It’s time to forget the white tulle organza and pink gardenias; for this demographic, that ship has sailed. Beginning at $75 a person, New Yorkers got the opportunity to attend “Start Over Smart: A Modern Divorce Expo” this past weekend.
There, more than 100 vendors offered tips on all the nasty bits on what one can expect to go through during a divorce. Life coaches, financial planners, family counselors and even hairstylists were all part of exhibitions to help new divorcees field the brave, new life of singledom.
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It all came together through the efforts of mother-daughter team, Francine Baras and Nicole Baras-Feuer. Inspired by an expo they attended in Paris, they decided to bring the idea to the Big Apple. According to the New York Times, both know the harsh realities of divorce: Baras’ parents divorced when she was a young child, and Baras-Feuer recently went through the process herself.
For attendees like Jeff Morris, it was an opportunity on how to seek legal counsel and how to move forward with his own divorce. “I knew I needed to delve into the process of getting a divorce instead of saying, ‘Wait, maybe things’ll change,” he told the New York Daily News.
Baras wanted to frame the often-stigmatizing life event positively, adding that “…although [divorce is a] difficult and a big transition for most people, there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a post-divorce life.”
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Erica Ho is a contributor at TIME and the editor of Map Happy. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.