She’s still Jenny from the Block, but there’s a new Affleck in town — Bennifer are officially husband and wife!
Nearly two decades since they were last set to marry, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez finally tied the knot during an intimate ceremony in Las Vegas on Saturday, three months after announcing their second engagement in April.
As reports of their low-key nuptials began to surface on Sunday morning, Jennifer was quick to give her fans the inside scoop, writing in her exclusive newsletter that it was “the best possible wedding.”
“Last night we flew to Vegas, stood in line for a license with four other couples, all making the same journey to the wedding capital of the world,” she began, revealing that the city’s infamous white chapel stayed open “a few minutes” past its midnight closing time to facilitate them.
“With the best witnesses you could ever imagine, a dress from an old movie and a jacket from Ben’s closet, we read our own vows in the little chapel and gave one another the rings we’ll wear for the rest of our lives,” Jennifer wrote.
“In the end it was the best possible wedding we could have imagined,” she said. “One we dreamed of long ago and one made real (in the eyes of the state, Las Vegas, a pink convertible and one another) at very, very long last.”
The exciting newsletter, which landed in fans’ inboxes on Sunday afternoon, was adorned with behind-the-scenes photographs of the night, including a selfie of the newlyweds, both of whom dressed in white for the short-but-sweet ceremony.
Much to the surprise of many longtime J.Lo fans, the singer also confirmed that she opted to take Ben’s last name, signing off the message: “With love, Mrs. Jennifer Lynn Affleck.”
Of course, the confirmation that she’s parting ways with her famed last name left the internet divided, with plenty of social media users already trialing J.Aff as her new nickname.
But Jen’s decision to legally become an Affleck should come as no surprise, especially given that it’s been in the cards for nearly 20 years now.
In the unlikely event that you need a reminder, Ben and Jennifer’s romance tracks right back to the early 2000s, where they solidified their status as one of Hollywood’s ultimate It couples.
Bennifer first came to be in 2002 after they met on a movie set, and they went on to announce their engagement within the same year.
With them just as famous then as they are today, Ben and Jen’s relationship was hugely publicized around this time — so much so that the pressure led them to postpone their wedding in September 2003, only days before they were reportedly set to walk down the aisle.
The public fascination with Ben and Jen after their engagement even called for the couple to take part in a sit-down interview for a primetime special with Access Hollywood.
During the special — which aired only a matter of months before the shock postponement of their wedding — Jennifer was quizzed by host Pat O’Brien about the prospect of changing her name.
“After you’re married, what will your name be?” O’Brien asked as Jen cooked alongside him in the kitchen of the couple's rental home at the time.
“Jennifer Lopez, but my name will be Jennifer Affleck, obviously,” she replied with certainty.
When Pat then asked what will become of her famed nickname, the singer quipped that the new alternative doesn’t roll off the tongue with the same amount of ease.
“J.Aff,” she said, pronouncing it “jaff.” “It doesn't have quite the same ring to it,” she added with a laugh.
Now, nearly 20 years later, fans are abuzz with similar discussions, with many keen to know whether J.Lo might finally be set to transition into her J.Aff era.
That being said, the resurfaced clip seems to suggest that while she may legally be an Affleck, Jennifer will likely stick with Lopez for her professional brand.
And though her thoughts about last names may have stayed the same, the couple’s low-key Vegas wedding indicates that their approach to their relationship has changed vastly.
It’s no secret that the media scrutiny surrounding their relationship, particularly during the lead-up to their highly anticipated wedding, was the catalyst for their eventual split in the 2000s.
In fact, in Ben and Jen’s joint statement announcing their decision to call off the ceremony, the couple revealed that the “excessive” attention had become so intense that they’d been forced to consider stationing “decoy brides” at different venues to throw off the media.
“When we found ourselves seriously contemplating hiring three separate ‘decoy brides’ at three different locations, we realized that something was awry,” their statement read. “We began to feel that the spirit of what should have been the happiest day of our lives could be compromised. We felt what should have been a joyful and sacred day could be spoiled for us, our families and our friends.”
And since rekindling their romance in July last year, both Jennifer and Ben have spoken candidly about their efforts to distance themselves from the same “brutal” criticism that destroyed their relationship the first time around.
“It’s a beautiful love story that we got a second chance,” J.Lo told People in February. “Before we kind of put [our relationship] out there and we were naïve and it got a little trampled.”
“We're older now, we're smarter, we have more experience, we're at different places in our lives, we have kids now, and we have to be very conscious of those things,” she went on. “We're so protective because it is such a beautiful time for all of us.”
And so, with all this in mind, Ben and Jen’s low-key Vegas ceremony, though surprising for an A-list couple of their caliber, actually makes complete sense — and perhaps indicates a conscious effort to steer clear of the familiar fanfare.