It’s a bit of a cliché, but while divorce may be the end of one chapter in your life, it’s also the start of a new chapter, a different way of living. For some, divorce can come as devastating news out of the blue, followed by a difficult time for all concerned. However, for others, their divorce can be liberating, exciting, and a chance to start afresh.
In the USA, there is a rising trend for divorce parties, celebrating the separation in a positive way. Often these parties involve some sort of symbolic gesture or event. Glynda Rhodes, a self-styled ‘divorce party planner’ based in Las Vegas, tailors each party and symbolic acts to the requirements of the clients:
“The parties are never the same ... burn the dress, let the wedding ring go with balloons. We have made foam board targets of the X to be shot up with paintball guns. We have taken the wedding song they walked down the aisle to and recorded it backwards as she walked down the stairs to greet her guests.”
Often, parties are themed around key elements of the break-up, a popular choice being a “Survivor” theme with the venue decorated like a desert island - but with lobster to eat. Others have taken to celebrating with a sky dive, so they literally can dive back into being single. For others, it’s more about sharing the moment with friends - one Florida bakery makes three or four divorce cakes a month.
While we wouldn’t expect the majority of our clients to want a divorce party, it appears that these parties do allow divorcees to make a statement that their life has moved forward. The divorce party and associated activities provide a memorable, fixed moment for the end of a marriage, and possibly with better associated memories afterwards than the granting of a divorce in court or the arrival of paperwork in the post.
We’re not sure the trend will take off here in the UK in the same way as it has in the US. If you want to celebrate your divorce, it’s worth considering the impact on others, as to how it might affect relationships with mutual friends, family, and your children. Equally, an overt celebration might affect relations with your ex-spouse, which might make child care relationships just a little more fraught. On the other hand, if it doesn’t hurt anyone and gives you the opportunity to end one chapter and begin another, we say, why not. And if you do have a party, please send us a slice of cake!