#TBT: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith's Secretive 1997 New Year's Eve Wedding

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith Wedding

Photo: Getty Images

This is a story all about how...the Fresh Prince of BelAir married his true love on December 31st, 1997. We're throwing it all the way back to 18 years ago, when Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith got hitched in an ultra romantic (and secretive) New Year's Eve wedding.

The couple met when Jada auditioned for the part of Will's girlfriend on The Fresh Prince of Belair (she didn't get it), and had been dating for a couple of years when he popped the question that November. At the time, Jada told People that things got serious fast, "One day we got engaged, and the next day we found out we were pregnant." So the race was on for the bride, groom, and parents-to-be.

In what People described as "the most lavish and secretive celebrity wedding of the year," the Smiths went full out glamorous to surprise and delight their celebrity (and non-celebrity) guests.

Celebrity Weddings, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith

Photo: Daily Mail via Pinterest

He may be "west Philadelphia born and raised," but when it came down to picking a venue for the future Mr. & Mrs. Smith's nuptials, the bride-to-be got hometown rights. The couple selected the Cloisters, a medieval-style mansion near Baltimore, where Jada grew up, for the big day. The couple's wedding planner David Weinschel told People, "Jada wanted it simple but elegant." That being said, it took eight decorators 10 hours to make the venue up to the couple's standards.

Secrecy was the name of the game for the big day, the soon-to-be-Smiths didn't want any media leaks. No invitations were sent, guests were just told to arrive at their hotel in Baltimore and were given an envelope with directions to hand to their limo drivers.

See more: The Most Iconic Celebrity Brides

As for fashion — well the couple that dresses together stays together, right? Jada opted for a long-sleeved, high-necked, champagne-colored, velvet Badgley Mischka gown. The groom wore a matching Badgley Mischka suit. This was the '90s after all, decade of couple coordination (Posh and Becks, Britney and Justin we're looking at you), and Will and Jada were masters of the game.

Oh, and what about the tunes at the former half of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's nuptials you ask? Will's 90s chart topper, Gettin' Jiggy With It, crowded the dance floor, natch. Ah, those were the days.

The couple capped the night off with a sweet New Year's Eve midnight-kiss and what looks like a Polaroid selfie, which Jada shared on her Twitter account.

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith Wedding

Photo: Courtesy of Jada Pinkett-Smith via Twitter

A budding family and 18 years later (20 if you count two years of dating), the Smiths, who are parents to Willow and Jaden and Will's son Trey (from a previous marriage), are still going strong and offering up nuggets of relationship wisdom whenever possible. "If there is a secret, I would say it's that we never went into working in our relationship," the Concussion actor recently said on the red carpet. "We only ever worked on ourselves individually, and then presented ourselves to one another better than we were previously."

Jada agrees. In a candid interview with Howard Stern earlier this year, the Gotham actress addressed rumors about her marriage to Will. "Here's the deal, Howard. You've gotta trust who you're with. And at the end of the day, right, I'm not here to be anybody's watcher. I'm not his watcher. He's a grown man," she told Stern.

We love a couple who can be honest about what it takes to make a marriage last!

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