updated 10/27/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 10/27/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST
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."