Erika and James

Sparta, Michigan


Photography | Leidy and Josh Photography@leidyandjoshphotography

Venue | The Ridge View Barn @theridgeviewbarn

From the Photographer… We can still remember the day it happened for us. The day Josh asked the most important question he’d ever ask. The day that Leidy said the most important “yes’ she would ever answer. That day changed our lives and determined the path that we follow leading us to here. Even though it was three years ago, we’ll never forget that day. That Valentine’s Day on a beach in the Caribbean. We remember the excitement and joy we felt after being engaged and the anticipation of our upcoming wedding day. That’s why we love hearing the stories of our couple’s own engagement season. A season of joy, celebration, and excitement. Every time we listen to our couple’s love story, all those feelings come rushing back to us.



From the moment we sat down with Erika and James at Madcap to meet, we knew they would be special. With Erika’s love for cows and barn weddings and James’s identity as a law enforcement officer, we instantly liked them. We couldn’t wait to ask them all about their love story.


Erika and James started dating during Erika’s first semester of college. They went on one date and fell in love with each other immediately. The first three years of their relationship was long distance living an hour and a half away from each other. For two days a week, they had the opportunity to spend only a few hours together. But despite the long commute and infrequent chances to see each other, they stayed together! A difficult challenge for any relationship but they did it and their relationship is stronger because of it. Their engagement session is something we won’t soon forget. We are not sure if we will ever have a police car at the scene of our photo shoot again!


“He popped the question summer 2018 while we were on my annual birthday trip to Mackinac Island. We were there with my entire family biking around the island. At about mile 4 around the island we all parked our bikes and were just taking group pictures and what not and all of a sudden James was down on one knee and I, of course, was crying. It was perfect!”



“I look forward to everything in life after marriage! Being together for four years now and it has been nothing short of amazing. We are just excited to be husband and wife. We just bought a house 3-4 months ago and really look forward to growing in that house, having kids and just be husband and wife!” Fun fact: these two actually found us through Paloma’s quince! Actually, they had already heard of us before the event. But we met each other for the first time there!



“I would say our relationship is unique because of the fact that did long distance for the first three years of our relationship. We made it through living 1.5 hours away from each other and driving that twice a week to be together even if it was only for a few hours when we both had the day off. We knew we were going to get married one day about a week into our relationship. We get along so great and really enjoy spending anytime we have together, we are truly best friends. Also the cultural differences, me being Mexican and him being White has been such a culture shock… mostly for him! He has adjusted so well and has tried to learn Spanish, and eats more Mexican food than I do. His family has also put in so much effort into learning about the Spanish culture and its all really brought both our families together.”



“I would say everything… but really James’ personality. He is the sweetest, most selfless man I have met. He acts so tough to everyone but deep down is the sweetest guy who would do anything for anyone. He has always made me feel like the only girl in the world. With busy schedules and opposite shifts its sometimes hard to make time to hangout or sometimes even talk. James makes time to call me on his shifts, and calling me before I’m going to bed to make sure I’m okay at night. Its really all the little things he’s constantly doing that shows me how amazing he is! Not too mention that bald head, and big smile… gets me every time!


James: “I love everything about her. She’s beautiful, smart and funny. She is always keeping me in line. I usually have to be hard and work and not show emotion, but when I get home she makes me happy and I can be myself. She can put up with anything I do and I can be a weird guy. She watches my stupid cartoons and watches me play xbox. She’s always stuck by my side through four years of craziness and has been my rock the whole time.”



Erika and James, thank you for adventuring from The Ridge View Barn to Long Lake Park in Sparta, Michigan. Through the park terrain and even into the woods (special bonus points to James for doing it in uniform!). And James, Josh can speak from experience that marrying into a Hispanic family is so worth it. They might call you crazy but the love and commitment from your new family is priceless. Thank you for allowing us to capture this special season of your lives.