What’s the most exciting thing for a bride to be at her wedding? It’s obviously the wedding dress. Any girl getting married would want it to be perfect. Even if it means trying dozens of them to find out which one is the best. Same as any other girl, Chris Tucker wanted to try wedding dresses to find the one that suits her best.
But, she was denied that choice. The year was 1952 and back then, the world was different than today. Bl**k people still have to face segregation and humiliation from white folks. Moreover, a woman of color wasn’t allowed to enter the bridal shop. That prevented Tucker from trying on the bridal dress she wanted for her wedding.
This is 94-year-old Martha Mae Ophelia Moon Tucker’s first wedding dress. She married in 1952, a time when Black women weren’t allowed in bridal shops. It was her dream to wear one, so her granddaughters got her a dress fitting! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PpgzGwCTqa
— Pee-wee Herman (@peeweeherman) July 13, 2021
She happened to chance upon a dress she absolutely loved. A white gown, full of embroidery, with long sleeves and lace overlays. Perfect dress for the bride. However, she was dark and due to her color, she wasn’t allowed to try the dress she loved. Talking with Washington Post Tucker said, back then there was no bl**k-owned bridal store in the city.
All stores were white-owned and they didn’t allow bl** people to enter their stores. She further revealed, “If you bought anything you had to go in the basement and get used stuff.” Although, not thinking of buying that dress at the time, she still cherished the wish to try it once. Apparently, Tucker got married in a simple ceremony. The saddest part is, she didn’t have any wedding dress for the big occasion. It was something she could not forget.
“I’ve always have been sad about it because I felt like I should have been able to wear it if I wanted to,” said Tucker. However, in a different era, the more modern and more inclusive, Tucker finally gets to try the dress she wished so many years ago. Her family planned a surprise visit to the bridal store. And there, she finally tried the dress seven decades after her marriage.
The whole thing was planned by Tucker’s granddaughter Angela Strozier. They were both watching the 1988 classic, Coming to America. During a wedding scene, Tucker revealed to her daughter her long-cherished wish. She turned to her and said, “I’ve always wanted to wear a wedding dress. I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time, ever since I got married.”
Angela was aware of the at**cities bl**k people have to suffer back in the day. But, her grandmother wasn’t allowed to try a wedding dress just for being bl**k broke her heart. That motivated her to do something. “It was a hard reason why she couldn’t,” Angela said. “It shocked me and motivated me to get it done.”
She went on to book an appointment at David’s Bridal in Hoover on the pretext of gown fitting. She also called several of her family members to come to shop and surprise Tucker. “I just wanted to do this for her,” Angela said. “I wanted her to understand that a dream deferred didn’t have to be a dream denied.” Angela further acknowledged her grandmother to be her hero and said, “She is our hero.
“Anything she expresses that she wants to do, we try to make it happen for her.” Tucker soon found out a dress with her name on it. She excitedly pointer out to the dress. And the moment after she came out of the dressing room, wearing a sparkling wedding dress. Unable to contain her joy, she said, “my dream had come true.”
Angela recalled, “She came out, and the tears began. I thought she looked like a doll. She was smiling so big, and it made my heart smile. It was a priceless experience.” Tucker was elated. She added, “I always said before I left this world that I was going to get in a wedding dress,” Tucker said. “And I’m glad I did.”