Saturday, August 27, 2011


Ask... Mrs Press
Question: I heard Jack White and Karen Elson threw a divorce party. Is this now acceptable?

Answer: This rock star-supermodel couple has always done things differently – the venue for their 2005 wedding was the Amazon jungle; the ceremony was conducted by a shaman priest in a canoe. News broke in June that they were celebrating their sixth anniversary by…getting a divorce. But they weren't going to let a little thing like that stand in the way of a good party. Friends were invited to a bash "to celebrate their upcoming divorce with a positive swing bang hum dinger" in Nashville. Drinking and dancing! Fun!

Although this was the first I'd heard of it, the divorce party is not a new concept. Laura Dave's novel, The Divorce Party (Penguin) came out in 2009 and the film version is currently in production with Jennifer Aniston's Echo Films. According to Wikipedia, Las Vegas is the divorce party capital of America. Who knew?!

Whether you think it's cool or cruel, it is certainly happening. The million-dollar question is how to navigate this potential minefield, either as a guest or as the hostess? The first thing you will need is tact. Even if the splitting couple remains the best of friends, and feels positive about a party to celebrate what has passed, tempers may fray. Social life plus heartbreak plus a few drinks is the fastest way I know to tears. So tread carefully. If you're a guest, watch what you say. Avoid making statements such as "I never did like the two of you together". If you're the host, summons all your grace, charm and restraint – you've got your whole life ahead of you to flirt with new love interests.

Should guests bring gifts? Ask first. If in doubt, opt for a simple treat designed to lift the spirits – a facial at your favourite spa for the bride-not-to-be; a bottle of wine for him. One of the best gifts you can give your friend is a shoulder to cry on, and the genuine offer to be there when they need you. I think you can leave the toasters for the next wedding.

Dress code: Black!
Plus ones: Providing you check first, why not? I doubt it's a sit-down dinner.
Gifts: Please tell me there's no present table
Photography: Best avoided

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