Photo courtesy of Bricks and Stones
What was once considered a time of sadness or even embarrassment, some celebrities are choosing a more upbeat approach, rejoicing with friends and even holding “divorce parties” to celebrate new beginnings. A guide to divorce in 2006:
Learn from the Best
Shanna Moakler, Former Meet the Barkers star and Dancing With the Stars contestant, increased awareness of such parties when she held one, complete with a three-layer cake featuring a knife-wielding bride and bloodied groom, earlier this month at the Bellagio’s Light Nightclub in Las Vegas. “I’ve been to past friends’ divorce parties so I’m not the first person (to have one),” she told PEOPLE. “I’m not groundbreaking or anything. I’m really doing it for myself to have closure and celebrate being single again and start a new chapter in my life.”
Hire a Party Planner
But apparently divorce parties are not just for celebs anymore. Christine Gallagher, author of The Woman’s Book of Divorce and divorce party planner, says increased interest in divorce parties is based in part on a need for companionship during crisis.
“For most major life events we have some sort of ritual or ceremony or gathering to help us through it,” Gallagher said. “With divorce, people are kind of on their own. It can be really depressing. A divorce party can be a very primitive way to gather around and help the person through what is a horrible time.” According to Gallagher, parties can range from small gatherings on the day the divorce is final to raucous events featuring playlists with songs like I Will Survive and signature drinks like “marriage on the rocks.” “I’ve heard of people spending as much as they did on their wedding,” Gallagher said.
Rent a Hearse
Peggy Savant, the owner of Party Hearse which offers “eternally memorable” hearse rentals, has also been surprised by the inquiries for divorce-party transportation. One of her client’s, Ed, is already preparing for his upcoming divorce. “It’s kind of the death of this marriage, the death of this part of my life,” said Ed, asking that his last name not be used to prevent his children from learning about the party. “I’m somewhat conflicted, because it’s not something to be happy about. It’s an event in somebody’s life, but at the same time it’s something that’s happened and you make the best of it. It’s a new start.”
Gallagher said she often hears from critics who are angered by the concept of divorce parties. She said that while the parties are not for everyone, they can be helpful for people in need of closure.