My name is Jessica Holmes and I have been a Marriage Commissioner in Red Deer since 2018.
I am originally from Delia, AB, which is a tiny village of 200 people about 30 minutes northeast of Drumheller. Growing up I was the quintessential farm kid; I ate, slept and breathed the outdoors and spent my free time playing with the various chickens, ducks, cows, horses, kitten and dogs that we had. 4-H was a huge part of my childhood and I loved showing beef cattle. I was a successful public speaker, culminating in my final year, when I won all the way up to Provincials and placed as one of the top 10 speakers in Alberta.
After high school, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alberta and moved to Central Alberta in 2006 to begin my career as a Registered Nurse. I worked on the Labor and Delivery unit at the Red Deer hospital for many years, both as a postpartum and labor nurse, as well as leader of the Better Beginnings class.
In late 2009 I took a huge leap of faith and followed in my Mom’s footsteps. Following her nursing career, she opened HELPING HANDS Home Support Services, a home support service for seniors. Together we opened a satellite office in Red Deer and I began my role as an entrepreneur, growing and building it. I worked at the hospital and HELPING HANDS concurrently until HELPING HANDS became busy enough to require my full-time focus. I resigned my unit nurse position permanently in 2014. Presently, between both our offices, we have close to 60 staff members and provide thousands of hours of service each month to people in need. I love the opportunity to work with my Mom and more importantly, help the people in this beautiful community.
Like so many people now, I met the love of my life through an online dating website in August 2013. After our very first date I knew he was my meant to be, he however, took a bit more convincing! Things fell into place beautifully and we said “I do” on July 23, 2016. We have 3 cats (his, mine and ours) and we LOVE hockey. Like, a lot. A deep and abiding love for Wayne Gretzky as a kid led my husband to be a steadfast LA Kings fan. At our wedding, we had a life-sized Wayne cardboard cut-out oversee our guestbook (which happened to be a custom Kings jersey for people to sign) and the table numbers were hockey teams. Our pastor even recognized our fandom and hockey was heavily quoted through our marriage ceremony! We also love to travel, frequenting Las Vegas several times a year and try and do one big trip annually, with our most recent one being Nashville Tennessee.
I didn’t set out to become a Marriage Commissioner, in fact, it kind of found me. In 2014, we attended a wedding and the pastor performed the second greatest ceremony I had ever participated in (the one he did 2 years later for us was obviously the greatest!). It hit me like a bolt of lightning – not only was it funny, honest and personal, it was deeply meaningful for the couple getting married and for us in attendance. When it came to planning our wedding, I knew that I wanted the same for our ceremony. While I was waiting to hear if that amazing pastor was available, I started investigating Marriage Commissioners. Because we were getting married in my very rural hometown, the options seemed to be limited and I struggled to find a connection. I wanted someone who would represent us as people; someone funny, genuine, relatable and who really bought into the meaning of our day. Thankfully, the pastor was able to do our ceremony and his words will remain my most favorite part of our day. On a whim, I decided I would like to apply to be a marriage commissioner. At the time, there were no openings in my area, so I promptly forgot about it! Imagine my surprise when I got the call 2 years later asking if I would still be interested in applying. I was and I did and the rest, as they say, is history!