THE LAST TIME SHE WAS ALTAR bound, back in 1981, Jaclyn Smith said, "If this marriage doesn't work I'm going into a nunnery." Luckily for Chicago heart surgeon Bradley Allen, the former Charlie's Angels star was only joking. The two were married on Saturday, Oct. 11, in a candlelight ceremony at the Westwood Methodist Church in Los Angeles, attended by a small group of friends and family (including Smith's children, daughter Spencer Margaret, 11, who served as maid of honor, and son Gaston Anthony, 15). Smith, who will turn 52 on Oct. 26, "looked beautiful, as always," says wedding guest and co-Angel Kate Jackson. No thanks to Kmart. Smith bypassed her own clothing line for a sleeveless, floor-length gown of lilac charmeuse by Richard Tyler, bought off the rack at the designer's L.A. shop.

The nuptials cap a seven-year relationship that began when Allen, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, treated Smith's father, Jack, a Houston dentist, for a heart condition. (He died in 1993.) Since then, Allen, who is in his mid-40s, has been commuting on weekends to L.A., where Smith lives with her children. (Their father is British cinematographer Tony Richmond, from whom Smith, previously married to actors Roger Davis and Dennis Cole, has been divorced since 1990.)

It remains to be seen if marriage will alter the couple's long-distance lifestyle. One thing that won't change, though, is Smith's determination to keep family before career—and to make this love last. In a Boston Herald interview last month, she said: "I want this one to be forever."