Turns out, divorce parties are a thing. Men and women have started throwing parties to celebrate the finalization of their divorces, with many feeling like since they got to throw a big party to celebrate getting married, why not throw one when it all falls apart?
Some couples throw them together, which is nice to see they’re separating amicably, but most throw them separately, which seems to make more sense. It took this one woman 7 years to be granted a divorce, so certainly seems like a little celebration would be in order…
What’s The Point?
So what exactly is a divorce party? It’s pretty self-explanatory: people throw parties to celebrate their divorce. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Pinterest is brimming with ideas for your divorce party, from candy bars to celebrate your ‘sweet ending’ to cakes with slogans like “May Divorce Be With You.” You won’t be short of suggestions.
Women have flocked to Instagram as well to post photos from their parties, featuring shirts for their former bridesmaids that say “Straight Outta Marriage” or “She’s Not With Stupid Anymore.” The possibilities are endless. The point is, you’re no longer married and you’re happy about it!
From ‘I Do’ To ‘I Don’t’
After 24 years of marriage, California couple Jeff Becerra and Michelle Mahoney decided to divorce amicably, and their daughter Emma took to Twitter to show everyone what they meant by amicably.
Becerra and Mahoney decided in order to celebrate their divorce they would throw a party, which reportedly took them two months of planning. Emma shared photos of the bash on Twitter which has now been retweeted nearly 50,000 times.
The reason for their split, the couple has said in multiple interviews, is “we just did a lot of self-examination and realized we had fallen out of love.”
Mahoney said in an interview with Good Morning America that they thought the party would “make people a little uncomfortable, but it will be fun” and that she hoped the party might make the situation less awkward for their friends and family in the long run.
Happily Never After
The party featured balloons celebrating their divorce, as well as photos they had taken together for the occasion. They also had magic potions printed up with their pictures on it, which were for tolerance, humor, romance, and spontaneity, to “give to someone who needs it.”
Refrigerator magnets, mugs, and pens were all printed up as well with the couples “Just Divorced” photo on it for the event they called “Happily Never After.”
Divorce After Disappearance
In 2012, Catherine Navarro’s husband at the time disappeared completely after she filed for a divorce that he had refused prior. Catherine hasn’t heard from him since his disappearance, nor have any of her friends or family.
In order to get a divorce in his absence, 34-year-old Catherine had to prove to the court that she had thoroughly searched for him, which took years. Finally, after 7 years, she was granted the divorce, so she decided she deserved a party to celebrate!
Why Throw A Party?
Navarro and her ex-husband had a small, last-minute wedding originally, so for the New Jersey resident, this was her big day. She said the relationship started off strong but quickly she realized the marriage was “full of secrets” and that led to her filing for divorce.
Catherine said in an interview, “it had been years in the making but the day I finally got divorced, I decided it was time to celebrate with an incredible party for my new beginning.”
The Big Day
Navarro had about 30 friends in attendance to celebrate the big day with her along with some family members. Catherine’s party featured a cake decorated with “Straight Outta Marriage” as well as cupcakes with slogans like “boy, bye” and “I Aint Sorry” on them.
The party also had decorations such as a banner that read “we didn’t like him anyway,” balloons spelling out “Happily Divorced,” and a photo booth with props like little signs that read “support crew.”
Advice To Anyone Considering It
Surrounded by friends and family who had originally attended the wedding and were now there to support her through this, the night turned out just as Navarro had hoped. Catherine recommends that anyone going through a divorce should celebrate with a party once your split is finalized.
Catherine’s final advice is, “life’s too short to be in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy. So don’t dwell on the past, instead accept the lessons that every experience provides.”
36-year-old Nicole Niesner from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada was married for 13 years, and after receiving a letter about the date her divorce would be finalized, she started thinking about how she wanted to commemorate the day.
Niesner said she had three choices on what to do with the day, “live it like every other day, cry and be miserable all day, or celebrate a new beginning, a second chance. I decided I wanted to celebrate and acknowledge the day.” So how do you celebrate?
Making The Decision
She said in an interview that, “I did a little ‘Pinteresting’ and ‘Googling’ and I said, ‘I should have a divorce party.” After discussing it, one of Nicole’s friends said, “you know what, I am going to take care of it, just be home at 6:30.” Suddenly, she was having a divorce party.
