A US woman who spent years trying to divorce her husband has thrown herself a fancy divorce party to celebrate the end of her marriage.
Catherine Navarro, 34, from New Jersey, was just 20 when she married Marc on Friday 13 May 2005.
The couple had a bit of a whirlwind engagement, with them only deciding to get hitched just one week before saying ‘I do’.
Their family and friends all pulled together to get the ‘last minute’ nuptials organised and they were wed at City Hall in New York City.
However, it wasn’t to be for the couple and Catherine filed for divorce in 2012, hoping to escape the ‘toxic’ marriage, but Marc refused.
He then disappeared and Catherine had to prove to the court that she had searched for her husband before they would grant a divorce in his absence.
Finally, on 18 March 2019 she was given the divorce and decided to throw a ‘divorce party’ with the help of her pals.
Marc and I decided to get married at my cousin’s reception a week prior,” said Catherine.
Honestly, I thought he was joking at first because we’d been drinking and were on a dance floor in 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 centre with my mum, where I found a stunning white silk dress for just £80
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.
I realised 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.
When things fell apart again, the road to the final divorce was quite the journey. 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.
Once proving that she had tried – and failed – to find Marc she was finally granted the divorce.
To celebrate, Catherine invited around 30 people to a party where they could tuck into cupcakes with ‘boy, bye’ on them as well as a larger cake with ‘straight out of marriage’ written across.
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,” said Catherine.
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 finalised 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 back-drop. Of course, we also had loads of festive props, and my favourite 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.