Fans of A Different World remember the iconic wedding scene with Dwayne Wayne’s iconic pleas. But what some may not know is that the infamous wedding scene almost did not happen. The show’s main characters did not agree with the scene and felt it was “corny.”
Whitley Gilbert and Dwayne Wayne, portrayed by Jasmine Guy and Kadeem Hardison, were a part of television’s most important couples. Of course, the display of young love had its trials and tribulations, but the on-again, off-again couple’s love finally came to a significant test in season 5.
At this point, Whitley Gilbert began to date a man named Byron Douglas III, played by Scandal‘s Joe Morton. The pair became serious after a failed engagement with Dwayne Wayne. They were finally set to get married in episode 25 of the fifth season when Dwayne Wayne unexpectedly showed up at the ceremony. The minister mentions the infamous “speak now or forever hold your peace” line, and the congregation hears a cough by Dwayne.
Once Douglas issues his assurance to the vows, the camera turns to Gilbert, who soon becomes dazed and confused as everyone starts to resemble Dwayne Wayne. Coaxing from her mother does not get her to speak up swiftly enough in response to her vows before Wayne stands up and begins to approach his ex. A few guests attempt to restrain him, but not without Wayne declaring his undying love for Gilbert.
“Whitley,” he begins, “I love you. And if you’ll have me, I want you to be my wife.” The live studio audience erupts in excitement while the scene continues. First, Wayne is being escorted out of the ceremony as he screams vows to Gilbert. Then, just as he’s about to be tossed out, he passionately screams, “Baby, please! Please!” Finally, everyone under the sight of God got an answer from Whitley Gilbert. “I do!” she said to Wayne instead of Douglas. She then turns to Byron and utters an apology to him before she runs into the arms of Dwayne. With the Douglas wedding entirely interrupted, the on-again, off-again couple become married on the spot and now become the Waynes.
Years later, while discussing the show’s history with Vanity Fair, Susan Fales-Hill (whom Whitley Gilbert is based on) shared that the scene was initially written with a more solemn approach. Then, however, Joe Morton and Debbie Allen suggested it be more dramatic.
Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy were not fans of the idea, however. Guy shared that she felt it was “wack” and “corny” and expressed her sentiments after doing the reading. Hardison said that he attempted to change the scene until the last day of shooting. The actor had a conversation with Shadow And Act where he told them he felt “unsettled” with the idea of breaking up a marriage. Hardison also revealed that the infamous plea was improvised as he forgot his lines, and it was more of a cry for help for Guy. Thankfully, they were able to get through the scene in one take, which he wanted to happen initially. Could you imagine A Different World without that iconic scene? Check it out below and give us your thoughts.