Married in 1952, this 94-yr-old wasn’t allowed to shop for a wedding dress. Her dream finally comes true

Francis Akhalbey July 12, 2021
Martha Mae Ophelia Moon Tucker could not wear a wedding dress during her marriage ceremony in 1952 because Black people were barred from entering bridal shops at the time -- Photos via

A 94-year-old Birmingham woman who could not wear a wedding dress during her nuptials with her late husband almost seven decades ago finally fulfilled her dream of wearing the white gown thanks to her family members.

According to, Martha Mae Ophelia Moon Tucker married her husband in 1952 but she could not get a wedding gown for the memorable occasion because Black women were prohibited from entering bridal shops at the time. As a result, her granddaughter Angela Strozier said the 94-year-old had to make do with a navy blue “mermaid dress” her employers gave her.

And though Tucker’s wedding was almost 70 years ago, she still dreamed of one day wearing the white gown. That dream eventually became a reality after she casually passed a comment while watching Coming to America with Strozier.

“I’ve always wanted to try on a wedding dress,’” Strozier recalled her grandmother saying, adding that she subsequently told Tucker she was going to arrange for her to wear one though she initially downplayed it.

“She said she never wore a wedding dress when she got married,” Strozier said. “I said, ‘That’s no problem.’ She kinda brushed me off. She didn’t think I would do it.”

Two days after their conversation, Strozier and other relatives took Tucker to a bridal shop in Hoover. Tucker’s visit to the shop to fulfill her wish was shared on Facebook and the post went viral.

“You know, I can’t even express how special it was. It was too special,” Tucker told the news outlet. “I’ve been wanting to do that a long time, just put one on.”

Tucker lost her husband in 1975 and she has not been married since. And despite not tying the knot again following her husband’s death, Tucker still dreamed of wearing a wedding gown. Her relatives made sure she was all glammed up for the occasion and people who were present at the bridal shop when she showed up also made sure her day was memorable after hearing her story.

“Everyone was so elated to help me do that for her,” Strozier said. “Everyone was catering to her because I told them her story.” Tucker ended up trying two wedding gowns and she was happy with how she looked in them.

“I felt like I was getting married,’’ Tucker told the news outlet. “I didn’t want to take it off, but I knew I had to. I looked good in it though.”

Strozier also said the reception her grandmother received at the shop was a memorable one. “When she walked out of the room and saw herself in the mirror, she said, ‘Oh, look at me,’” Strozier said. “One of the other brides that was in there started crying.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 12, 2021


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