By Gerri Elder
A new business opportunity for party planners has really caught on not only in the United States but also around the world. While some people may be happy drowning their sorrows after a divorce or keep themselves busy by reorganizing their finances, others are ready to celebrate their new freedom as soon as the ink dries on the divorce decree.
Divorce parties are now commonplace with many social organizers catering to the occasion. Every detail is planned out from the size and theme of the divorce party, the style of the invitations, the place to throw the party, games and activities themed around divorce and of course the refreshments to toast becoming a free agent. Some people even opt to include gift registries to replace items lost in the divorce. Party planners report that there has been a surge in the number of people throwing divorce parties in recent years.
Some celebrities have even thrown divorce parties to celebrate the event. People magazine reports that Shanna Moakler recently threw a divorce party when her divorce from Travis Barker was finalized. Moakler's divorce party featured a three-tier cake with a blonde bride on the top holding a bloody knife, with the remains of a groom at the bottom.
Divorce parties are upbeat occasions with planned activities such as the burning of the marriage certificate as a rite of passage, toasts to the start of a new life and games such as "pin the blame on the ex" and "throw the wedding ring in the toilet." They are not intended to lament about failed marriages or demean the ex-spouse.
Party planners report that more women than men are planning divorce parties, and in some cases the ex-spouses opt to throw the party together so that mutual friends don't have to take sides. It is generally considered in poor taste to invite the children of the divorced couple, even if they are adults.
For the newly divorced who do not want to go the route of a party planner, a book titled "How to Throw a Divorce or Breakup Party" by Christine Gallagher has been published to help out. Thousands of copies of the book have already been sold.
While fans and planners of divorce parties say that the whole idea is to create a lighthearted way to get closure after a divorce, the concept still doesn't sit well with everyone. In the United States and most other countries, there is no longer a sense of shame or any stigma surrounding divorce but many people still find it an incredibly difficult and painful time of their lives and see no point in celebrating it.
In an ABC news report, a marriage therapist was recently asked her opinion on the concept of divorce celebrations. Helen Rudinsky said that most people at some point after divorce would find a time to celebrate and let go of the past. Whether it is in the form of a divorce party or simply a private feeling of release, there comes a time after every divorce that the person is ready to stop grieving the loss of the relationship and is ready to go forward.