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Sophia Ninfa Rose Mandola & Alexander Ballas Bramlett

 July 21, 2012 | Hotel ZaZa

Sophia and Alex strike a pose in Hotel ZaZa. The groom, who works for Union Pacific, wore a custom ivory jacket and wedding band from Tenenbaum & Co. Jennifer Aronson did the bride’s makeup with hair by Albert Dominguez.

The Monique Lhuillier gown from Casa de Novia Bridal Couture.

His red velvet Union Pacific locomotive replica by La Victoria Bakery.

Her lacy, raspberry-filled confection by Susie’s Cakes.

The newlyweds kiss above the Museum District.

Hand-tied bridal bouquet by Lexis Florist

The Story
Their grandmothers Maria Ballas and Ninfa Laurenzo (founder of Ninfa’s restaurants) are best friends and their families have been close for decades, but Sophia and Alex didn’t meet until adulthood. He was smitten at first sight, and by date two, they knew.

The Details
For the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart ceremony, the bride wore her mother’s lace veil, which coincidentally, the groom’s grandmother selected.

The Party
His cousin and groomsman, Dancing with the Stars champ Mark Ballas, choreographed their first dance to Usher. As their restaurant and dance families merged, Blind Date kept the entire ballroom of 400 on its feet all night long. –Holly Crawford