Only five months after she celebrated her wedding to Lee Ferry Charlie Penna threw another big party — but this time the groom definitely wasn’t invited.
Charlie, 26, held a divorce party to help her get over the end of the marriage, inviting all her friends along to the bash, which was decorated with “divorce balloons”. She even dressed for the occasion in a T-shirt with “I ain’t no wifey” printed across the front.
Charlie and Lee were together for nine years before getting wed but things quickly started to deteriorate shortly after they tied the knot. After Charlie accused Lee of cheating on her he ended the relationship and moved in with another woman three weeks later.
But Charlie was determined not to spend her time grieving and kept busy organising a divorce party on what would have been their first wedding anniversary.
“I wanted to celebrate being a stronger woman, instead of wallowing,” Charlie told the Daily Mail. “I was devastated when Lee broke up with me but I had so much fun at my party — dancing with my friends and enjoying being single.”
More: Why your divorce party might hurt your kids
The divorce party is a trend that began in the U.S. and has been growing in popularity over the last few years, with party planners taking advantage of the demand with divorce party cakes, decorations and games (such as Put the Garter Back On and Trash the Dress Paintball). A divorce party “will help you to look forward to the future, put the past where it belongs and mark the end of [an] era in style, with a view towards all of the new and exciting possibilities ahead!” says online retailer PartyPacks.co.uk.
As an alternative to the girls-night-out, no-men-allowed divorce party, couples splitting up amicably (yes, it can be done) might want to celebrate the occasion together. This is exactly what White Stripes frontman Jack White and his model wife Karen Elson did in 2011, throwing a joint party to honour both their sixth wedding anniversary and their upcoming divorce and to reaffirm their “friendship and celebrate the past and future with close friends and family.”
According to the invitation sent out to their close family and friends, the party was to include “dancing, photos, memories and drinks with alcohol in them.” Sounds like a damn fine party, divorce or not.
However, no amount of partying can take away from the fact that divorce is often an incredibly painful experience. Is the end of a marriage really cause for celebration?
According to Charlie — absolutely. In fact, she had so much fun, she’s planning to throw a second one next month when her divorce is finalised. “I’ve hired a hot tub and will be having a prosecco party with my friends and family. I feel so much stronger now and might celebrate the anniversary of my divorce every year.”