January, record breaking temperatures and unbearable wind chills.  That’s what Becky & Joe braved for their engagement session at the Westin in downtown Annapolis.  Despite the cold, my heart was warmed by witnessing Joe’s inexpressibly sweet tenderness and affection for Becky.  She radiates as a woman who’s “found the one whom her soul loves’.  I cannot wait to see Becky as a bride!!  It’s going to be an amazing wedding and celebration.  I can’t express how excited I am to be there to capture every sweet moment.  (see their feature in Washingtonian Magazine here.)


Here’s how their love story unfolded, as told by Joe:

I actually first noticed Becky when I visited the University of Dallas as a senior in High School. She was wearing a crimson Maryvale High school sweatshirt and sat adjacent from me in a Literary Traditions class. She was beautiful; I was struck and couldn’t shake her from my mind. I wondered to myself this girl couldn’t possibly have come all the way from Towson, MD to go to a small Catholic University in Texas, sure enough she had.

For my first couple years at Dallas I would see her in the training room after baseball practice, and around campus but kept my distance not really knowing the best way to approach her. She was an upper classmen and had a boyfriend at the time. But sure enough in Classical literary tradition fate played a significant role, and we both found each other on the porch of the same apartment one night in Dallas. In typical UD fashion I was already a few drinks deep at this point and she was newly single, so I meandered on over and chatted her up. We connected immediately on all the easy stuff, talked about Baltimore and the way things were back home and what had brought us to Dallas. Soon after I found myself spending every waking moment with her by my side, I had struck gold. I thought of all the apartments in all the colleges in the world and I found a girl from my hometown that was just perfect.

 From that point on I knew she was the one. They say when you find the right women to spend the rest of your life with you know immediately, and I did. I remember telling my Mom that summer that I had met the girl I thought I could spend the rest of my life with. My Mom being the wise woman she was immediately asked if she was Catholic, to which I answered “yes”. That was all the information my Mom really wanted to know, she trusted my judgment and assumed the best.

 More than a few years have gone by since that conversation with my Mom on the steps of my house. Becky and I have spent a lot of time over those years, traveling the country, graduating college/graduate school, entering the professional world, and going through some of the more difficult phases of young adult life together. She has been an incredible companion through all of it always supporting me and providing sound advice, often being the voice of reason when my ears aren’t quite tuning in. She has always referred to me as her rock, and its time that I be that rock for her for the rest of my life.  



…and now from Becky.

Joe is from Ellicott City, and lived 30 short minutes away from me my whole life and I would have never met him unless we had both gone to UD.
Joe went to visit University of Dallas while he was a senior in high school still, when I was already a freshman there. He said that he went to an English class as part of his shadow day, and was sitting in class when he saw a brunette walk in – late of course – and sit down. He said he remembered me from that moment on, and always dreamed of dating me.
The first couple years at Dallas we only knew of each other, and never really met. It wasn’t until his Sophomore year and my junior year, that we finally ended up sharing some friends that were in the same social circles.
One night we were at the same party, and I left early for some reason. Mary Watson (my best friend and MOH) called me a few minutes after I left and said that this guy Joe Zimmermann was asking where I went. Well I turned myself right around and headed back to the party. Im not really sure why, because we hadn’t even spoken at this point yet. However, Joe was pretty shy and he still didn’t talk to me the rest of the night. Anyway – to make a long story short, we did end up finally talking a couple weeks later thanks to some liquid courage on his end, and Joe took me out on our first date the week of finals. The rest is history.
We actually started dating on August 3 or 4th of 2008. Exactly 6 years before our wedding date!
Anyway, we were at UD for one more year together, and then I graduated and came back up to Maryland. Joe had to go back to Dallas for another year of undergrad and I started grad school in MD. This was around the time we spent some time apart, but ended up not being able to shake each other off, and got back together again in the fall of 2012. He was even more handsome than I remembered when I finally saw him in person again <3
We dated for a year and a little bit when Joe finally got down on one knee in front of the Mount Washington Memorial down in Baltimore and asked me to marry him on a cold, starry, winter night right before Christmas. I was totally surprised! It was perfect.
Joe is without a doubt the most kind patient, loving, genuine, caring, supportive, wonderful man I could ever ask to be with. He has seen me through some true ups and downs. And although it was getting on my nerves that he took so long to ask me to marry him, I couldn’t be happier now that it’s finally happening. He is the man of my dreams.









© 2023 karena dixon