In a time when people seem to be falling out of love, Trina Braxton is love struck, falling head over heels to the sound of wedding bells. The reality star, 45, and her successful husband Von Scales are a testament that true love can be unpredictable and unconventional. From the engagement to the honeymoon, the TV One “Sister Circle” talk show host beamed as she recapped some of the best and worst memories from her marriage journey.
Trina Braxton Coves The Love Struck Issue!
Byron Jamal (BJ): Trina Braxton, on behalf of Kontrol Magazine, thank you so much for meeting with me.
Trina Braxton (TB): It’s such a pleasure. I love Julian and the magazine, so I’m glad to be doing this interview today. Please let him know that.
BJ: He will be glad to hear it. Now, you’re the phenomenal singer, dynamic actress and relatable reality television personality who found love and just married the successful businessman, Von Scales. How was the dating phase like for you?
Trina Braxton: That was sweet. Thank you. Well, at first he lived in St. Louis, so it was a little difficult. We would talk on the phone and use Facetime. We were both so busy, so we only had brief conversations at night during the weekdays. But on weekends, it was like we were on full dates.
BJ: Many complain about and struggle with long-distance or commuter relationships. How did you make it work? What things did you discuss?
Trina Braxton: It was genuine because we got a true chance to get to know each other. It wasn’t like when someone is sitting in front of you and they can send their representative. We used the time we had to dig deep and talk about real situations. We talked about what we wanted for our futures, what we wanted out of a relationship, and how family fit in. I heard the passion he had when he spoke about his sons and his father, who is no longer with us. I came to know and trust him through his relationships with those closest to him.
BJ: Obviously your method worked because last spring you were engaged on a family getaway in California wine country. How did that moment turn out for you?
Trina Braxton: The engagement was supposed to be pleasant but it wasn’t. My little baby sister had a moment because it was near her birthday. After her tantrum, she joined in the rest of the family is celebrating how special the moment was for Von and me. In the long run, it ended up being about our love and commitment to each other, no matter what.
BJ: Relationships go through all kinds of changes, so it looks like you made it through a small battle unscathed. Often a battle newlyweds with kids face is getting all the children on board. How did all the children, your sons and his, react to your relationship?
Trina Braxton: We both have raised grown men who are both around the same age, with the oldest two about to turn 25. They didn’t bond because we forced them or because they had a lot in common. His sons love sports while my sons are artsy. They bonded because they saw how well Von and I get along. Von was divorced for over 17 years, so his sons never thought he would get married again. And I swore off getting married again after my ex passed. They are on board because they see we are happy.
BJ: Speaking of your ex, this is your third marriage and Von’s second. How does this one feel and look different than your previous relationships?
Trina Braxton: This is nothing like my past relationships. Von is 52 and I’m 45. We are grown! We have a real sense of what we want beyond the butterflies in our stomachs. My first relationship was the father of both of my children. I married him. He was my first everything. I was naive and became pregnant at 19. As we grew up we grew apart, because we didn’t know ourselves. My second husband, Gabe, stepped in as a father. He raised my boys and offered them the real presence of a father.
Von is a seasoned man who has already been there and done that. We share many commonalities with strong parents, close families, and guided upbringings. It feels different because we are true friends and strong communicators.
BJ: I feel the love. And the love could be seen at your beautiful ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri. You had quite a few special moments: the ceremony was officiated by Judge Mablean Ephriam, held at the lavish Windows on Washington, and have the celebrity wedding aired on national television. That is an impressive list. What was the most special moment for you?
Trina Braxton: I appreciate my family being there and getting to film it, but my most special moment was Von getting to have his mom there. She’s his only living parent. We didn’t plan to have it in St. Louis, but we changed the date and location because she wasn’t feeling well. So we traveled to her. It wasn’t as “opulent” as I wanted it. While Von had been married, he never had the traditional wedding experience.
