Planning A Divorce Party: A Celebration of New Beginnings and True Sisterhood
Updated: Jan 31, 2019
PUTTING DIVORCE INTO PERSPECTIVE
According BusinessInsider.com, contrary to popular belief, the U.S. does not have the highest divorce rate (58%). European countries such as Spain, Portugal and Hungary are up 60% while recent data shows Belgium at a staggering 70%. Though studies have shown a trending rise and fall over the last two decades or so, with the U.S. seeing a sharp decline in 2015 of about 25%, divorce is still a very real occurrance in today's society for many reasons. In fact, many of us have been affected by it either directly or indirectly.
Some of you already know pieces of my story. After being separated for over a year, my divorce was officially final and it happened so quickly and swiftly (about 3 months) that I can only say God had a hand in all this.
The day I arrived at the courthouse and heard the clerk say "You are divorced" was by far one of the best days of my life! I am sure many of you have heard the horror stories that come with divorces and because of this, in many ways I had dreaded the experience. Luckily for me however this was not the case.
I must admit, that I did shed a few tears at the thought that this was actually happening. That this was finally over. It was as though the legalities of this so-called marriage although technically over still had some negative hold on me and getting this paper in-hand gave me the closure I needed. As I walked away with certified copies tucked under my arm in a folder labelled "DIVORCE" I felt such relief and in some weird way a sense of empowerment. I had regained my singularity. I was no longer that person's wife and I could finally put this entire ordeal behind me. Can someone say "let freedom ring?!"
Now before going into the details of my celebration aka divorce party, let me first say that choosing to celebrate my divorce in no way means that I am mitigating the sancitity of marriage. In fact, I still believe in the institution of marriage as long as it is healthy and loving.
Also...and I am probably going against the grain here in saying, that divorce is no longer taboo. Gone are the days when the idea of being divorced was seen as a shameful occurence lingering like a dark cloud needing only be mentioned in hushed whispers. Neither is divorce a reflection of failure, but rather an act of liberation. It is a choice that women once felt they did not have for fear of being ostracized or neglected because their livelihood depended on a man. Being able to walk away from a marriage with dignity is your right, especially if the marriage was harming rather than building you.
For me personally my celebration was not just about me. Yes, I wanted to celebrate this new chapter in my life, but most importantly, I wanted to celebrate the women who were rallying around me during this very emotional and challenging period of my life. According to Divorce Coach Karen McMahon, "no matter what is going on you are best served by those who will help you focus on you" and this is exactly the type of support I needed and received from my sister friends.
I am truly blessed to have been surrounded by a group of strong and amazing women. Without their love and support, my ability to push through this ordeal with confidence would not have been possible. In general, women need a tribe. A group of like-minded sisters who they can call on during the good times and the bad without fear of judgement. Also, let's just keep it real. After everything I have been through, this was certainly worth a celebration! So cheers!
PLANNING THE DIVORCE PARTY
Once I decided I was throwing myself a divorce party, first things first was the invite. I wanted to ensure that things were fun and light. So I set the tone with a funny e-vite which I emailed, DM'd, text messaged and whatsapp'd to all my girls. I used the canva platform to create this invitation with inpsiration from a few divorce e-vites I had seen online. zazzle.com is a great resource for hard copy invitations of all types especially if you feel like getting real fancy and actually sending invites in the mail.
Though this celebration was definitely about getting turned up, more importantly the focus was on making my girls laugh, have fun and feel special. So you can imagine the importance of choosing the right venue. I wanted a place with great food and drinks and spacious enough for a group of at least ten girls to have a sit down dinner in great ambience. We definitely found the perfect combination at Row House located at 116th St and Frederick Douglas Blvd in Harlem. The restaurant has a rustic, old Harlem vibe to it that was well...kinda cool.
Our waiter was amazing. Very attentive and so sweet. The music was on point. Not too loud so we couldn't conversate and just loud enough to have us bumping a few times. They DJ actually played great music all night. The crowd was a mix of fashionable and mature and the seating arrangements were comfortable and far from cramped. The highlight of the evening was definitely the cocktail menu which included my favorite El Diablo and You're So Vain. They also had a great wine list. If you are ever in Harlem or simply looking for a cozy yet chic evening out with friends Row House is definitely worth checking out!
As a sweet treat for the end of the night I had custom ordered cupcakes from Bella Latina Cakes. All in red velvet (my faaaav!) I found cute, funny cupcake toppers on etsy with phrases like "I am no longer with stupid" and "who needs a man when you can have a martini" and added them as a cute and funny final touch.
These cupcakes were definitely a hit with my girls who took tons of photos. (A very instagrammable moment if I do say so myself!).
To really add a festive flair to the celebration and add some more laughs, I ordered a sash with matching sunglasses from amazon with ,"Just Divorced" printed in big and bold. ( you couldn't miss me! lol) The accesories were even a hit with the staff and we all got some good laughs out of it. (That was the whole idea!)
I ended the night by gifting each of my girls with cute and classy diamond crystal ballpoint pens which I also found on amazon. I then added specially worded tags which said "I Love You Sister! Sher 10.8.18" which I had custom made on my go-to site for all things favors at www.beau-coup.com . It was my hope that they would serve as keepsakes and was a special way to end a perfect girls night and divorce party.
At the end of it all, I want to leave words of love and encouragement to any woman who is out there feeling trapped in an abusive or toxic marriage or relationship.You deserve to be happy! CHOOSE YOU!
To my "sister friends". Although they were all not able to join me, I am taking this time to personally and publically say "thank you!" for being there for me, for rallying around me, for being a pillar of support, for being a confidant, giving me a shoulder to cry on, listening to me vent, giving me advice, praying for me and picking me up from the hospital after giving birth lol. Words can't express how much I love you!!!
Have you celebrated a divorce or any unusal occasion? Share some of your own tips in the comments section below.