Las Vegas is known as the place to go for raging bachelor and bachelorette parties and quickie wedding ceremonies performed by Elvis impersonators. But the new trend in Sin City tourism? Divorce parties!
According to a recent article in USA Today, Vegas party planners are seeing a spike in the number of women and men requesting help to celebrate their un-nuptials and new post-divorce life. According to Glynda Rhodes, who operates the Vegas-based business, The Divorce Party Planner, which she started after her own divorce, “There are so many days you want to stay home and be dark. Now it’s about: What do you want to do with your life?”
As the paper points out, there are a lot of potential people who want to party. As government statistics reveal, just over 2.1 million marriages were performed in 2011 (6.8 marriages per 1,000 people). In the same year, almost half as many divorces took place: 3.6 per 1,000 people, or just over 1 million.
“Divorce parties are gaining in popularity because … there are a lot more divorces these days,” said Warren Berkowitz, product development manager for Forum Novelties, a New York-based divorce party favor maker.
Are you looking to party? Here are some divorce party planning tips for a safe and fun event:
Keep it positive. Sure you can plan a party where guests play “pin the tail on your ex,” but what purpose will this serve? The beauty of a divorce party is that it’s a way for the recently divorced to celebrate their new lives and the ability to move forward. Yes, you can keep it light and humorous, but also try to keep it positive by not making this about your former spouse. This is especially important if the two of you have kids. While a divorce party is typically not something to attend, you won’t want them to inadvertently see the photos of your phone or your Facebook account.
Make fun the centerpiece. Dancing, karaoke, going to Atlantic City for the weekend, or rounding up some friends for a night in NYC or a few days skiing in the mountains (have the party in the lodge apres-ski), are some of the ways to plan a party that’s fun and exciting for everyone.
Keep the guest list non-controversial. When planning a divorce bash, it may be tempting to invite your former sister- or brother-in-law, or a couple the two of you were once close friends with. Before adding these types of folks to the guest list, proceed with caution and consider the potential consequences for drama and awkwardness. In some cases, these people may be closer to you than to your former spouse, but do some careful thinking to make sure you’re not including them as a way to punish or make a point to your ex.
For related fun, check out our post about divorce gifts that are perfect for giving or getting this holiday season and beyond: The Gifts of Divorce – Holiday Shopping Ideas, Too!