fun.  

And one thing Craig loves about Erika…her “bubbly and outgoing personality”.  I think that is SO obvious.  5/25/13 can’t come soon enough.


When and where is your wedding?

Our wedding is May 25, 2013. The ceremony will be at Liberty Presbyterian Church and the reception will be at the Columbus Athenaeum in the Olympian Ballroom.

How did you meet?

Erika: I was apartment searching and my mom called me to tell me to go look at Hickory Creek Apartments. . so I did 🙂 I walked into the leasing office and a handsome, young man greeted me to find my perfect apartment. That handsome, young man was Craig 🙂 I rented from him a couple weeks later 🙂 A year after renting, I transfered into a different apartment with a friend, with Craig’s help. We started talking more and more. . the rest is history.

Craig:  We met in April 2009. I was working at Hickory Creek Apartment Homes in Columbus, OH as a leasing consultant. I just got back from basic combat training and my AIT (medic training). A cute blonde girl walks in and I show her a couple of apartments. I didn’t think much of it because I was just doing my job. She rented an apartment a few days later.

Tell us about your proposal! 

Erika: Craig was away preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan. I didn’t think I would get to see him until April of 2012 when he would come home for leave. He was given a 4 day pass for the weekend in September and took the red eye to Columbus early Friday morning. All I knew was that I was going to dinner with my parents and Craig’s parents. When I got there with my paretns, the hostess said that the table wasn’t ready yet but that we could take a look around and see the Grand Ballroom. As I walked outside and around the corner to the ballroom, Craig popped out with a dozen red roses in hand. I was shocked! As the shock wore off of him being here, he grabbed my hand and got down on one knee. So I said YES!!!!! It was one of the most romantic proposals that I will remember forever!!

Craig:  We said our Goodbyes and I left for my deployment to Afghanistan. Before we left, we had to do some mobilization training at Fort Lewis, Washington. The training was around 3 weeks and we were granted a 4 day pass afterwards to do whatever we wanted before we actually headed to Afghanistan. Erika wanted me to come home but I thought that it would be too hard to say goodbye twice and we could save some money by me not purchasing a ticket home. Little did she know, I was planning to come home all along. With the help of my mom and Erika’s mom, I was able to pick out her ring and book my flight. Erika’s parents planned to be in town the weekend I was coming home. Not just to see Erika, but be apart of the engagement. Erika, her parents and my parents planned to go to dinner at Cimi’s Bistro in Grove City. I went to Cimi’s earlier in the day, after I arrived in Columbus, and planned out the engagement. The hostess was supposed to tell Erika that their table wasn’t ready. At that point, Erika’s mom was to ask Erika to see the ballroom since she had never seen it before. I was in the ballroom with my grandparents, dad, sister and a good friend of Erika’s. While Erika was leading our parents down a covered outside walkway, I popped out from a side door and surprised her with a dozen roses. She was in tears and very excited. Earlier in the day, I found a picture online of the space station in Seattle and texted it to her to make her think I was sight seeing in Seattle. So she was shocked to see me. After a few hugs and kisses, I got down on one knee, with our families watching, and proposed. She said yes and we had a wonderful family dinner afterwards. We were able to spend a few extra days together before I had to make my trip to Afghanistan.

What makes you guys unique?

Erika: We have been thru sooooo much that we have become so much stronger than any relationship only 2 years old. Break ins, robberies, moving, and deployments. It’s been hard, but Craig makes everything SOOOO much easier. Besides, we are 2 pretty awesome people.

Craig:  Erika and I are like two peas in a pod. We have the same common interests and are usually the life of the party. We’re both outgoing and love to be goofy. We’re unique in the fact that we are going through a deployment. Which, unless you’ve been through it, is very tough to understand. We lose a year of being together so that I can do my part in Afghanistan. Erika is taking great care of our 2 dogs that are our babies. We’ve been through life, death and a robbery together. In the 2 years that we’ve been together, we’ve welcomed the birth of my niece Emma, lost my father, and had our condo we were renting robbed where our 10 week old boxer puppy was stolen (with the help of the Columbus Police, we were able to get him back). We’ve stuck strong together and pushed through it all. She really is my best friend and unique in her own way with her bubbly & outgoing personality.

How did you find Crystal Jo?

Erika: My friend used Crystal Jo for her engagement pictures and wedding. I was impressed with her work :-

Craig:  Erika is in charge of the wedding planning. It is her thing. From my understanding, she found out about Crystal Jo through a friend that is using her for her wedding. Erika liked the work that she does and looks at her as a fun photographer. Erika wanted someone to make it fun for the both us so we can enjoy our special day.

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Crystal Jo

Crystal Jo is an Ohio-based wedding and lifestyle photographer, dreamer, believer and lover of life.


  1. Ruth Lyon on May 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Erika and Craig, I am a good friend of your grandparents Gene and Jewell. I have followed your love story and your good times and bad ( the breakin and loss of your puppy) and have enjoyed the whole thing so much. I absolutely love all the pictures I have just seen. You are such a unique couple and I wish you all the best in your wedding and your life to follow. May God bless you both.

  2. Momma Mia and Gramia on May 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    What a beautiful love story. I am so proud of my daughter Crystal Jo for being so American. Not sure who she learned that from (lol) Beautiful shoot. Thank you Craig and also for you Erika for letting us share in your amazing mans world. We do appreciate his service for our freedom!!!

  3. Ashley Lyman on May 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    very cute couple!

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