By Alyce Collins
AFTER a week-long engagement and an impulsive wedding, this woman spent FIFTEEN YEARS trying to file for divorce from her husband, and when she finally became a divorcee, she hosted a DIVORCE PARTY, complete with cakes and balloons reading ‘happily divorced’.
Area manager Catherine Navarro (34) from New Jersey, USA, was just 20 years old when she married her first love, Marc, on May 13, 2005, which, fittingly, was Friday the thirteenth.
The wedding was a very last-minute decision only the week before the event itself. At first, Catherine thought Marc was joking when he suggested they tie the knot while at another friend’s wedding. However, Catherine managed to pool together her friends and family to organise a last-minute wedding.
Catherine and Marc’s wedding ceremony was at City Hall in New York City with witnesses including Catherine’s friends and her mum. Following the official ceremony, the wedding party drove back to New Jersey for an intimate party at Catherine’s parents’ house.
Unfortunately, the relationship became increasingly toxic and Catherine soon realised that their relationship was full of secrets. In 2012 Catherine filed for divorce but Marc refused. Unfortunately for Catherine, Marc disappeared entirely so she had to prove that she had searched all over for her husband before the court could grant her a divorce in his absence.
After years of proving Marc’s absence, Catherine was finally granted a divorce on March 18, 2019 and she was so pleased that she decided to organise a ‘divorce party’ with the help of her friends.
The ‘divorce party’ was a celebration of Catherine’s new beginning which had been years in the making. Around 30 guests enjoyed a cake decorated with the words ‘straight out of marriage’, cupcakes topped with phrases such as ‘boy, bye’ and balloons with ‘happily divorced’ written across them.
“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.
“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 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.”
Catherine had to prove that Marc was nowhere to be found and once she had the formal evidence, she was granted a divorce in March 2019, much to her gratitude.
Shortly after her divorce was finalised, Catherine and her friends had a party to celebrate putting the unhappy marriage behind her on April 6, 2019. Every element down to the cake decorations and the balloons made a cheeky reference to being ‘happily divorced’.
“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.”
To see more, visit https://www.instagram.com/colombias_finest/