A 34-year-old woman threw herself a divorce party with champagne, balloons and ‘boy, bye’ cakes after getting a divorce from her husband of 15 years.
Area manager Catherine Navarro, from New Jersey, married her first love, Marc, in May 2005. She decided to marry him at the last-minute just one week before the wedding.
‘Marc and I decided to get married at my cousin’s reception a week prior,’ Catherine said.
‘Honestly, I thought he was joking at first because we’d been drinking and were on a dance floor at that moment, but a few days later he followed up about my dress and flowers.’
‘I immediately called my best friends – who all attended my divorce party – before heading straight to the shopping center with my mum. I ordered a two-tier white cake with lilies on the side. As I’m always multitasking, I ordered it while getting my nails done and instructing my best friend to pick up lights and decorations that would ultimately set the mood for a reception in my parents’ living room.’
‘On the day, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect, it was an absolutely gorgeous day for a ceremony at City Hall in New York City. Witnesses included my best friends, my bridesmaids, and of course, my mum.’
‘Afterwards, we all drove back to New Jersey for an intimate gathering at my family’s house. It was a simple affair that came together perfectly in such a short time-frame.’
‘I realized not long into the marriage that I didn’t know him at all and there were too many secrets.
The first divorce proceeding started approximately seven years ago, and lawyers were involved, but he refused to agree to the terms.’
‘So, it goes in blind love, I eventually gave up on the idea and instead vowed to continue working on our marriage. Ultimately, we separated and during that time, which spanned nearly a decade, I tried to file for divorce multiple times, but he refused to sign the papers.’
Marc disappeared without giving her a divorce and Catherine had to prove her husband went missing before the court could grant her a divorce. She spent her 15 years trying to file for divorce from her husband.
‘Marc vanished off the face of the planet and I didn’t hear from him or have any idea where he was.’
‘When this sort of thing happens, when you can’t find your husband anywhere, and desperately want to cut legal ties, there’s an option to file for divorce in their absence – but you have to prove you’ve looked everywhere.’
Finally, she was granted a divorce in March 2019 after trying for 15 years.
‘It had been years in the making, but the day I finally got divorced, my closest friends, who’d seen me through this whole journey, and I decided it was time to manifest the occasion with an incredible party that would celebrate my new beginning,’ Catherine said.
‘I was so excited to finally have my maiden name back and be rid of him. It made me so happy. As soon as it was finalized I felt like I was 20 again and had a new chance at love.’
‘Party highlights included a decadent cake which had ‘straight out of marriage’ written on it, surrounded by happy photos of me when I was single. We had cupcakes with custom made toppers that had cheeky phrases on them, such as ‘boy, bye’.
‘The balloons said, ‘happily divorced’ and there was a cinematic ‘finally divorced’ sign which served as the photo backdrop.
Of course, we also had loads of festive props, and my favorite was a sign which read ‘we didn’t like him anyway’ because my friends didn’t.’
‘Party food was simple, composing of light bites, a meat and cheese platter, fruit and chicken wings. We ate, laughed and danced the night away. It was fantastic.’
‘I’d definitely recommend a divorce party to anyone else if it’s a happy occasion which brings joy, rather than drudging up old memories.’
‘Everything happens for a reason, and for me, in the end, it all happened for the best. Don’t dwell on the past and instead accept the lessons that every experience provides.’
‘Life is too short to be in a relationship which doesn’t make you happy – lawfully or not,’ she said.