Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez married (again) Saturday at Affleck’s Georgia estate, and while most eyes were focused on Lopez’s wedding dress and the couple’s famous guests, fans are also raising questions about the venue.
The Hollywood stars wed at the “Deep Water” actor’s 87-acre compound outside of Savannah in an elaborate ceremony. With many A-list guests and a strict all-white dress code, the two celebrated their second wedding following theirfirst surprise wedding in Las Vegas. As fans shared excitement for their revived love, others critiqued Affleck for having the festivities in a “plantation-style” home.
Where did Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck get married?
Affleck’s compound, according to Architectural Digest, contains three separate homes, including the 10,000 square foot “Oyster House,” a “Summer House,” and the Greek revival-style home which is dubbed “The Big House.” Designed by Historical Concepts Architectural group, Affleck’s “Big House” was inspired by “nineteenth-century Greek Revival homes of the Natchez Trace.” The Natchez Trace is a forest corridor that connects middle Tennessee to lower Mississippi and crosses through Alabama. Affleck originally bought the estate in 2003 and put it on the market in 2018, increasing public interest of the property. ‘Best night of our lives’:Jennifer Lopez shares details from Vegas wedding ceremony to Ben Affleck
Facing the North Newport River, Affleck’s estate sits on Hampton Island, which served as land for rice and cotton plantations, according to an overview of the property. In 2018, the Wall Street Journal described the residence as a “plantation-style compound” and interviewed listing agent Dicky Mopper for details of the property valued at $8.9 million dollars when Affleck put it on the market. “Every detail is historically correct, from the plaster moldings to the hearts of pine floors,” Mopper said at the time. USA TODAY reached out to listing company Engel & Völkers Americas for more information.
Why is JLo and Ben Affleck’s wedding venue causing controversy?
Critics on social media called out Affleck for getting married in a “plantation-style” home. “Lovely that Ben Affleck’s plantation-style home was built with ‘historically accurate details,'” writer and journalist Monisha Rajesh wrote. “Does that mean it’s also got coded graves of his ancestors’ slaves as well? Curious.”
Another user tweeted: “Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck getting married at a plantation when any Dunkin in New England,” the coffee chain Affleck is known to frequent, “would’ve hosted the wedding free of charge?” Affleck’s estate isn’t actually a plantation home, despite its location history and Greek revival design, which is often associated with plantation homes. Weddings at plantation venues can sometimes represent a cognitive dissonance between the history of the southern plantation and the desire for a large, spacious venue in the South.
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds faced backlash for having their 2012 wedding celebration on an actual plantation in South Carolina. “What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy,” Reynolds said in a 2020 interview with Fast Company.
Affleck faced backlash for hiding enslaving ancestry in 2015
Affleck has previously come under fire for his connection to the Antebellum South after the actor pushed to ensure his ancestor, who enslaved people, was not featured on the PBS documentary series “Finding Your Roots” in 2015. Leaked emails between host Henry Louis Gates and then-Sony chief executive Michael Lynton were published on WikiLeaks, revealing that Affleck asked to edit portions of his episode out, according to The Associated Press.
Affleck’s episode on the documentary series didn’t release any information about his enslaving ancestor. The edit caused the show’s third season to be delayed to review the show’s editorial standards. “We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery,” Affleck said in a statement in April 2015 when the email exchange was first leaked.