updated 13 Mar 2014, 19:19
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Mon, Mar 10, 2014
The New Paper
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Divorce? Time to party
by Maureen Koh

On the day his divorce became final, Mr Jeremiah Teh invited six friends for an eight-course dinner, followed by a night of revelry.

The total bill came up to nearly $52,000, of which "only $5,000 was spent on dinner and wine" at a classy French restaurant, he said.

The rest of the money was splurged in Tiananmen KTV & Lounge, a popular nightclub at Havelock Road. The businessman told The New Paper: "It's not that much (money) if you work out the sums - $10,000 for each year of suffering."

Mr Teh, 44, had been married for nearly six years by the time the divorce was finalised.

Miss Wei-wei, 28, a mamasan at Tiananmen who helped to host the party, recounted how Mr Teh's friends even ordered a two-tier cake with the words: "Finally free. Ditched the b****."

On the cake were six candles - one to represent each year of his married life.

Miss Wei-wei said: "One friend even requested for the Chinese New Year ditty Gong Xi Gong Xi and had my girls perform it."

Another highlight of the party had Mr Teh placing his wedding ring in an empty whiskey bottle and urinating into it, to the applause of his friends.

While Mr Teh's party was the most elaborate that she has hosted, Miss Wei-wei noted that there has been an increase in requests for divorce celebrations in the last two to three years.

She said: "We used to host only two or three every two months. But we get an average of four parties a month now."

About half of her clients belong to the same circle of friends. Mr Teh had attended the divorce party of a friend on a yacht three years ago.

"My friend invited a whole bunch of people, which included two mamasans from here (Tiananmen) and their entourage, when he got divorced," he said.

"Everyone enjoyed themselves so much, even though they got drunk and puked all over." Three out of five party planners approached by TNP said they are getting more enquiries and requests for divorce parties.

Happy Moments' business manager Sally Woon said her five-year-old company organised 20 such parties last year.

She said: "When we started out, there were fewer than 10 inquiries in a year and we planned only about five or six."

One significant difference of divorce parties nowadays - the men want them too.

Ms Rachael Lee, who runs You Can Party, said women were her main clients for such parties previously. "But more men are calling up to ask about rates for our packages now," she said.

Her company's packages start from $800 for a party of four to six women.

"Just think a regular party with good food, drinks and music."


Giving an insight into this trend, psychologist Richard Lim said that some divorced people see the party as a cleansing ritual to put their past behind them.

Mr Teh agreed and said: "I suffered for six years in a bad marriage and the party was a good shout-out to indicate that those days are over.

"It's like wiping the slate clean so I can start my life as a bachelor again.

"Of course, not everyone needs to spend the kind of money I did but I could afford it, so it's fine."

He added: "But for those who can't afford to splurge, there's nothing to stop you from heading to the kopitiam and toasting your new status with a beer."


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