Unexpectedly in love
BY BRYCE KELLY
Mt. Pleasant News
Tamara Gill, of Wayland, and Kevan Zechin, of Mt. Pleasant, say neither were looking for love when they met on a dare in May of last year, but true love certainly found them, and now they are only a short time away from saying “I do”.
It all started when a mutual friend of the couple decided the two should meet. Zechin, an employee of O’Reily Auto Parts, in Mt. Pleasant, had a co-worker who was also close friends with Gill and thought the two would be a good match. However, for the duo, both in their mid-30s, the idea of dating was not something they were giving much thought to at the time.
“He was insistent that Tamara and I meet despite the fact they we had both separately told him we weren’t really interested in dating at that time,” said Zechin. “But one day, he came into work and told me that Tamara would in fact be coming into the store to meet me, so at that point, we had no choice but to meet each other.”
Despite what the couple readily admits was an awkward first meeting in the oil aisle of the auto parts store, that brief encounter turned into a double date with their mutual friend and his wife at a local Mexican restaurant.
“That day, I was so nervous because I had hardly ever dated before,” Gill says, looking back on what the couple considers their first official date. “Eventually, the couple that was with us left, and when they did, I got up to leave before I realized Kevan wasn’t moving. So, I thought he wanted to stay and talk more, which as it turns out, was exactly what he wanted.”
That night, Gill and Zechin ended up talking and getting to know each other at the restaurant until it closed, and quickly discovered they had much more in common than they would have ever thought. What had started as an uncomfortable first meeting was quickly becoming a match neither saw coming.
It didn’t take long after that first dinner date for Zechin to start actively pursuing Gill’s affections. Soon, the couple became an item, spending more time together, and meeting each other’s families and close friends.
In November of last year, Kevan knew it was finally time to pop the question after the couple had started to talk about marriage and their desire to start a family. Following tradition and wanting to respect Gill’s family, he asked her parents’ permission for her hand, and began concocting the perfect way to propose.
The trickiest part, according to Zechin, was finding Gill the perfect proposal gift. Of course, in most cases, the soon-to-be bride is presented with an engagement ring. For Gill, however, a ring wasn’t what Zechin knew she wanted.
“I wanted a rocking chair instead of a ring,” Gill admits. “When my grandpa proposed to my grandma, he gave her silverware. Then again, when my dad proposed to my mom, he gave her a cedar chest. So, from a young age, I had decided I would want a rocking chair that I could use the rest of our lives and rock our babies in.”
And just like finding the perfect engagement ring is no easy task, finding the perfect rocking chair was a challenge in itself.
“It had to be perfect. It had to fit her perfectly and it had to look right,” he said. “As it turns out, I didn’t find the right one until about five days before I proposed.”
With the perfect rocking chair found and a proposal plan in place, Zechin proposed to Gill on a clear November evening at a park in Wayland after an intimate picnic dinner. The setting, they say, could not have been more perfect.
“It was really amazing, he told me how much he loved me and how much he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and of course I said yes,” gushed Gill.
Now, only a few months away from their September wedding in Iowa, Gill and Zechin have their hands full planning nothing less than four separate proper wedding ceremonies. The official ceremony, which will take place in early September in Wayland, will be the first ceremony. The following ceremonies will take place in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia where the couple has close family and friends. Each ceremony will have different themes and wedding parties.
“We both have family and close friends spread all over and for some, coming to Iowa isn’t really something they can do, but we want to share our love with them, which is why we are doing multiple ceremonies,” Gill says, adding the ceremonies will all happen within the month of September. “Plus, it’s fun that we get to be married four times to each other.”
Looking ahead to their upcoming adventure as a married couple, both Gill and Zechin say they can’t wait to begin their lives together. Both desiring a family, the couple says they don’t plan to wait too long before having children.
“Ever since I met Kevan, he has been my greatest supporter and has really been amazing at getting involved in the different activities and church ministries that are important to me, and so I think I am the most excited about seeing how God uses him as my husband, but also uses us as a couple to further Godly ministry.”
Zechin says for himself, he is more than ecstatic to marry the woman of his dreams and says he has certainly “hit the jackpot.”
“Before I met Tamara, I was kind of resistant to being in a relationship for various reasons, but when I met Tamara, I quickly realized how matched for each other we are, and that made me realize how much I wanted to be married to her,” he says. “I can already picture our future together, and I know Tamara will be a great mother and a great wife. I am just ready to be at that stage in our relationship and look forward to being by her side for the rest of my life.”