Italian wedding clothes stylists are looking abroad to fill their order books because of the constant fall in the number of Italians getting married. From almost 400,000 weddings in Italy in 1971, the numbers of couples marrying fell to 260,000 in 2004.

SposaItalia, the annual four-day fair, held in Milan at the end of June, brought together 136 wedding clothes manufacturing companies, 23 per cent more than exhibited at the fair in 2004. They brought with them more than 6,000 wedding dresses, all of them "Made in Italy. The buyers at the fair came from all over Italy but 16 per cent of them came from abroad, from Finland to Japan.