“I’ve always wanted to try on a wedding dress.”

Mrs. Martha Mae Ophelia Moon Tucker was watching her favorite film — Coming to America — with her granddaughter, Angela Strozier, when she mentioned the wish aloud. It wasn’t something she’d shared before, and at 94 years old, it wasn’t something that Tucker actually envisioned experiencing. However, Strozier heard her grandmother’s wish, and, with the help of her family decided to bring that dream to life.

“She never wore a wedding dress when she got married,” Strozier said.

Tucker was born in Alexander City, AL in 1927 and moved to Birmingham when she was 15.

In 1952, she married the love of her life, Lehman Tucker Sr.
However, at the time, Black women were not allowed in bridal shops, Strozier explained, so the family she worked for loaned her a navy blue dress.

Tucker worked alongside Civil Rights leaders fighting for voting rights in Alabama and, in 1963, became a registered voter and poll worker. She retired as a chief poll worker in November 2020 after working elections for 57 years, having dedicated decades of her life and career to making sure Black votes counted and Black voices were heard.

She and her husband had four children, 11 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchild and one great, great grandchild. After 25 years of marriage, Tucker’s husband passed away in 1975.

Though she says she has no desire to remarry, she never gave up the desire to see herself in a wedding gown.

On July 3, 2021, following a surprise makeover and trip to David’s Bridal, Mrs. Tucker tried on wedding dresses for the first time and found her dream gown, surrounded by her family.

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

mrs tucker with stonewear gown

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