Coming to terms with divorce
It appears that divorce party balloons and some comforting chocolates or token teddy bears aren’t enough for some people. If you read the gossip mags you could be forgiven for thinking that no celebrity marriage is complete without a celebrity divorce party! Apparently Katie Price had one, so did Heather Mills and you can even set up Divorce Gift Lists at certain major department stores.
It’s a trend that started in America, and I have to confess, when I first heard about divorce parties I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s day. I mean, who would want to celebrate a failed marriage?
But then I read more about the subject and, leaving the celebrities aside, realised that divorce parties really can help some people move on from a traumatic time in their lives.
Celebrate your future
Of course there are people who use divorce parties to vilify their ex-husband/wife (delete as appropriate) and there is now a growing market for divorce cakes, often depicting one half of the ex-couple bringing about the demise of the other (knives, red icing and toppling cake tiers appear to feature prominently). Yet, for many, divorce parties are less about regretting a failed past and more about celebrating a new start and the future.
Having no doubt been devastated by the break-up (no matter who initiated it) and experienced months or even years of turmoil as you grind your way through the necessary legal process, some people are ready for the emotional release that a divorce party can bring. It almost acts as a rite of passage out of the dark days of divorce and into the lighter times ahead.
Throwing a divorce party – ideas, decorations and gifts
The first decision is where to throw your divorce party. Just like stag and hen parties, divorce parties are going continental with some travel companies offering divorce party packages abroad.
But for many, a relatively quiet gathering with family and friends at home or at a local pub or restaurant is enough. How you decorate the venue is up to you and depends on how lively or low-key you want the event to be. Yet, in our opinion, for any divorce party there are three absolute essentials:
- Colourful divorce balloons or glow in the dark illoom balloons to liven up the atmosphere – they can be filled with air or helium, using disposable helium canisters
- Your favourite tipple (alcoholic or not – the choice is yours)
- And a big box of tissues!
Who do you invite?
We’d suggest inviting friends and family that have been there to support you throughout the ordeal. It’s a way to thank them for being there for you when you needed them most. It’s also wise to invite people who make you feel good about yourself.
Some couples who’ve enjoyed an amicable split arrange to throw a joint divorce party, which may come as a surprise to many. Although they’ve realised they’re not made for each other, a joint divorce party can be used as an opportunity to celebrate the love and life they once shared. While this may be suitable for only a fraction of divorced couples, it’s also a great way to show publicly that there’s no animosity or need for family and friends to take sides.
Gifts or no gifts
This has to be a personal choice, and bear in mind how your friends might feel about being presented with a divorce gift list. But on the other hand, if you suddenly find yourself in a new home with only half the household goods you had before, divorce gifts could come in very useful!
If one of your friends has just divorced you might want to mark the occasion with a small gift to show your support. A teddy bear to keep them company or some chocolates sent directly to their home or work will be ideal to show your support. Willow Tree figures, that convey a message of love and hope and speak in quiet ways to heal, comfort, protect and inspire are also popular.
Throwing a divorce party for a friend
Throwing a divorce party for a friend who has been shattered by his or her experience needs to be handled very sensitively. It’s wise not to invite every available man/woman in your address book – a divorce party should be about celebrating a turning point in life, not a hunt for the next relationship.
Whatever you do, don’t forget the three essentials we mentioned earlier – party balloons to brighten up the occasion, the divorcee’s favourite tipple and a big box of tissues!