By Rachel McRady‍, ETOnline.com.

Jennifer Garner decided to celebrate a major milestone in a big way. The actress opens up in her new cover story for Town & Country about the big blowout birthday party she threw for herself in the spring in honor of her 50th birthday.

“I basically had a wedding for myself,” she tells the magazine, laughing. “I was so shocked that I was doing it.”

While the lavish party might have been out of Garner’s wheelhouse, she did take the opportunity to get her guest’s help with a good cause.

The T&C interviewer writes that Garner asked her guests to fill 5,000 backpacks with enough food to feed a family of four for a program called Blessings In a Backpack.

“I put everyone to work,” she says.

The “Alias” star also talks about being labeled as “nice” in Hollywood, sharing that the adjective doesn’t bother her.

“I have no reason not to be nice. My life is lovely,” she says simply.

But that’s not all Garner considers herself to be.

“I’m not always just nice. I can also be salty, and I can be taciturn, or I can be really serious about what I want to get done,” she explains. “It’s not that I feel I’m underestimated in that way—I’m not afraid to stand up for myself and say, ‘Just so you know, this isn’t going to fly with me.’ When that happens, I don’t want you to be shocked that I’m a real person.”

While Garner had a faux-wedding for herself, her ex-husband, Ben Affleck, tied the knot with Jennifer Lopez back in Las Vegas in July and then had an elaborate ceremony in Georgia in August.

At the time, a source told ET, “[Jennifer’s ex-husband] Marc Anthony and Jen Garner have been supportive” of the pair’s union, adding that there’s been “no bad blood or hard feelings as of late.”

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Ellen Bullock