The day of the party arrived and many of Nicole’s friends began to show up for the event with an unexpected party favor: their wedding dresses.
Guests Arrive… With Wedding Dresses?
Niesner said all her friends had shown up with wedding dresses, so she rushed down to her basement to get hers and everyone got dressed up. Nicole emphasized that “even though I am okay with being divorced, [the party] just lifted me up and reminded me that I am loved and that I have lots of great people in my life.”
Along with their wedding dresses, most of Niesner’s friends also showed up with a bottle or two of wine, an essential for any party.
Promoting Friendship Not Divorce
The point of this event was not to celebrate her divorce and the ending of her marriage, but rather, to celebrate all the support and friendship she had in her life regardless of her marriage.
In an interview with CTVNews Regina, Nicole emphasized that “nobody likes divorce. I don’t want to sensationalize it. I’m not promoting divorce, I’m promoting friendship and just being able to come together and celebrate instead of looking at the negative side.”
Celebrating New Beginnings And True Sisterhood
New York City-based Shermain Jeremy, who writes the blog 4MomsLikeMe, chose to have a divorce celebration to represent that she was “ready to be happy again” after what she described as a “challenging marriage.”
Jeremy said in an interview that she “Went through so much, and so much happened, so it was as much a celebration for me as it was about honoring the women in my life who were supportive of me during a really difficult time.”
Taboo No More
Shermain also talked about the cultural significance of the event for her. She said in an interview with Glamour, “I’m West Indian, and it’s very taboo to talk about divorce. You’re supposed to sweep it under the rug…. Most people don’t expect someone to celebrate a divorce, but I couldn’t wait to be divorced. I just wanted to be unattached and put this ordeal behind me. That’s why the party meant so much to me— because I’m ready to be happy again.”
For her party, Jeremy chose a more low-key approach than others have for their divorce parties…
I Do I Did I’m Done
Shermain wrote about the experience on her blog, talking about how important choosing the right venue was to her, because “the focus was on making my girls laugh, have fun and feel special.”
She sent out invitations to 10 of her friends that read “I Do. I Did. I’m Done. Join me for cocktails to celebrate the next chapter of my life. It’s never too late to live happily ever after” along with details of the event. Next up? The partying.
Free As A Bird
The restaurant Shermain picked had featured cocktails with names like “You’re So Vain” and “Aggressive Negotiations” which she thought was fitting. For dessert, she brought in red velvet cupcakes with toppers that read “Who needs a man when you have a martini!” “Kissing the marriage goodbye” and “Free As A Bird” to name a few.
Shermain, a former pageant queen, also had a sash printed up that read “Just Divorced” which she wore for the night.
Is Having A Divorce Party The Right Move For You?
There’s a number of things you should consider before you throw yourself a massive “I’m finally free from my spouse” bash. One major thing divorce party planners (yes that’s an official career now) emphasize is if you’re a parent, consider how this would affect your children.
Not all kids will be okay with one of their parents throwing a big party for the sole reason of celebrating that they’re no longer married to the other parent of their children.
Other Things To Consider While Party Planning
Other things to consider are who to invite to your party and what type of party is right for you. If you’ve been married for 25 years and are now in your forties or fifties, maybe recreating The Hangover in Las Vegas with your girlfriends isn’t the kind of party you want. But if you do want to, that’s okay too!
Choosing your guests carefully is important as well. Not everyone will be okay with partying it up in celebration of your divorce so choose wisely. Consider keeping it to a smaller group of your closest friends.
The Cost Of A Divorce Party
According to Christina Gallagher, author of The Divorce Party Handbook and professional divorce party planner since 2013, people can spend anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000 on an event like this.
Gallagher believes the parties are important because “all of our big life transitions – birth, marriage, death – have a ceremony or ritual. Until recently, there’s been nothing for divorce. But it’s the time when people need the community the most.”
A Hole In One
Gallagher runs her business out of LA and says her services are so in demand that she can only manage to take on one or two clients a month.
One memorable party she planned was after a client found out her husband was cheating. He would claim he was going golfing every day, so they had a golf theme party. Everyone dressed in golf attire, they roasted food on golf clubs and swung at balls with the client’s ex-husband’s name on it. Maybe a little petty but the customer is always right, right?