Jennifer Lopez says she and Ben Affleck eloped in Las Vegas in July — prior to their splashy wedding in Savannah the next month — because she had “a little PTSD” as a result of calling off their dream wedding 20 years earlier.
On Wednesday, the 53-year-old star said the couple only developed their elopement plan midway through intense pre-wedding preparations for a big family ceremony in Georgia.
“We were planning to get married in August in Savannah, the family was going to be there, everyone’s going to be there and it was so stressful,” Lopez told Jimmy Kimmel Live! while promoting her new movie Shotgun Wedding.
“A month before, and I don’t know if you guys know this, but 20 years ago we were supposed to get married,” she joked of her highly public first engagement to the actor in 2002.
“I heard that, I read that,” Kimmel joked about the couple’s split just days before their Sept. 2003 nuptials.
“It kind of all fell apart back then and this time, I absolutely had a little PTSD and so I was like, ‘Is this happening?'” said Lopez.
“We were so happy, and of course it was happening, but I just felt like the wedding was so stressful and one day Ben just says, ‘F— it, let’s just go to Vegas and get married tonight.'”
“I was just like, this is crazy, what are we doing?” added Lopez, who went on to reveal that Affleck handled everything, and reassured her he was “going to have everything set up.”
“So then you get on a Spirit Airlines flight,” Kimmel quipped, causing Lopez to chuckle.
“It was the best day of our lives,” Lopez replied about her July 15 wedding to the Oscar winner.
Lopez and Affleck walked down the aisle at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas just before midnight on July 15, months after revealing their engagement in April.
“We did it. Love is beautiful. Love is kind. And it turns out love is patient….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,” Lopez wrote to her fans in her On the JLo newsletter on July 17.
“Behind us two men held hands and held each other,” Lopez continued. “In front of us, a young couple who made the three hour drive from Victorville on their daughter’s second birthday—all of us wanting the same thing—for the world to recognize us as partners and to declare our love to the world through the ancient and nearly universal symbol of marriage.”
For the ceremony, Lopez wore a white, lace off-shoulder long-sleeve bridal gown with a sweetheart neckline, corset bodice and fishtail train and matching veil with lace trim from Zuhair Murad. (She also appeared to wear another look — “a dress from an old movie” — the same night.)
“We read our own vows in the little chapel and gave one another the rings we’ll wear for the rest of our lives,” Lopez continued. “They even had a Bluetooth for the (short) march down the aisle. But in the end it was the best possible wedding we could have imagined. One we dreamed of long ago and one made very real (in the eyes of the state, Las Vegas, a pink convertible and one another) at very, very, long last.”