The day your divorce is officially finalized is typically a hard one for most people. The kind that make you want to curl up in bed and hide under a blanket for a day or two.
Unless you’re Nicole Niesner, that is. The 36-year-old from Saskatchewan, Canada got a letter in the mail last December, notifying her that she’d be officially divorced on the 16th. But instead of getting upset, she says it got her thinking how she was going to spend the day.
“I had three choices,” she later told Love What Matters. “Live it like every other day, cry and be miserable all day or celebrate a new beginning, a second chance. I decided I wanted to celebrate and acknowledge the day.”
Niesner first mentioned the idea of having a “Divorce Party” to a friend, who she says “immediately jumped on board and started planning.” All she had to do was be in her house at 6:30 PM on the night of the party, and enjoy everything that came next.
“My amazing friends started to arrive with food, wine, gifts and their wedding dresses!” she told LWM, adding that she dug her own wedding dress out of storage and got dressed up herself. “[We] had a blast taking pictures and reminiscing about our weddings, children, families and friends. It was all positive and meant to lift me up. They wanted me to know that I am loved by many and that I’m going to be okay. This is what friendship is all about — supporting each other through the good and the bad.”
Of the friends in attendance, one just so happened to be Eoanna Tatoulis, a photographer who owns MissYianna Photography — and she was more than game to capture the night’s shenanigans on camera.
“We all talked very positive and it had a very upbeat vibe,” Tatoulis tells Babble. “We are all part of a moms group and it was just a bunch of us girls getting together with a photoshoot at the end!”
“The vibe was amazing and so positive,” Tatoulis tells Babble, adding that the friends were actually part of the same local mom group, which is how they first met. “Everyone there is so supportive no matter what we are going through,” she continues. “In fact I came there extremely upset over my [own recent separation] and they were all caring and understanding. By the night’s end everyone was laughing and having so much fun!”
While Tatoulis has photographed her fair share of parties and events, this one was unlike any other.
“It was such a spur of the moment photoshoot,” she says. “It turned out amazing and I am so happy so many love the photos as much as we do!”
Most of all, though, Niesner and Tatoulis just hope that in spreading this story, they’re also spreading a message of optimism for others who are going through similar life transitions right now.
“We’d like people to know that we are looking at it more like a ‘Happily Ever After’ party in the sense that we all should remain positive and look toward our future no matter what has happened,” Tatoulis tells Babble. “As long as we all stay positive and have great friends for support like these girls we are all going to be okay!”