The number of weddings in Italy is on the wane but the cost of that special day continues to rise, according to data from the "Milano sposi" fair held earlier in October. In 1960, 400,000 weddings were held compared with 250,000 in 2002. A basic celebration now costs an estimated 12,000-15,000, and for a really stylish affair you can expect to fork out more than 40,000. Cash-strapped couples should head to the north of Italy, where fewer weddings take place and they can expect to save 5-10 per cent per guest.