Exploring Cities Together
Ridaa Mian and Hamaad Chippa
Ridaa Mian and Hamaad Chippa met in the summer of 2006 while they were visiting New York City. “Hamaad was in town with his friend from Chicago, while my girlfriend and I had come down from Boston to celebrate her graduation weekend with our other girlfriend who lived in the Big Apple,” recalls Ridaa. Turns out they shared a mutual friend who helped arrange for a fun-filled weekend for all the out of town guests and that fate had something in store for them.
“Part of the plan included a Broadway play, for which I walked in late,” blushes Ridaa. “Not only did I walk in late, but as soon as I was seated, my cell phone rang out loudly, disturbing those around me.” Ridaa shuffled through her purse, frantically trying to silence the phone. Just as she pulled it out, “I looked up and was greeted with a dirty stare from the guy sitting in front of me,” says Ridaa amazed that those same stares would be replaced with loving ones only a few years later.
After that first encounter, their friends decided that every few months they should explore cities together. And with that plans were in place for a second NYC visit. “In 2008, Hamaad and his friends made a trip out to Boston, where I had planned an action-packed weekend consisting of a duck tour around Boston, dessert at Finale's, a Red Sox game, and a game of ultimate Frisbee in the Boston Commons,” says Ridaa about the visit that would prove to be a turning point in their relationship. “Hamaad and I had built a great friendship over the years, and enjoyed each others company. Over the next year, we took the time to get to know each other better and the rest is history!”
Before they knew it they were partaking in a whirlwind long-distance relationship with flights back and forth between Boston and Chicago. They became formally engaged at a reception attended by 50 of their closest family and friends at Ridaa’s parents’ residence. One week later, “I had secured my dream venue and we were a year away from our wedding,” smile Ridaa.
“For our wedding, I envisioned a very elegant and sophisticated affair. I wanted an ambiance that was lively and fun for our families and guests, especially since we had mutual friends,” explains Ridaa about the equally dramatic and regal affair. With more than 285 guests in attendance from around the world, they shared their special day with those most significant to them at The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.
Hamaad's entrance consisted of almost 40 guests from the Chicago area, while Ridaa was escorted by her bridesmaids and parents. With a warm reception from their friends and family, the newlyweds hard work learning the steps to their first dance, "Yellow" by Coldplay, paid off. The finale came with the momentous shoe stealing, traditional of Pakistani weddings, as well as a formal goodbye of the bride to the groom and his family in the hotel foyer.