Friday, June 18, 2010

Creative Ideas for Divorce Parties and Favors

Soon to Be Single Balms
Just last week I wrote about marriage and gave some old and new advice from couples of all ages and through the ages. It might seem inappropriate to talk about divorces and break-ups just after sharing advice about how to have a happy, successful marriage. But when you consider that half of marriages here in the U.S. will end in divorce, it's sensible to consider what you should do if all the advice in the world doesn't help your relationship.

In his article How to Recover From Divorce, Garrett Coan, the Founder and Director of the Center for Creative Counseling, provides a list of "survival strategies" for people going through divorce. Number 20 on his list: "Create a ceremony to acknowledge your divorce."

In Japan, as in much of the world, divorce ceremonies are a new phenomenon. Their events borrow some traditions from the Japanese wedding ceremony, and are concluded with the joint smashing of the wedding ring. In the UK, divorce parties were even planned during the 2010 World Cup (note Cheryl Cole's recent celebration of her split from the Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole).

Divorce Party Favors
Here in the U.S. divorce parties take many forms and are celebrated in venues of all types. In Las Vegas, divorcees can have relaxing spa days, movie-and-popcorn nights, or learn how to pole dance. Other ideas for an entertaining evening out include wine tastings or even drag shows. I've been making favors for divorce parties for several years now, and while I try to offer lots of design and theme ideas for divorce parties, I am always impressed by the theme ideas that my customers come up with. The photos here are some examples of their unique ideas for break-up and divorce parties.

While my original smooch design (see above left) was for weddings, and suggested that the recipient "kiss single life good-bye," the selection of Dirty Bastard lip balm and a quick wording change helped the new divorcée "kiss married life good-bye" and usher in her new life.

Another customer celebrated a "Free at Last" party (above right), with Foxy Lady lip balm favors and a footloose, sexy shoe design.

If you've ever wondered what girls do after their fiancé breaks it off, the answer is: have a party. The favors above were selected especially for a young lady's broken engagement party, thrown for her by her friends. (That's what friends are for!)

The "lemons to lemonade" theme idea (see above) is a great choice for those celebrations that include a diverse group of friends or family from many generations. It really puts a positive spin on the transition, and promises good things to come.

Divorce Party Favors | Kiss Goodbye
When I received the order for the favors at left, though, I just had to laugh. I'm pretty sure there are many divorcées who can relate to this feeling, and plenty of married women who wouldn't blame them!

When I first started helping people to celebrate divorces, I had mixed feelings about it. It felt dishonest, somehow, to support marriage through my work with bridal showers and bachelorette parties, and then work on divorce parties. Was I supporting divorce? Hiroki Terai, Japan's first professional "charisma divorce planner," describes the atmosphere at his divorce ceremonies: "People don’t know how to respond, whether they should clap or stay quiet." There is an awkwardness about this subject that many people experience.

But the more I read about divorce parties and ceremonies, the more I believe that they serve an important purpose in helping the newly divorced to leave that relationship and separation behind. The divorcée has to decide whether—and how—to celebrate the end of her marriage. There are certainly a huge number of theme (and favor!) ideas to choose from to make it a party to remember.

What do you think? Have you gone through a divorce? Did you have some kind of formal celebration of the event? Have you ever been to a divorce party? What do you think of the idea? Please share your thoughts!

2 comments:

  1. I think celebrating a divorce is great. I believe that there is still a negative stigmatism with divorce. For anyone that's been through or going through a divorce knows that it's rough enough going from we or couple status to me or I and single without feeling like your being judged. Plus it lets everyone know that you're okay, and you won't be crying your eyes out if they call. So why not celebrate and have some good products for you to enjoy and share with the one's closet to you.

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  2. Shara, I think you're right: people do still worry about being judged when they're going through the end of a relationship. Just one more good reason to show support for that person (in a more light-hearted way)! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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