Dear weddings, it's not 2004 anymore

Dear weddings, it's not 2004 anymore

Pip Doyle is one of my favourite blogging brides, so it gives me great pleasure to share her little ditty about wedding trends that are no longer.

A gravelly, primal ‘Noooo, that’s not right, surely!’ finds it’s way out of my mouth whenever someone says something ridiculous like ‘Yeah, 2004, that was ten years ago’.

In my mind, ’10 years ago’ was more like 1995. I still ask people what they did for NYE in 1999 and don’t judge them if they were genuinely concerned about Y2K. We all were.

I don’t know how neon snuck back into fashion but you heard it here first when I say that, considering 1995 is much further away than I anticipated, the Cher Horowitz spaghetti-strap-singlet-over-T-shirt style is right around the corner. Exciting times ahead.

Things move a little slower on Planet Wedding. Or so it seems.

Once trends start, like in mainstream fashion, they’re everywhere.

But if you think that you’re idea to have a carnival-inspired wedding with a photobooth, popcorn cones and a hot dog stand is pretty edgy and new, this trend actually started to pop up 10 years ago.

So why do we think we’re so original?

Mainly because when you’re engaged, you’re only really preparing for the wedding within a specific window of time (unless you’re my sister-in-law-to-be, who, because of my brother’s brutal and ever-changing FIFO roster, they’ve remained engaged for years, but they’ll get there) so all the articles are fresh and new.

Before being engaged, you feel like a weirdo even if you flick through a bridal mag at the newsagent, let alone if you buy one (or two *cough*), and after the wedding, well, that’s just plain old ‘newly-wed masochism’ (again, you heard it here first), comparing your own wedding to a ‘real wedding’.

However, despite it being only a decade, brides in 2004 didn’t have Pinterest or smartphones, called mason jars ‘jars’ and one of the few ‘personalisation’ crazes were flowers in the shape of the couple’s initials. Clearly the monogrammed peach-coloured towel and flannel sets were on their way out.

One of the biggest wedding trends around 2004 is barely heard of today.

Disposable cameras.

Gracing every table was the centrepiece, the wine glasses, the placecards, deliberately strewn heart-shaped confetti and the disposable camera in the obligatory white. One per guest. At a pinch, roughly three per table.

Disposable cameras were genius, and despite the photos you got back were mostly out-of-focus, devilish red-eyed and nothing like the sleek, filter-heavy whimsy you get from Instagram, they really were the perfect ice-breaker.

They were also the height of mischief. If you picked up your prints from the local photomat and said there were no willy or bum pics, well, you’d be lying.

Another thing we didn’t have 10 years ago was Pinterest.


One of the handiest tools for a bride to have if she didn’t have a dial-up connection was a scalpel-like scrapbooking blade – scissors were for amateurs.

The carefully lanced picture was then placed into a shoebox, concertina file, scrapbook or pinned (with an actual pin) onto a vision board. These days, pretty much everything can be organised virtually.

At least we still get a tactile invitation in the post, right? One trend that really has gone the distance has been magnets. It was so cool to get that rectangle, usually two-tone purple, home-guillotined invite that could STICK STRAIGHT TO THE FRIDGE. Sheer brilliance.

A couple of hours clicking through some old wedding chat forums, the snapshot was this:

  • Chocolate fountains and biscuit bonbonniere were still to make way for cupcakes and macarons
  • Lolly buffets, while already huge in the US, wasn’t yet an Australian trend
  • This happened


  • De riguer centrepieces were either tall spindly twigs with fairy lights or square glass vases with floating candles in them.
  • And (OK it was 7 years ago, not 10) couples putting their whole wedding on credit were faced with a new offering by AMEX – a pretty ‘wedding credit card’ in conjunction with a very popular wed-site. It failed, probably not before some newlyweds copped a big black mark against their credit rating.
  • Loads of complaints about vendors using too much flash and clipart on their sites. For the love of humanity, rethink that red font.
  • Real tans were still a thing.
  • Brides’ favourite second pair of shoes for dancing in where white platform thongs or wedge espadrilles.
  • Spanx hadn’t hit Oprah’s Favourite Things show yet.
  • Vajazzling ‘so you can shine everywhere on your wedding day’ just started to become part of our lexicon
  • Something called ‘engagement chicken’ was making waves
  • Ads like this were given the thumbs up:


I quiver at the things we’ll be poking fun at in 10 years’ time. Will the signature cocktail served in a mason jar stick around? Will photos with heads cut off still be a thing? Will we ever get sick of DIY-ing EVERYTHING? Has the moustache-on-a-stick trend finished yet?

Annnnd I realise that the hipsters are probably already making haste to bring the disposable camera back.

Well, when they do come back around (hey it could happen – look at Polaroid), you know you heard it here first.

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