I laughed when I saw that they stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. Not that there's anything wrong with it, just unexpected for them. Of course, of the choices in Athens, that was probably the lesser of evils for the glamour girl.


Stars' Modano, actress-singer Ford wed in East Texas | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Entertainment: Break Room
To the dismay of a cadre of female fans, Mike Modano's wedding to singer-actress Willa Ford was no hoax.

Dallas Stars center Mike Modano wed actress-dancer Willa Ford at sunset Saturday in Athens, Texas. In this photo, the couple gets cozy at a San Antonio Spurs game. The 37-year-old Dallas Stars center and the 26-year-old hyphenate (she's also a dancer and Playboy model) exchanged vows at sunset Saturday at the East Texas ranch of Mr. Modano's friends, Dallas businessman Benny Bray and his wife, Stephanie.

Under a veil of secrecy, an intimate group of about 75 guests checked into the Holiday Inn Express in Athens, according to an attendee.

Mr. Modano and Ms. Ford (known to friends by her pre-fame name, Mandy Williford) arranged for a luxury bus to collect the group and bring them to the Brays' 3,000-acre Barefoot Ranch, formerly a retreat for Dallas tycoon Clint Murchison Sr.

One of FHM magazine's 100 Sexiest Women, Ms. Ford eschewed the traditional wedding gown in favor of a snug-fitting long cocktail dress for the brief outdoor ceremony.

Mr. Modano, once one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, looked sunny and summery in a tailored beige tuxedo.

Dallas Stars defenseman Darryl Sydor and retired NHL great Brett Hull served as co-best men.

With those exceptions, the wedding was notable its absence of teammates, coaches or front-office personnel from the Dallas Stars. Meanwhile, back in Dallas, Stars' spokesman Rob Scichili confirmed that the wedding took place.

The guests were limited to family and very close friends such as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Mr. Modano's UBS financial guru Charlie McKinney.

Last year, Ms. Ford competed on the third season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Earlier this year, she starred as Anna Nicole Smith in an as-yet unreleased feature biopic. She and Mr. Modano dated intermittently for four years before he presented her with an engagement ring last Thanksgiving.

Following the ceremony, the new Mr. and Mrs. Modano hosted their guests for a seated dinner and dancing to live music.