What might have been. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are now happily married, but their Las Vegas ceremony was very different from the one they planned during their first engagement.
The Oscar winner, 49, and the “Get Right” singer, 52, were originally set to tie the knot in September 2003 after a whirlwind romance that began on the set of the movie Gigli. The wedding was poised to be a massive affair, with hundreds of guests and a veil of secrecy so thick that even attendees didn’t find out where it was happening until days before the ceremony.
When the duo called off the event, they hinted that they’d lost control of what should have been a romantic day. “Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date,” they said in a joint statement at the time. “When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate ‘decoy brides’ at three different locations, we realized that something was awry.”
Earlier this year, the Good Will Hunting star admitted that their first attempt at marriage was overshadowed by the excitement surrounding their relationship — and their collaboration on Gigli. “It became a story in and of itself,” he told Entertainment Weekly in January. “The funny name, the Jennifer Lopez romance and overexposure of that, it was kind of a perfect storm.”
Nineteen years later, their actual wedding was far simpler than the bash they’d planned the first time around. Instead of having an audience of hundreds, they tied the knot in a small Las Vegas wedding chapel — and didn’t even spring for an Elvis Presley impersonator.
Lopez hinted that her 14-year-old twins, Max and Emme, were present for the ceremony, but it wasn’t immediately clear if any of their other family members witnessed the event. The Grammy nominee shares the twins with ex-husband Marc Anthony. Affleck, for his part, shares Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10, with ex-wife Jennifer Garner.
While the Vegas ceremony was worlds away from the one Affleck and Lopez planned ahead of their January 2004 split, an insider told Us Weekly that it was exactly what they wanted. “They both thought it was a fun and casual way to tie the knot,” the source said of the wedding. “They both are so comfortable with each other and make each other so happy, so they don’t want to wait any longer.”
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Keep scrolling for a breakdown of how Affleck and Lopez’s Vegas wedding compares to the one they would have had in 2003.