But the pair's July 16, 2022 Sin City nuptials were no spur-of-the-moment decision conceived next to the Caesar's Palace blackjack table.
"Twenty years ago, we were supposed to get married, and it kind of all fell apart back then," Lopez explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in January, referencing their original early aughts engagement. "And this time, I absolutely had a little PTSD. I was like, 'Is this happening? Is this really happening?' And we were so happy, and of course, it was happening, but I just felt the wedding was so stressful."
Putting together an all-white affair for 100 guests at Affleck's Georgia estate had already begun to feel like a lot even before they started discussions on how to block paparazzi from getting a peek. So when their teams suggested an elopement, Lopez recalled, "Ben just says, 'F--k it, let's just go to Vegas and get married tonight.'"
Which is how they found themselves tasking two of their children to serve as witnesses ("Three of our kids were at camp," Lopez explained) and surprising the hell out of the other hopeful brides and grooms waiting at the county clerk's office.
"Everybody was chill. They weren't freaking out or anything," Lopez recalled. "They were talking to us. They were like, 'Hey, what are you doing here?' We were like, 'We're getting married!'"
So what happens in Vegas...
"We did it," Lopez wrote the next day in her On The JLo newsletter, calling it the "best night of our lives"
It's actually quite fitting that the wedding ceremony didn't go exactly as once envisioned for the pop star, 53, who first fell head over designer heels for the Oscar winner, 50, back in 2002.
Until 2021, when the pair found their way back to one another. By the following spring, Affleck had slipped an emerald-hued natural diamond onto her finger "while at my favorite place on earth (in the bubble bath)" Lopez shared. Months later, he proposed a night in Vegas.
"In the end," the singer wrote on her newsletter, "it was the best possible wedding we could have imagined."
Affleck changed into the white jacket he'd grabbed out of his closet in the men's room; his bride slipped into the classic Alexandra McQueen dress she'd first used in an old movie "and I've just been saving it, saving it, saving it" inside the Little White Wedding chapel's break room.
And just before midnight, they made it down the aisle under the cherub-painted blue tunnel of love as a Bluetooth streamed the traditional bridal chorus. (Staff at the Sin City institution "graciously stayed open late a few minutes and let us take pictures in a pink Cadillac convertible," Lopez noted—part of the $150 Pink Cadillac Ceremony package.)
Though Lopez couldn't resist a wardrobe change, later snapping pics in an off-the-shoulder white lace Zuhair Murad, the whole affair was spontaneous, laid-back and, as she wrote in her newsletter, "Exactly what we wanted."
And just like the pair's decades-spanning romance, their wedding had a second act.
With the early elopement lifting a bit of the pressure, Lopez was able to push forward with the Colin Cowie-planned backyard-wedding-on-steroids at the 83-acre plantation-style spread Affleck purchased when they were dating the first time around in 2003.
And though there were a few more stumbles en route to forever ("All of us caught a stomach bug and were recuperating 'til late in the week," Lopez shared in her newsletter), that Aug. 20 the Bronx-born multi-hyphenate finally met her Ralph Lauren Couture-clad groom at the end of a delphinium-covered aisle.
Violet, 17, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10 (Affleck's kids with former wife Jennifer Garner) and 15-year-old Max and Emme (her twins with third husband Marc Anthony) preceded Lopez down the aisle to "The Things We've Handed Down". A song about "the wonderful mystery of children," she detailed in her newsletter, noting it "was the perfect choice."
As she saw it, "The 20 years between those dreams of youth and the adult world of love and family we embraced that day, brought more to this marriage than either of us ever could have imagined. We weren't only marrying one another; we were marrying these children into a new family."
To surprise her groom, Lopez tapped songwriter Marc Cohn to perform "True Companion," the number they'd long ago deemed the perfect wedding soundtrack.
"Later Ben told me that the chords of the song and seeing Marc Cohn both shocked him and allowed him to feel the way both roads we had walked found their way, inevitably, inexorably, and perfectly together," she detailed in her newsletter. "And when he saw me appear at the top of the stairs that moment it both made absolute sense while seeming still impossibly hard to believe, like the best dream, where all you want is never to awaken."
As for her, "I would have had many of the same thoughts probably had I not been focusing so hard on not tripping over my dress," she said of the turtleneck column with a voluminous ruffled skirt, her first of three custom Ralph Lauren Collection designs, "but when I got close enough to see his face, it made the same wonderful sense to me."
"Some old wounds were healed that day and the weight of the past finally lifted off our shoulders," she continued. "Full-circle—and not at all the way we planned it. Better."
With the likes of Matt Damon and director Kevin Smith looking on, the 2000s It pair (one of the early benefactors of the celeb couple portmanteau) exchanged self-penned vows and rings to complement the engagement sparkler Affleck had inscribed with "Not. Going. Anywhere". They were the same words he used to sign off his emails "when we started talking again," Lopez explained to Lowe. "Like, 'Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere.'"
The 45-minute ceremony helmed by life coach Jay Shetty "was perfect timing," Lopez shared in her September newsletter. "Nothing ever felt more right to me, and I knew we were finally 'settling down' in a way you can only do when you understand loss and joy and you are battle tested enough to never take the important things for granted."
And though Lopez noted "it had rained at sunset every day that week," the lightning and thunder held off that evening so everything could look just as good as it felt.
"The sun broke free and cast its rays like little diamonds dancing across the river behind the makeshift altar in our backyard," she described. Then, with the pair officially named Mr. and Mrs. Affleck, they posed for family photos on the dock as their guests moved to the next set-up of their casual at-home affair.
Inside the barn, under a canopy of greenery, florals and sparkling chandeliers, attendees dined at banquet tables topped with candles and meticulously-crafted tablescapes then listened to the groom gush about the partner he's called "the most gorgeous woman in the world."
Cribbing from his 2016 film Live By Night, Affleck quoted one of his bride's favorite lines, saying, "This is heaven. Right Here. We're in it now."
As Lopez, by then having changed into a silk tulle and Swarovski crystal-embellished chandelier pearl gown, recalled of the toast, "I thought...how perfect."
Such was the watchword of the evening that, naturally, had every guest on the floor before stunning them with a finale of fireworks.
"Years ago, we had no idea the road ahead would mean navigating so many labyrinths and hold so many surprises, blessings, and delights," Lopez surmised in her September newsletter. "It all culminated in this moment, one of the most perfect of our lives. We couldn't have been happier. I wish all of you the same kind of happiness...the hard-earned kind that's all the sweeter for the journey that came before it."
Ain't it funny how some feelings you just can't deny? Savor each moment of the pair's second chance celebration in the gallery below.