Matrimonial Customs of Yorkshire: Part 1

The first thing that comes to mind for most brides-to-be planning their wedding is the dress. While the shape, length and material change with the fashions of the day, traditionally, white and cream are the favoured shades. Except, that is, if you hail from the quaint Yorkshire village of Ludderley Bridge. Here, an ancient rhyme predicts the type of married life the couple will experience, based on the colour of the bridal gown.

Conjugal Colour Considerations

Marry in green, no joy will be seen.

Marry in red, you’ll wish yourself dead.

Marry in pink, your fortunes will sink.

Marry in grey, you’ll both rue the day.

Marry in blue, your fears will come true.

Marry in gold, despair will unfold.

Marry in yellow, you’ll shout and he’ll bellow.

Marry in white, you’ll bicker and fight.

Marry in cream, you’ll live a bad dream.

Marry in black, bad luck will attack.

The rhyme is believed to be the last verse penned by ten times married poet, Zebediah Platt (1729- 1778). Zebediah met a rather unfortunate and curious end when he was sewn into a tapestry at Fiddleston Hall, by the bridal dressmaker to Lady Marylla Dunnit.

It is believed he was attempting to spy on the dress-fitting from behind the tapestry to check the chosen colour augured well for his 11th marriage, but the ladies noticed him, and Lady Marylla was so annoyed, she ordered the dressmaker to sneakily sew him into his hiding place.

Although the action was not meant to occasion any lasting harm, the thick tapestry fabric suffocated him, thus proving the old adage: Curiosity killed the Platt, (and inspiring the board game, Who Dunnit?)

Even today, local belief in the rhyme’s prophetic accuracy is so strong that Ludderly Bridge is the one place in the country where purple or orange gowns are more popular than white or cream.

Do you know of any unusual matrimonial customs from your part of the world? If so, I would love to hear about them.