DEMOTTE — Kaylin (VanderMeer) Holmes and Jimmy Holmes were both raised right here in Jasper County. The two lovebirds grew up together, attending preschool, elementary school, and high school together. Though each knew of the other, the couple did not become friends until their freshman year of high school. Once the two became friends, their interest for each other grew until their junior year when Kaylin and Jimmy finally started dating.

With graduation and the impending future decisions hanging over their heads, Kaylin and Jimmy knew the one constant they wanted was to be with each other no matter which way the wind blew their sails. After graduation, Kaylin attended Purdue University Northwest to study Elementary Education while Jimmy remained in the area to support his family’s business, Holmes Septic. While working for his paycheck, Jimmy also pursued his love for music through his band, Stairwell 6. Throughout all of the changes that occur in growing up and pursuing different dreams, Kaylin and Jimmy’s relationship remained strong.

Kaylin and Jimmy had discussed getting married multiple times and knew that they wanted to get engaged in September of 2019, with a wedding to take place the following September, but plans do not always go the way they are designed.

Upon her passing, Kaylin’s grandmother left her a beautiful ring that Kaylin decided would make the perfect engagement ring, so the only thing left to do was find the right wedding bands to go with it. Kaylin and Jimmy visited one pawn shop after another before finding the perfect wedding band to match her ring, and as luck would have it, they also found the perfect band for Jimmy that matched Kaylin’s ring design. The original plan was to keep the rings safe until September, but “the ring was burning a hole in his pocket and he couldn’t wait,” said Kaylin.

Ahead of schedule, on Aug. 12, Jimmy asked Kaylin’s parents for their permission for her hand in marriage while Kaylin was away at work. That night, he picked her up for a date, but when he arrived he was dressed up enough for Kaylin to know that something was afoot.

Jimmy took Kaylin to Dairy Queen in DeMotte that night. It was then that Kaylin knew without a doubt exactly what Jimmy was about to do: recreate their first date which was dinner at Dairy Queen followed by a walk in Spencer Park. “Jimmy bought us dinner, which I couldn’t eat because I was so excited. I actually cried a few times as he talked about how we went there for our first date and how he was so nervous because he didn’t want to mess up,” explained Kaylin. After dinner, Jimmy took Kaylin to Spencer Park fountain to propose.

“It was just getting dark and it was misting out. [It was] like a movie! We got right in front of the fountain and he read me a note about how much he loves me and wants to marry me, and then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him,” said Kaylin.

A wedding originally planned for September 2020 was quickly bumped to this past April. All of the finer details were picked out: from the wedding colors of lavender and sage, the bridal party, the perfect song they would dance to as husband and wife, the mother-son and father-daughter dances, all the way to the flower girl and ring bearers. Time was all that stood between them and happily ever after.

But as we all know, 2020 has been the year for curve balls. The reception hall that the couple chose to celebrate their nuptials forced them to reschedule because of the Coronavirus. Kaylin had chosen a new date but Jimmy decided that he did not want to wait. On March 21, Kaylin VanderMeer and Jimmy Holmes exchanged matrimonial vows to love one another through sickness and health, for richer or poorer, until death they would part.

Jimmy’s parents, Jennifer and Jim Holmes, allowed the couple to use their home for the wedding ceremony. Those in attendance consisted of the couple’s parents, their siblings, and Jimmy’s best man. To include those that could not be in attendance due to the COVID-19 virus, the family live streamed the event through a private Facebook group. The wedding music was channeled through Alexa, which inadvertently didn’t work as smoothly as designed but created a memory to last a lifetime.

“We decided to still do our first dance in the living room, and then we got a few pictures together. We didn’t want to have our photographer come because we didn’t want to expose a bunch of people. My mom made our favorite cake and we fed each other after our taco bar dinner,” said Kaylin.

Of all of the memories the couple currently share together, singing with Jimmy at Fenwick Farms is one of Kaylin’s favorites. Jimmy routinely asks Kaylin to sing with him, although she is not a fan of singing in front of people, but for Valentines Day 2019, Kaylin showcased her love for Jimmy in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

“I was nervous but I was also really poor being in school and all so I agreed. We practiced and practiced, which came with a few fights and tears but the day came and I sang with him. Afterwards he said how proud he was and he loved it. I don’t think I did a good job but I was happy that I could make him proud,” said Kaylin.

And there is a great example of how Jimmy and Kaylin make their relationship work. They think of each other first and always work through their problems. “We had decided from the beginning that if we were going to date we were going to fight for what we had. And we always fought for each other and always worked for what we had. We have had hard times but through them we have come out even stronger and better for it. He is my best friend and I am so happy I got to marry him,” said Kaylin.