That's right – DIVORCE party. A party to celebrate the completion of a divorce. Sound strange? That's what I used to think…until I became a party planner and saw the positive side of this fast-growing trend.
Divorce parties have become a booming addition to the event planning industry in recent years. Of course, some tend to skew to the negative (think – cakes with knives, ex-husband photo dart boards, ex-wife piñatas…). But let me be perfectly clear about the philosophy I share with my clients when planning their divorce party: It's not about fanning the flames of hate. It's not about making a mockery of what was once a central part of your life, or about trashing the ex. Yes, getting divorced is very painful even in the best of circumstances, but it's much more productive to resist those negative impulses and focus instead on the positive aspects of your new life status.
It's important to remember, this whole thing started with love and marriage. I encourage my clients to choose the high road, to celebrate new beginnings with friends, family and fun. Women (or men) who are strong enough to get themselves out of a bad situation, for the sake of themselves and/or for their children, deserve to move on in an affirmative, liberating way. It's okay – even healthy – to feel relief and to look forward to moving on to the next chapter of your life. You just have to give yourself permission!
Says divorce attorney Helen M. Dukhan, co-founder and partner of HD Family Law Group, “My motto is: 'Nothing says a good day like a divorce'...not because I'm being funny, not because the process isn't difficult, long and sometimes super expensive, but because of how my clients feel when it's finalized and they are FREE! They are empowered. That is why I love my job, because I help my clients prepare for the divorce, guide them through it, and then I celebrate with them once it is over and done with."
So…are you ready to open your mind to the idea of a divorce party? Here are 10 great reasons to feel good about your – or your friend's – choice to have one:
Show the world you're fine, you're strong, and you're moving forward.
Embrace new beginnings
This is the first day of the rest of your life. A party is a great way to kick off your new independence and leave the past behind.
Ease a difficult time
After going through a rough time, you deserve to surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people, and let them shower you with love. What could be better than having all your BFFs and loved ones together in the same place – celebrating YOU?
Take a risk
It might feel uncomfortable or unusual at first, but opening yourself up to a new experience will make you feel empowered.
Do something fun
Consider picking a fun theme and bringing it to life with special décor, a fancy cake, and even your own signature cocktail. Whatever works for you. Use your imagination!
Take some amazing photos
According to professional photographer, Celestina Ando, “photos are a great way to feel empowered." You'll have a whole new collection of great pics to look at and remind yourself how much you are loved. (Not to mention sharing them on social media – with you looking fabulous and having the time of your life!)
Open yourself up to meeting new people
Ask your guests to each bring a friend you can meet and expand your horizons. If you're ready, announce to your family and friends that you're open to dating again. You'd be surprised how quickly your network can grow.
Okay, this sounds shallow, but hey, now that your belongings have been split up, you may need stuff.
Express your gratitude
For everyone who has been there for you through thick and thin – lending an ear, offering advice, providing support, being a friend – throw a party to thank them for standing by your side. Everybody wins!
Give yourself a little TLC
Book a pre-party spa or beauty appointment, get glammed up, and wear your favorite outfit or splurge on a new one. Show off the new you, single and ready to take on the world!
Parties are meant to acknowledge life events – whatever we deem those to be. Divorce parties are becoming more and more mainstreamed as a way to acknowledge that phase of life and move on to the next one. Instead of staying lost in the sorrow or bitterness of the past, choose optimism and positivity for the future. Live it up!
Being stared at by strangers is something I have become very accustomed to. Not because I am a beautiful, ethereal being that catches everyone's attention (but I will take it if that's what you're thinking), but in the way that I am a Black woman, a Black person, and people tend to notice my presence. I don't think there is a Black person out there that can deny knowing what it's like to be stared at by a random person.