"You May Now Diss the Bride":
How NOT to Plan a Divorce Ceremony

by Jennifer Cram (02/09/2019)  |  Categories:  | Divorce Ceremonies |
Wedding Ring framing dictionary definition of
                  divorceNote: I wrote this article back in 2008. It was published on Ezine.

Celebrate your divorce? Three little words that conjure a picture of a drunken party, sometimes for one, held over the piece of paper that came through the mail. Doesn't seem enough when compared with the pomp and ceremony with which the marriage began.

Particularly for women, a divorce is seen by our society as a sign of failure, and the way to deal with it a celebration of all that was negative in the relationship as a justification for that failure.

But most relationships were not all bad. There were good reasons why you fell in love and formed a couple in the first place. And, particularly where you have children, there are just as many good reasons why acknowledging the positive in the relationship and releasing each other with respect, if not affection, can be a very positive step towards reclaiming your futures as a single people.

Actions to avoid


When brainstorming a divorce ceremony the most likely first suggestions will  include:
  • Reversing the vows
  • Burning the marriage certificate
  • Giving back the rings
  • Some sort of burial of symbols representing the spouse or the marriage
All possibly delivered  with an unhealthy dose of anger and  bitterness, some blaming and an underlying contempt not just for the partner but for the self.

While such a ceremony may feel cathartic in the short term, in the long term it will not promote acceptance or pave the way for the future for either of you  as independent and whole persons. And generally the one thing missing from what will look and feel like a hen or bucks party in reverse are the children.

Creating a positive ceremony


A positive ceremony, mindfully created with the assistance of a skilled officiant/celebrant, can, on the other hand be an incredibly healing event. So, when planning a divorce ceremony I focus on
  • acknowledging the past, and what was good about it (after all you did fall in love and become a couple for very positive and valid reasons)
  • formally releasing one another other and yourselves from the relationship in a positive way
  • acknowledging all of those, present or not, who supported you in your relationship and now support you in this new phase of your life
  • declaring your independence, taking back your name if you choose to do that, and giving yourself permission to move into the future
  • committing to your children and reassure them that the breakdown of the relationship was not their fault

Retaining and preserving legal documents


One thing I would strongly counsel against is destroying your  marriage certificate. It is a legal document that you may need at some time in the future. File it along with all the other important papers that mark the various milestones of your life. In fact, do that as part of the ceremony. Choose a folder in a colour that speaks to you, and put the certificate into it as a record of a significant period in your life.

Then step forward into the future with hope and your head held high, knowing that you have no reason to "diss the bride".
Jenny xxx Let's talk soon about how you can
                  have the best ceremony ever