A pal tells PEOPLE that the engaged couple will avoid the spotlight when they tie the knot

By Brenda RodriguezAnne Driscoll and Chris Gardner
Updated April 28, 2005 01:00 PM

Ben Affleck’s relationship with Jennifer Garner lacks the bada-bling that characterized his ill-fated romance with Jennifer Lopez – but that’s just the way the newly engaged Affleck and Garner like it, PEOPLE reports in its latest issue.

“He’s very happy,” says an Affleck friend. “Jennifer is very down-to-earth, much more like him. They’re more like-minded. That wasn’t true (with Lopez).” Meaning less is more. On Valentine’s Day, for example, Garner gave a gift money can’t buy – serenading Affleck with two love songs.

Affleck, 32, and Garner, 33, first met while filming 2003’s Daredevil, and began dating last summer. Nine months later he proposed, much to the delight of Garner – and her parents. “They had their fingers crossed,” says a Garner friend. “They really love Ben.”

Garner now wears a simple ring – though no one is saying if it is an engagement ring. But don’t expect any wedding plans to be revealed. “This is going to be a very secret wedding,” says a friend of the couple’s. “They (don’t) want to create another whole frenzy.”

As for their day-to-day life, there’s no telling what local hot spot they’ll visit first: the grocery store, Starbucks, Blockbuster. Sometimes, as on April 23, they’ll even pile into Affleck’s pickup truck and drive two miles from Garner’s Brentwood home to his nearby pad.

“They have a very good relationship,” a source tells PEOPLE. “They are so comfortable with each other.”