An event many thought never would happen actually did: "Southside" Steve Rickman got married Saturday at Country Club of the South in Johns Creek before 150 friends and family.
The Regular Guys radio host met nutritionist and weight-loss counselor Amanda Bakalar two years ago and fell in love. They tied the knot in classy fashion.
The marriage ceremony was simple and elegant, with candles attached to the windows and Bach and Handel as a backdrop in music. (No Journey until the reception!) Bakalar, in a beautiful flowing wedding dress, was brought down the aisle by her father Steven Bakalar. It went off without a hitch.
With Ross Turner presiding, he appeared steady except when Bakalar put on his ring. He backed off a moment, took a deep breath and uttered, "It's real!" The crowd laughed.
Rickman said on the air just before 9 a.m. Monday that he felt a bit nervous before he got married, saying he was feeling the "weight of the responsibility and maturity." And at that point, he had not yet consummated the marriage, saying he hasn't had time yet with family obligations. He and Amanda last night were also packing for their honeymoon to Mexico, which starts tonight. He promised that they will have plenty of time to get it on then.
Rickman kept the radio guests to a minimum: his Regular Guys colleagues Larry Wachs and Tim Andrews, producer Brandi Britain, 680/The Fan mid-morning host Sandra Golden and Bert Show host Bert Weiss. Jesse James Dupree, the lead singer of Jackyl, and attorney and regular Regular Guys guest George Stein were there as well. Former 99X and Dave FM host Yvonne Monet emceed and cover band Contagious performed. Sebastian Davis from the show also attended as videographer. "Top Gear" cast member Rutledge Wood was supposed to emcee with Monet but his shooting schedule changed at the last second and he couldn't make it. (I only attended the ceremony portion.)
"It was beautiful," Monet said, about the reception. "They had a video from Amanda's fatherand got a good laugh over Steve's mullet over the years. During the first dance, he put his own little twist on it. He started with Ray LaMontagne but then segued into Kid Rock and Journey." (She has known Rickman for more than 20 years, going back to the days of Rupert's nightclub when he was a bartender and she was a DJ. She also wanted me to include her website www.yvonnemonet.com in case you want her at your event, too)
I am also unsure if Rickman invited Eric Von Haessler, former Regular Guy. But EVH wasn't there and I didn't have a chance to talk to Rickman.
While Weiss said he was surprised Rickman made it to this point, Andrews said he knew fairly early on that Rickman was reacting differently to Balakar than previous ladies. He is also in the minority in thinking that this marriage will last for the ages. Wachs (who insisted it's now W-A-C-H-S) simply said he felt "joy" watching his work colleague and friend get hitched.
[UPDATE: On Monday morning on the air, Wachs got on my case for acting skeptical when he said he felt joy. He was also annoyed that I left early and didn't stick around for dinner. But as Rickman said, I was invited as a journalist, not a guest.]
Rickman's courtship of Bakalar has been a regular subject on the Rock 100.5 morning show, with his co hosts teasing him constantly about the age difference. (He's 48. She's 26.)
Plus, he built his persona over the years as a ladies' man, bragging on air that he had slept with more than 400 women in his lifetime.
Eleven years ago, as a stunt, Rickman even got "married" to a woman he had never met while he worked on the Regular Guys show at 96rock.
This one on Saturday? Real and legal.