Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler, a recent divorceé from Texas celebrated the end of her 14-year marriage by throwing herself a divorce party on her father's farm, the Star-Telegram reports.
But that's hardly the big deal here - Kimberley's party hit a crescendo when she set her wedding gown alight with an explosion that could be felt from 15 miles (24km) away.
We imagine this badass act of liberation looked a little something like this:
The 43-year old told Star-Telegram she "had a lot of advice and suggestions from friends and family, like donating it for premature babies and baptism gowns," but to her, the dress "represented a lie."
"I wanted to have a divorce party to burn the dress,” she added.
Kimberley may be the first to set a wedding dress ablaze (with the help of her family) to commemorate a divorce, but she joins several other women across the world who are celebrating the end of their marriages in some of the most lavish ways.
According to The Sun UK, these ceremonies are becoming so popular that people are even considering careers in divorce party planning, also seeing how people are spending as much as £20 000 (over R360K) on the event.
The fact that divorce rates are increasing each year in South Africa, and the UK, need not mean we have become desensitised to the gravity and emotional magnitude of divorce; hence the divorce ceremony trend. Rather, this kind of trend could be considered one that removes the stigma and shame that is often attached to divorced women in particular.
When Renee Beck, a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, who also organises divorce ceremonies, spoke to Psychology Today, she said, "to really bring closure, as humans, we go back and look at what happened. What have we learned, what have we gotten out of our experience? Marriage is initiated with a very special energy. For a relationship that started that way to end without any formal marking is sad, and can make it really difficult. It’s wonderful to acknowledge how important it has been, how much we have learned, what we have given to each other.”
That said, we guess all's well that ends well... and LOUD (thanks, Kimberly).
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