Zahra and Derek's Wedding at Montecito Country Club

Photography by Anna Costa

Wedding Ceremony at Montecito Country Club | Miriam Lindbeck | Photography by Anna Costa


Derek, a handsome, fit trainer with a top drawer clientele in one of SB’s private clubs, was restless.  His life wasn’t full enough in Santa Barbara—rather like not enough exposure to big city life. A friend suggested he move to NY. The pulse of humanity was undeniable there. So he moved to NY, and stayed with a friend until he got himself settled.

After 6 months, he began to wonder how anybody could live in NY their whole life!  It was then a good friend encouraged him to get onto If just for good conversation and meeting people from all walks of life, it could increase his human interests.  

It was there he found Zahra, self described as a “Social Scientist”. Instantly he was drawn to her.

He reached out to her, a tiny link was made and then she cancelled the date. Again he reaches, she accepts, and again breaks the date. It happened again.  On the fourth attempt, Zahra knew this was her final chance.  She wasn’t breaking the dates because she was playing with him. She was a litigation associate at a large law firm, and nearly all of her waking hours were spent at her desk.  She even pulled all-nighters from time to time…

So when she reached out and made the date, Derek was very skeptical and ho hum about it.  He was planning on saying “Adios” when he met with her.

But the Fates had another plan.  The moment he saw her walking towards him, his interest piqued. “This is going to be good!”, he thought to himself.  The moment she saw him standing in front of the restaurant waiting for her, she thought, “OMG! I’m in trouble now”.

They both couldn’t believe the other was the least bit interested in them. Derek was struck, thought he was playing out of his league, she was so eloquent and gracious; she was beside herself wondering what the catch was, he was so nice, handsome, sweet and engaging.

They again to set aside priority time for each other. It was all so natural yet “too good to be true”. One day, standing on that teetering edge of not knowing if the other cared the same, she finally stole the thunder and declared her love. She beat him to the line twice, raising the bar on him each time. It didn’t make him unhappy at all but it made him strive to speak first!

When one is in the presence of a powerful and beautiful woman such as Zahra, the wisdom is to willingly surrender to the gift.  Derek did without giving up a cell of himself. He indeed, became ever more magnificent. When he asked for her hand, she had already given it.  He knew he was chosen.

Their wedding was so abundant with love and beauty, heart and Soul, it claimed every single one of us. Their natural elegance, regality, and exquisite respect and wonder they brought to each other, caused all of us to stand back just enough so as not to interfere with their sanctified field.

They are a gift to the world, a Holy Place on Earth. This is a love that is Sacred, is archetypal and necessary to the evolution of humanity.

To them I give the reading from the Song of Songs: “My Love, My Friend”, because this is who they are for each other:

“In knowing and loving you deeply,

I have become a part of the ground-spring of love,

Which is God.

Sometimes I realize

I have looked at you so often

I hardly see you,.

You are more a feeling than a face,

A feeling of what you mean to me,

What you share with me,

What you do for me...

But I must remember you have your own face,

Are your own person.

And to that person I owe

All the gentleness and respect and sense of wonder

I owe God.

For you are God come closer to me

Than in any other face.”