In a ceremony that was a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll, Sox star Johnny Damon wed Michelle Mangan yesterday at Orlando's Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Hotel. The couple, who've been together for nearly two years, got hitched at 5 p.m. in front of family, friends, and a fair share of ballplayers and rockers. (Is there another occasion at which AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson and Sox first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz would swill beers together?) Still sporting the long locks but dressed in a sharp black tux and silver tie, Damon walked down the aisle to "Brand New Man" by Brooks & Dunn, while the bride, wearing an ivory Vera Wang number with chapel-length train and long veil, walked in to Lauryn Hill's "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." (Guests couldn't take their eyes off Mangan's 8-carat, canary-yellow diamond engagement ring.) The duties of flower girl and ring bearer were handled by Damon's 5-year-old twins from his first marriage, Madelyn and Jackson. Officiated by Baptist minister Randal Miller, the ceremony was short and sweet. "Very ethereal and serene, almost mystical" is how wedding planner Heather Snively described it. "They wanted it to be very quiet, almost wintry." (So wintry, in fact, that, despite the 70-degree temps outside, snow -- or an imitation of it -- fell on the couple as they exited the ballroom.) The 30-minute ceremony was actually the culmination of three days of parties hosted by the pair. "It kind of stinks for people to come into town for just one day, so we put together a bunch of stuff," Damon told us this week. It started with a round of golf -- and drinks -- on Tuesday, followed by a private comedy show with Craig Shoemaker, Mike O'Malley, and SNL's Seth Meyers. On Wednesday, the boys went fishing while the girls, who'd had spa treatments the day before, did lunch. The couple's parents -- Sharon and Steve Mangan and Jim and Yome Damon -- hosted the rehearsal dinner Wednesday, and afterward took over a hotel bar renamed "The Nitro Lounge" for the occasion. "Shane Mack and David McCarty called me 'Johnny Nitro' when they played with me in Kansas City," Damon said. "I always won at cards, and you couldn't stop me when I got hot at the plate." As subdued as the ceremony was, the reception was wild, with a leather-heavy decor that Snively described as "completely rock 'n' roll." As the 175 guests mingled at martini bars and sampled sushi, gulf shrimp, and alligator cakes -- yes, chef Todd English was there, but, no, he didn't prepare the food -- an Orlando-based band called Tremors and the Earthquake Horns performed. Later in the evening, the plan was for Damon's rocker pals to take the stage. Among those expected to jam were Sevendust drummer (and groomsman) Morgan Rose, former Creed members Mark Tremonti, Scott Phillips, and Brian Marshall, American Hi-Fi guitarist Jaime Arentzen, and bassist Drew Parsons, Jeremy Taggart of Our Lady Peace, and Michael Eisenstein, formerly of Letters to Cleo. As you might expect, the World Champion Red Sox were well represented, with Mike Timlin, Kevin Millar, Bronson Arroyo, Kevin Youkilis, and part-owner Sam Tamposi all expected to attend. (Big Papi's better half, Tiffany Ortiz, and former Sox second baseman Todd Walker were also on the guest list, and closer Keith Foulke's wife, Mandy, was a bridesmaid.) As the big day approached, Damon sounded almost grown-up, not like the idiot he professed to be during the season. "Michelle's a great girl, and it's time I started settling down," he said. "She's had a huge influence on me. She lets me be me. She's amazing."
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