Area manager Catherine Navarro, 34, from New Jersey, in the US, was just 20 when she married her first love and now ex-husband Marc in 2005, The Sun reported.
She had only fully made up her mind just weeks before the big day.
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.
While the relationship started sweetly, it soon faltered and when Catherine filed for a divorce, Marc disappeared never to contact her again.
The court could only grant her a divorce in his absence if she could prove she had searched high and low for her husband — despite him totally vanishing from her life.
“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,” Catherine said.
After the City Hall in New York, with witnesses including Catherine’s mum and her friends, the wedding party joined a family party to celebrate.
“It was an absolutely gorgeous day,” she continued. “It was a simple affair but it came together perfectly it such a short time frame.”
Catherine filed for a divorce but Marc refused and in 2012 he disappeared entirely to never be seen by her or any of their family and friends again.
“He vanished off the face of the planet and I didn’t hear from him or have any idea where he was,” Catherine explained. “I had to prove to the court that I have looked for him everywhere.”
It took the 34-year-old years to prove the grounds of their divorce in his absence, and at last in March this year she was granted the divorce she had desperately wanted for so long.
To celebrate, she threw herself a ‘divorce party’ with the help of friends — a celebration that she had been planning secretly for years as she waited for the divorce to be finalised.
About 30 friends attended the party, that included cakes, decorated with “straight outta marriage” and “boy, bye”, as well as with balloons with “happily divorced’ written across them.
“It had been years in the making but the day I finally got divorced, I decided it was time to celebrate with an incredible party for my new beginning,” Catherine said.
She said she spent most of her time “laughing and dancing the night away”.
And the now single woman had so much fun that she recommends anyone going through a divorce should celebrate with a party when it’s all finally over.
“Life’s too short to be in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy,” she concluded. “So don’t dwell on the past, instead accept the lessons that every experience provides.”
This story was originally published on The Sun and was reproduced with permission