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Real reason Ben Affleck planned surprise Vegas elopement with Jennifer Lopez

The Shotgun Wedding actress had weddings in July and August 2022

jennifer lopez ben affleck
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's wedding day was 20 years in the making, so it comes as no surprise that they chose to celebrate on two separate occasions in 2022.

The actress, who stars in action comedy Shotgun Wedding, shocked her fans when she shared photos from her secret elopement in Las Vegas in July just three months after announcing her engagement. Now, JLo has opened up about her decision to have an intimate ceremony at the Little White Wedding Chapel without all of their family and friends in attendance.

WATCH: Inside Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's decades-long love story

"I think that’s why we ran off to Vegas and got married there first – because it took all the pressure off the big family wedding we were having. [Ben] planned the whole Vegas thing. The big party one, we did together," Jennifer said at a global press conference attended by HELLO!'s Emily Horan where JLo discussed her latest Prime Video movie launching on 27 January.

With "the best witnesses you could ever imagine" – which we assume was their five children: Jennifer's twins Emme and Max, 14, and Ben's three kids Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, ten – the couple exchanged vows two decades after they first got engaged. 

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Jennifer opted for two wedding dresses for her surprise Vegas ceremony

JLo wore a sleeveless wedding dress by Alexander McQueen which she originally rocked in a 2004 poster for Jersey Girl, before changing into a Zuhair Murad off-the-shoulder lace wedding dress.

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Five weeks later, Jennifer and Ben invited their friends and family to a spectacular second wedding celebration at Ben’s 87-acre estate in Georgia. The bride rocked a further three Ralph Lauren gowns and she later admitted in her On the JLo newsletter it was a "full-circle" moment which turned out to be "better" than they had planned.

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The couple's second wedding took place at Ben's Georgia estate in August

"Everything we do, we try and do it together. He has an amazing eye and incredible taste," she said during the press conference, and judging by the surprise live rendition of True Companion by Marc Cohn that Ben organised, we'd have to agree! "Planning a wedding is a lot, it’s very stressful - as you can see from this movie," she added.

Luckily, Deep Water actor Ben was nothing like her Shotgun Wedding co-star Josh Duhamel who played "groomzilla" Tom. Like JLo, her character Darcy wants to elope but Tom convinces her to host an extravagant beach wedding, which sees pirates taking their guests hostage – talk about stressful last-minute wedding problems!

shotgun wedding beach© Photo: Custom

JLo opened up about her wedding while promoting her new film, Shotgun Wedding. Photo: Ana Carballosa/Lionsgate

JLo not only wore a total of five gowns for her real-life nuptials with Ben, but she was also able to slip on another very important wedding dress as Darcy, which she said was pivotal to the storyline. "I really felt like the dress itself was a character in the movie. It represented what she was going through," JLo continued.

"I wanted it to start off when [Darcy] was super uncomfortable, it was the biggest, most cumbersome, kind of beautiful, but also not her at all. And then as she was more honest with [Tom] about who she was and what she wanted and stepping into her own power and authenticity, pieces of the dress pieces started coming off."

Shotgun Wedding is on Prime Video globally from 27 January.

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