AS IT WAS: JLO & Ben's out-of-a-fairy-tale love story began two decades ago. Bennifer take one was brash, bold, blingy and ultimately doomed by a toxic combination of public scrutiny and frat boy behavior

The multi-millionaire bride picked the cheapest of all the packages at the Little White Wedding Chapel – the $50 ‘World Famous Drive Thru Tunnel of Love’.

She was even tickled to queue up with the regular folk to get her wedding license.

And there is talk that the actress and singer, who is worth $400 million, is so very sure that Ben Affleck is her forever Mr. Right that she has gone ahead and got married without a pre-nup.

If true, that’s the kind of recklessness which would have her lawyers falling into a cold faint.

But J Lo, a week short of her 53rd birthday, is a woman who knows exactly what she wants… and without a doubt that that is Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt.

AS IT WAS: JLO & Ben’s out-of-a-fairy-tale love story began two decades ago. Bennifer take one was brash, bold, blingy and ultimately doomed by a toxic combination of public scrutiny and frat boy behavior

TAKE TWO: Bennifer is now a slightly different beast. It has all the bling of the first union and the keenness to show off their love, but this time it’s accompanied by pious words about how mature and well-adjusted they are

Marital bliss: JLo has never been shy about sharing her love life with the public. But this time, the star is so sure that Ben is her forever Mr. Right that she has gone ahead and got married without a pre-nup

Money can’t buy love: The bride, worth $400 million, picked the cheapest of all the packages at the Little White Wedding Chapel – the $50 ‘World Famous Drive Thru Tunnel of Love’

Jennifer Lynn Affleck, as she now styles herself, is certainly in a bubble of bliss. She wrote: ‘Maybe you’ll find the best moment of your life in a drive through in Las Vegas at twelve thirty in the morning in the tunnel of love drive through, with your kids and the one you’ll spend forever with.’

Affleck, an Oscar-winner and a Batman, has a complicated romantic history.

His old girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow once said that his ideal woman was ‘any sort of stripper’ wearing a bikini and bringing him a beer.

He’s twice been to rehab and was reformed to a great extent by the patient, loving attention of first wife Jennifer Garner – both during their ten-year marriage and after it ended.

‘It’s all down to Jennifer Garner that Ben Affleck is now right for J Lo,’ says a source. ‘What an irony.’

J Lo believes that this troubled 49-year-old Hollywood hunk is finally marriage material. Since restarting their romance, he’s been working out with her daily and as a result is in the shape of his life.

And she doesn’t drink alcohol at all, which makes things simpler because he is a recovering alcoholic.

OLDER, WISER … AND HOTTER: While the A listers have proved the world they have come a long way from their immature days, there is general consensus that if anything, Ben & Jlo have aged like fine wine 

Their first love affair, from 2002-2004, was the biggest thing in showbusiness at the time, with everything from the $2 million pink diamond engagement ring to the gifted Bentleys making headlines

MR & MRS AFFLECK: Twenty years after getting her heart broken, JLo can finally style herself as Jennifer Lynn Affleck

This extraordinary rekindled romance – taken up 17 years after they split – is a rare love story. Even after three divorces, JLo’s unwavering belief in true love has led her to her forever person 

He broke her heart nearly 20 years ago and has been trying to get back with her for some years since – as we shall see, his love-bombing campaign bounced her straight out of the arms of A Rod and into her fourth marriage.

First he pursued her via admiring private emails. Then in the spring of 2021 he praised her talent and work ethic in a string of interviews. By April she was single –  and within a few days, they were together.

It’s taken a lot to restore her trust – as you might expect from a woman who has been divorced three times. One of her former husbands, Ojani Noa, wrote a book about their time together, and there was talk of an intention to release an ‘x-rated’ honeymoon video. A-Rod was finally ditched after rumors that he had cheated on her with a blonde.

But as she said in February this year, she has always believed in true love. This extraordinary rekindled romance – taken up 17 years after they split – is a rare love story made possible by the fact that they have both changed and grown.

He broke her heart nearly 20 years ago but is now committed to mend the hurt. Above, Bennifer pictured in a still from the 2004 film Jersey Girl, where they costarred 

Although they parted ways a long time ago, time helped heal the heartbreak. By the spring of 2021, Ben was praising JLo’s work ethic in a string of interviews. By April she was single – and within a few days, they were together

Bennifer take one was brash, bold, blingy and ultimately doomed by a toxic combination of public scrutiny and frat boy behavior.

Bennifer take two is a slightly different beast. It has all the bling of the first union and the keenness to show off their love, but this time it’s accompanied by pious words about how mature and well-adjusted they are. 

Lopez said: ‘I’m so proud of him, I’m so proud of the man he’s become that I’ve watched from afar.

‘I feel like he’s at a place in his life where – just like how I feel about myself – it’s been a journey of learning yourself and figuring yourself out, getting to a place where you feel really good on your own and who you are so you can be in a happy, healthy relationship.

‘To see the person, the human being, the man that he is today, the father that he is today, the partner that he is — he is so everything I always knew he was and wanted to be.’

She added: ‘It’s beautiful the way it feels very different than it was years ago… There’s more of an appreciation and a celebration for it, which is nice.

JLo and Ben met when she was still married to her second husband, Cris Judd, in 2001, while making Gigli 

After breaking up with Ben, which JLo described as her ‘first biggest heartbreak.’ JLo began dating latin singer Marc Anthony in 2004

JLo and Marc said their I dos in 2004, and welcomed their twins in 2008 before splitting in 2011. The pair have remained friends 

JLo dated dancer Casper Smart, who is 17 years younger than her, on-and-off between 2012 and 2016. The couple broke up after reports emerged that he had been sexting trans models

‘When you find somebody and you really, really love them and you get a second chance at that? That is a really rare, precious, beautiful thing and we don’t take it for granted.’

