Wedding planners know that every love story is special, but once in a while a couple’s courtship is so unique it needs to be shared. This is such a story.
According to Russellville Wedding Planner Diane Race, one of the “neatest love stories” she knows is that of Karen Daniels and Tim Lynch, who were married last year.
Karen Dollar grew up in Russellville and had been a widowed mother of two for five years and not looking for another relationship.
“I figured that God had already given me one man to love and I was OK with not remarrying again,” said Karen.
But thanks to a lucky raffle ticket, Karen met Tim, an older bachelor who lived in another state.
“Karen would never have met Tim if not for the persistence of a friend who insisted that Karen accompany her to a golf tournament fundraiser at the Lions Club in Dardanelle,” said Race. Although Karen didn’t know it at the time, the second great love of her life had appeared in her life.
“I remember dancing with Tim a few times at the fundraiser but I didn’t think much about it because of the big difference in our ages and the fact that he lived far away.
Then Tim won the big raffle prize of a big-screen TV and he said he wanted to give it to me, but I refused and said I couldn’t accept it.
Tim, who is an executive for the Coca Cola Company and a sponsor of the event, explained that he couldn’t give the TV to any of his employees at the event or take it on the airplane with him, so if I didn’t accept it, he would just leave it at the event. So I reluctantly accepted Tim’s gift and took his card so I could email him a thank-you note,” Karen explained.
This started a polite email friendship which Karen had no expectations of going further. Tim, on the other hand, had been instantly smitten with Karen and confided to one of his friends soon after the event that he finally found the girl he was going to marry.
“Tim seemed to know there was something special about Karen from first introduction, but it would take many months of friendship and courtship before Tim would convince Karen to marry him two years later,” said Race.
“My whole family, especially my kids, just loved Tim right off the bat, and that’s when I realized that despite all the obstacles, God was again blessing me with someone to love. Tim was the first man I had ever dated who had a strong personal relationship with God all on his own and it was that calm sureness in my soul when I was with Tim made me realize our love “really was a match made in heaven.”
“Karen and Tim were married at Lake Dardanelle with the sun setting behind them. The reception was held inside the Visitor’s Center and was carried out on the deck where tables were adorned with fall flowers and candlelight. Guests were provided a wonderful buffet meal by Charles Henry, of Catering by Charles.
As the fire glowed in the fireplace on the deck, guests were encouraged to make s’mores from the Marshmallows, Hershey Bars and Graham Crackers provided. Entertainment inside was provided by Joy Murphy with Dance with Joy Studios.
Race said that Karen was very detailed in the planning of the wedding, with candle- lit pumpkins carved Happily Ever After and favorite handwritten quotes at each table. One quote, undoubtedly picked out by Tim, said “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to persuade my wife to marry me”, by Winston Churchill.
According to Karen and Tim they are still in the honeymoon phase and living as happily ever after as their wedding pumpkins proclaimed, thanks to the grace of God and one “lucky” raffle ticket.