If you would have told me back in September 2016 that #ForeverDuncan would have went as viral as it did, I would not have believed you. I figured for their fourth anniversary I’d finally write something up about my experience on that momentous day!
What is #ForeverDuncan?
#ForeverDuncan was a hashtag that was created to help capture the special moments of a love story. Alfred Duncan, surprised his then girlfriend, Sherrell Woodward, with a proposal and a wedding, all in the same day. The hashtag #ForeverDuncan, used by the “surprise wedding” attendees, ended up going viral and the rest… is history!
Engaged by noon 💍. Married by 7pm👰🏽.
Wait – So, who are Sherrell and Black?
Alfred Duncan is a Grammy and Emmy nominated musical artist. Sherrell (Woodward) Duncan is a fitness trainer and motivational speaker. I started following Sherrell on social media because of her fitness story. She has been an inspiration for me for so many years, but I never had the chance to meet her in person. We kept encouraging one another over the years through social media.
A Surprise Wedding?
It all started, for me, on September 12th, 2016 when I received an Instagram Direct Message from Alfred Duncan, a.k.a. “Black”. Alfred let me know that he was planning a surprise event for Sherrell and asked if he could have my email address to send me the invite. I thanked him so much for thinking of me and including me in the festivities. At that time, I had no idea what the surprise event was.
When I received the invite and saw it was for a SURPRISE WEDDING, I was SHOCKED! You could tell from his very first email that Alfred had a plan and was sticking to it. I can’t even begin to imagine how much time it took to reach out to so many people, while keeping the surprise from Sherrell at the same time. Alfred had a team of family and friends helping him plan and keep communication flowing along the way. I RSVP’d and was so excited to be able to witness what I knew would be a beautiful and fun event.
We were to arrive at the outdoor venue by 4PM on October 1st and enjoy appetizers, drinks, and music while we waited on the bride-to-be. The one clear stipulation was to not wear the color black. After the wedding ceremony, there was to be a reception at a local lounge with food prepared by their close friend, Chef Brazil Murphy. Whenever you are dealing with the outdoors and the weather, there always has to be a Plan B; They of course had another venue solidified in case anything went awry.
In lieu of gifts, our presence was the only gift Alfred requested. If we wanted to though, he did provide us with the chance to contribute to their honeymoon fund, to help them keep the fun going!
We were assured that Sherrell wouldn’t have access to her phone after 11am the day of the event. To help the happy couple relive the day, we were asked that if we shared our moments throughout our day: arriving to the event, during the event, and after the event, to include the hashtag so the couple could review all our posts after the day settled down.
She literally picked me up and spun me around in the air 😭
Before RSVPing, I did a quick map calculation to see how long it may take me to get to the venue. It would take me approximately 2.5 hours to drive from Philly, so I got on the rode at noon and plotted out some spots to hide near the venue until 4pm.
From PHILLY to MARYLAND, I mounted my Dash Cam, and I sang the WHOLE 3 hour drive 😂! I looooove driving! 🙌🏽
When I stopped at my hiding spot, I saw I had received a message from Alfred for a change in venue! I recalculated my route and saw I had a little bit further to go, so I hopped back onto the road as quickly as possible.
As promised, Alfred took Sherrell’s phone away that morning. He asked that she trust in him and let him control the day. Sherrell agreed! Their day started with breakfast; That’s where the proposal happened – in front of her family. Sherrell was then off to a day of pampering to prepare for an engagement photoshoot. Little did she know, she was actually getting ready for her own wedding.
Let’s get them married!
Before the surprise; It was a packed venue! Despite the change in venue, I was so happy to see so many people were able to arrive for this momentous occasion!
When I found a good spot, I saw her twin sisters and of course immediately had to take a photo of them.
Sherrell arrived blind-folded. When the blindfold was removed, she saw everyone standing before her, and her hands went straight up to God for blessing her. Now, the fun could really begin!
SURPRISE!😂 When she yelled at us! haha🙈 The “I found out this morning” comment in this video had me laughing out loud! You know there are just some people who can’t keep a secret; You tell those people at the last minute! hahaha
THAT DRESS THO! 🙌🏽 Fierce! The “Forever Duncan dress” was designed by Gayima Kanu of the design house:
❤️ …An amazing day that I will NEVER forget…😭
It was getting dark and I had to get back on the road, so I knew I would have to miss the reception. After the wedding I fought through that crowd to get to Sherrell🙈. I even held up her poor husband who was trying to get her to take their pictures 😂. Just so I could see her face. 😄
I said “Sherrell? It’s Nisey! From Instagram!” THE SCREAM that came out of her 😂😂😂🙈 made every drop of gas worth it. She literally picked ME UP. YES! Me! and spun me around in the air 😭. “OH MY GAAAWWDD! SHE CAME OUT OF TOWN FOR MEEEEE?“
This photo capture by Natasha T. Brown couldn’t be any more perfect!
It completely describes the surprise and emotion.
I can now say, that the first time I met Sherrell in person was at her wedding that she didn’t even know was happening😂. Engaged by noon 💍. Married by 7pm👰🏽. She deserved every moment that was spent on her to set this up.
I am forever grateful to Alfred for inviting me; I was so humbled that he even reached out to me to allow me to be apart of their day. I could not and WOULD NOT let anything make me miss this momentous occasion. To the Bride & Groom!
❤️ What an amazing day that I will NEVER forget for the whole of my life! 😭
The #ForeverDuncan hashtag went VIRAL in 2016. One half of the amazing couple is Sherrell Woodward-Duncan, & her fitness business called, The Good Thick. If you enjoyed their story, be sure to help support their future.
Since their whirlwind of a marriage, they’ve welcomed another child into their lives. They’ve also have become authors, speakers, podcast hosts, YouTube stars, and have even created and starred in their own stage play!
Happy Anniversary Alfred & Sherrell! Here’s to your continued success & beautiful union!
Supporting A Love Story
– Estee Denise “Nisey” Ratliff
I’ve lost over 100 pounds \o/. See my story here. I am NOT a nutritionist or a doctor. This blog is NOT meant to be a substitute for any professional guidance or counseling. The information I provide merely reflects my own personal experiences and is NOT meant to take the place of medical or nutrition advice from professionals. But it’s helpful and pretty…so enjoy!