They moved in together a month ago – to a huge $60 million mansion in LA which used to belong to Danny DeVito.

The couple had by then decided that they would need to be able to raise their blended family together and so Lopez moved herself and her twins Max and Emme over from Miami. Affleck co-parents Violet, Serafina, and Samuel with Garner.

J Lo’s mom Guadalupe – who loves Ben and always was a great cheerleader of his – lives in, too.

Guadalupe was among the witnesses in Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The other was Chris Appleton, her $2,000 a day hair stylist, who is originally from Leicester, England. He wrote on Instagram: ‘Out of all the events and crazy glams we have had, this definitely was the most special. Congratulations Jen and Ben!’

Their first love affair, from 2002-2004, was the biggest thing in showbusiness at the time, with everything from the $2 million pink diamond engagement ring to the gifted Bentleys making headlines.

Short lived: The singer and rapper Drake enjoyed a short romance in 2016 

The artists dated just for a few months, with many sources alleging the relationship was a publicity stunt 

Jlo began dating Alex Rodriguez in 2017. The former Yankee player seemed head over heels for the singer and proposed in 2019 

The couple did not make it down the aisle after rumors emerged that Alex had been cheating on JLo with a blonde 

The couple met on the set of the flop film Gigli with Affleck observing: ‘She’s the funniest, classiest, most intoxicating woman I have ever known.’

Lopez recruited Affleck to star in the video for her hit song Jenny from the Block in 2002. In it, they were seen canoodling on a yacht with Affleck kissing her famous rear.

They postponed their September 2003 wedding with just four days to go after reaching the point of hiring three decoy brides – blaming media attention. A few months later they split.

Affleck said: ‘For a while, we were flying and everything was beautiful between me and Jen. Then it all fell apart really quickly. You can’t quite understand why it had to be that way and why you couldn’t do anything to prevent it.’

They had trouble deciding whether to live at his house in Georgia or her mansion in Miami, Florida. She was also said to have been furious after he gambled away £450,000 in a night.

AS FOR HIM: After costarring in Pearl Harbor and Daredevil in 2001 and 2003, respectively, Ben and Jennifer Garner confirmed their relationship in 2004

They tied the knot in 2005 and had three children together before splitting in 2015 

Amid the split, rumors emerged that Ben had been having an affair with the couple’s former nanny, Christine Ouzounian

The final straw seems to have been Affleck and pal Damon partying in a Berlin nightclub while Damon was filming The Bourne Supremacy.

They partied until 4.30am on the Sunday before returning to Damon’s apartment with a number of girls. A photographer said: ‘Neighbors said there were about six. It looked like a delivery of girls in an Austin Powers sketch.’

But from the point where they revived their affair, they were ‘obsessed’ with each other. A source told me: ‘Jen is elated and really trusts Ben. From the moment that they got back together she was swearing that they would end up getting married.

‘She genuinely believes that this was a heaven-sent romance, that it was fated to be.’

On one trip last July she had her official photographer take pictures of them so that they could go ‘Insta official’.

Ben and SNL producer Lindsay Shookus dated in 2014 before briefly breaking up and rekindling their romance in 2017. They split in 208

Ana de Armas and Ben enjoyed a years-long romance after meeting during their film, Dep Water. They broke up in 2021

Affleck’s ex-wife Jennifer Garner, pictured yesterday in Los Angeles, is delighted by the romance. ‘Jennifer is very pleased for him. She wants only the best for him and for him to be happy and it’s obvious that he’s in a good place now.’

This is forgiving of Garner, as she and Affleck got married when he was on the rebound from J Lo, and Garner was pregnant. The had three children, Violet Serafina and Samuel, and their long marriage ended messily in 2015.

Affleck had become involved with their children’s nanny, Christine Ouzounian, but Garner said they had been ‘separated for months’ at that point.

Affleck moved on to date SNL producer Lindsay Shookus and a Playboy model. In 2018, Jennifer Garner turned up at his house with a Bible and a lawyer and took him to rehab.

On the way they stopped for a take-out burger which he ate while crying in the back seat.

In an interview Affleck said: ‘People with compulsive behavior, and I am one, have this kind of basic discomfort all the time that they’re trying to make go away.

‘You’re trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But that ends up making your life worse. Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away.

‘Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can’t break. That’s at least what happened to me.’

TRUE LOVE CONQUERS ALL: Sad times and past relationships seem far away now. Ben and JLo are now the most gilded couple.

Bennifer has decided they would need to be able to raise their blended family together and so Lopez moved herself and her twins Max and Emme over from Miami to a huge $60 million mansion in LA which used to belong to Danny DeVito

Meanwhile, Ben co-parents Violet, Serafina, and Samuel with Jennifer Garner

In an interview he said: ‘There’s a lot of alcoholism and mental illness in my family. The legacy of that is quite powerful and sometimes hard to shake.’

His younger brother Casey has struggled with alcoholism, an aunt was a heroin addict and an uncle and grandmother killed themselves.

In October 2019 he suffered a ‘lapse in sobriety’ at a charity ball. He ended up heading off to a casino with a blonde and buying $20,000 worth of poker chips. Apparently he was so drunk he could hardly sit up on his stool.

Those sad times seem far away now. He and J Lo are now the most gilded couple. ‘We’re all in a very beautiful moment,’ she said, adding: ‘I feel so lucky and happy and proud to be with him. It’s a beautiful love story that we got a second chance.’

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By Jon Doe