June 22, 1998 12:00 PM


The walk down the aisle wouldn’t be her first. Adrienne Banfield, 44, had tried matrimony twice before, at 17 (with Jada’s father, building contractor Robsol Pinkett Jr.) and at 27 (with lawyer Warren Brown), in quick ceremonies at the local courthouse. But, after a 20-year friendship, the third time would be charmed. At the urging of her maid of honor, daughter Jada Pinkett, Banfield would wear white and celebrate her July 19 union with telecommunications executive Paul Jones, 48, in a traditional ceremony with 125 guests surrounded by imported tropical flowers on the grounds of Oakland Manor, a mansion three miles from their Columbia, Md., home. “Jada said, ‘Look, if you’re going to do it, just do it. Go ahead and treat yourself,’ ” says Banfield, a nurse. “I went for it.”

Pinkett, 26, flew her mother out to L.A. to shop at the tony Bridal Suite, where Banfield chose an off-the-shoulder Arnold Scaasi. “It was really special to be able to take my mom to look for dresses,” says Pinkett, who also gave Ban-field a pair of diamond-and-pearl earrings and a diamond-and-pearl bracelet, which she borrowed back for her own wedding to Will Smith (see page 74) in December. Both brides also carried Banfield’s late mother’s handkerchief.

Straightening the shoulders of Banfield’s dress one last time before the ceremony, Pinkett, in a flowing pale green gown that matched Smith’s mint silk shirt, looked in the mirror and whispered in her mother’s ear, “We’re looking good.” Banfield reminded her only daughter that she “was still part of my life with Paul,” she recalls. But Pinkett didn’t really need any assurances. “A mother and daughter’s relationship is usually the most honest, and we are so close,” says Pinkett, who, at the end of the day, wrapped in Smith’s arms, smiled into the video camera. “Mommy, we love you,” she said.

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