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Ready to wear: Wedding bella

If you ever get invited to an Italian wedding, do go. They are an excellent source of entertainment, because (as with all nationalities, I guess) there is always one cousin who has gone all-out with the totally ostentatious dress or suit. There is another great tradition in Italy, giving bomboniere to mark a wedding, a landmark birthday, first communion or christening. These are sugared almonds wrapped in veils attached to a little "present" - a dust- gathering ornament or small silver picture frame for example, which although diminutive in size, costs a lot. Bomboniere are a huge industry and special cabinets are constructed to hold these hideous little things (you can't throw them away in case the person who gave them to you comes to visit) and the choosing of a bomboniera better than anyone else's, is almost as important as the choice of bridal gown. But at an Italian wedding, everybody always has a good time, the food is superb (no mandarins in syrup) and the vino flows. By the end of the day, through the rosy glow of red wine, even cousin Maria's hideous dress looks good. Thank you to Elena and Vincenzo, who allowed our photographer to take pictures at their wedding, where, sadly for us, there were no fashion disasters.

Above: Just five years old, this weary little boy on the stool (far right) is wearing a waistcoat from BHS. He gets his hair cut

with his dad in Pinner where they live

Right: Angela Ferrari, left, bought her suit 20 years ago from Swan & Edgar in Piccadilly

Centre: Mara Dilaurenzio and her boyfriend Sergi. Mara's favourite shops are Oasis and Benetton. She works as a secretary.

Sergi loves designer clothes and works in a restaurant

Far right: St Peter's Church, Clerkenwell, central London, where Elena and Vincenzo wed. Although marriage has become less popular over the past decade, St Peter's is still kept busy with at least one wedding every Saturday and often one on Sunday

photographs by janine wilks