I had a post-divorce "freedom session" on my would-be wedding anniversary

October 14 | Guest post by Ann
All photos by
All photos by Erika Gerdemark. Divorce card by Etsy seller emilymcdowellstudio

So how does a wedding planner/photographer celebrate her divorce? She drinks her way through Champagne, France, duh! After all, a lot of weddings begin with champagne and therefore should end with it, right?

I have been a destination wedding photographer and planner for over 10 years so when it came to meeting the guy and getting married, I was very particular about how I saw my wedding day happening. I wanted to break the mold of the typical destination wedding protocol — you know where it equals a sunny tropical locale — and instead, get married somewhere dramatic and cold! So in April 2012, I held my “adventure wedding” in Iceland.

I became so obsessed with the adventure wedding concept and Iceland in general, I desperately needed to find a way back. Then, around six months into my holy matrimony, my spouse slapped me with a “no travel, unless for business” rule. Maybe a little out of spite, but more out of a love and kindred connection with the dynamic land and people in Iceland, I became an Icelandic wedding planner.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a woman who respects and appreciates the hell out of the solemn institute of marriage, but sometimes let’s face it, you just marry the wrong person and it doesn’t work no matter how hard you try. But the wild thing is that it took that wonderfully failed marriage for me to discover myself again and blossom those woes into a thriving unique business opportunity.

So in celebration of my new beginnings, I gathered several of my closest girlfriends and we all met in Paris for a long weekend. That weekend would have also been my three year wedding anniversary had I stayed married. I hired Erika Gerdemark from Sweden to meet me and my girlfriends at our hotel, The Peninsula Paris. We started my fab session on the rooftop of the hotel which had a gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower. We then walked the streets near the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile laughing and talking where Erika captured some moments of me being free and fabulous. Our last stop on the agenda was the famed Trocadero, it was pretty epic.

I like to refer to it as my "Freedom Session."

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More divorce-stricken people should embrace this idea. Seriously, it is freeing and centering to celebrate YOU!

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  1. I just went through a divorce and hit what would have been the third wedding anniversary.
    While a trip to Europe isn't in the cards right now, the photoshoot idea is fantastic!! It's really rare that we just take the time to celebrate ourselves as individuals and I couldn't think of a more perfect time.

    5 agree
  2. If I ever get divorced, I'll replace "girlfriends" with "closest guy friends I've known for years" and "Paris" with Tokyo because odds are good I'll want to do something like this.

  3. Still in the process of getting divorced (split up months ago but couldn't file at that time – divorce is expensive!) and our third "would-be" anniversary just passed about a week ago. I spent the day running errands and going to the movies with my best friend (a guy, who im sort of seeing now too), basically doing anything to stay busy and out of the house I still share with my ex (he was supposed to be gone months ago, long story, driving me crazy).

    While I had a very nice day, it still felt off. In fact, I have been off balance for months now. I think part of it has been being forced to continue to share space with this person who I barely know any more.

    Paris isn't in the cards, but when my divorce finally goes through I am stealing this idea and giving myself a weekend just for me! Thank you!

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