I love wedding stories. Don’t you?
Dr. King wed Ms. Scott on June 18, 1953, in front of her parent’s house.
The day went by quickly, but not the preparations. It took Scott six months to actually say yes to King’s proposal. The Marion, GA wedding, attended by about 350, included the best and brightest from Atlanta and nearby rural Alabama.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. performed the ceremony, during which he did not use the part of the vow that required a woman to “obey” her husband. This slight editing of the vows was Scott’s idea. Afterward, the couple went back to Boston, where they both finished their degrees. Scott, who was musically inclined, earned a degree in music while her husband earned his degree in theology.
The two met each other because of a mutual friend up in Boston. At the time King was looking for a wife, and Scott was not looking for a husband. King was very taken by Scott’s singing. They often went for walks in Roxbury, in Boston. (I actually wrote a fuller story about this in The Boston Globe in 2006…)
On a personal note, I used to live in Boston, and I would frequently walk by the apartment building where the Kings started their life together. I know what the city is like now, and I can only imagine what it was like then: two black people, married, attractive, attending university in the Bean. Oh, the Irish in Southie must’ve been HOT about that.
What’s more, both the Kings were improving themselves and earning higher degrees. They didn’t wait to get married until they were “finished.” They got married before they were finished. I often think this is the key to a strong marriage – making sure that there is something left for both of you to do after saying “I do.”