He got married at the Justice of the Peace. I told him, ‘I wouldn’t want anything less for you than I would want for myself, and I would want my mom there.’ So we changed all the plans to accommodate her. It’s a true testament of what our family is about: family and sacrifices for those we love.
BJ: While the wedding may have not been as opulent as you wanted, the floor-length, white wedding gown with lace straps and deep V-cut bustier you wore was stunning. You topped it off with a glamorous, double-layer, silver headpiece with jewels. What did you feel like wearing it?
Trina Braxton: I felt pretty. The gown was made by Naama & Anat Haute Couture, a designer from Israel. In fact, the dress changed because of my photoshoot with Kontrol Magazine. Julian had me wear a dress that fit so well, I had the designer modify the one she made.
BJ: I will add that your husband looked good too.
Trina Braxton: Didn’t he though!
BJ: He complimented you so well with his dashing light gray suit by Cedric Cobb. I’m a tie guy, so I loved the embroidered gold tie with the matching gold pocket square. What was the inspiration for his look?
Trina Braxton: We didn’t want any bridesmaids. I’ve had my sisters in my wedding before. I wanted this to be focused on my sons and his brother and his sons and his brother. Other than Judge Mabelan and me, no women were included. We even had a man of honor–my cousin. We wanted all the women in our lives to sit and enjoy. So, he had to look good.
BJ: That’s a modern take on a wedding.
Trina Braxton: We wanted to do something different. My first wedding was at the Justice of the Peace, and my second was a huge wedding that ended up being a lot of work. This simplified it. All the guys were wearing the same thing and all the ladies were watching wearing whatever they wanted. But the deciding factor was us wanting to include our sons. Times are changing. We wanted to make it about us and our family in the non-traditional Trina and Von way.
BJ: Brilliant answer. So you’ve walked down the aisle. What are you feeling during the vows?
Trina Braxton: I felt a lot of confidence because Judge Mabelan wrote our vows specifically for us. After mentoring us a bit, she wrote out vows that fit our relationship. They were definitely spot on. We had a few laughs during it. It was a good time.
BJ: Well, real talks lead to real vows.
Trina Braxton: Amen to that.
BJ: Did you have the reception you wanted.
Trina Braxton: It fit the flow of the wedding. We didn’t have a traditional separate wedding where everyone was sitting in pews or rows of seats. Everyone sat at their reception table, and right after we said “I do” everyone started partying. We had all the food we loved and wanted. We did everything our way, so it came out perfect.
BJ: Well, one thing you got to plan out fully was your honeymoon. Tell me about what you did to make it special.
Trina Braxton: Oh, that’s none of your business. (laughter) I’m just joking. We spent a week at the Haven Riviera Cancún, a Mexican resort between Cancun and Riviera Maya. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed at, and I’ve stayed at quite a few places. We walked in and they had our welcome drink, they showed us the amenities, took us to our room and said, “Welcome home”. We had our own private swim out pool, facing the ocean. Every morning we woke up the sound of the waves and beautiful sunrises. We had food from 5-star restaurants and saw Cirque du Soleil while we were there. It was really amazing.
BJ: See, that’s why I asked. That’s good stuff. I don’t have to know all your business.
Trina Braxton: I wasn’t going to tell you. (laughter)
BJ: What was it like returning home as a married couple?
Trina Braxton: We wanted more time for sure, but it was a smooth transition. We got back right before Christmas. So we were both still in vacation mode. That helped us merge households since he moved to Atlanta from St. Louis. We had to make space and merge our lives. Then the reality sets in that we have to go back to work.
BJ: How were you able to transition from vacation mode to work mode and begin balancing love and success as a married couple?
Trina Braxton: That’s a great question. He respects what I do. I have really early mornings for “Sister Circle,” so sometimes he gets up early just to take me to work. I’m not a great driver. When I get home, he will come home for lunch just to get some kisses before heading back to work. We have great respect for each other and our goals. We found some ways to do things together. After we gained about 20lbs of happy weight, we started cooking together and showcasing our new habits on Instagram. But he still makes me feel pretty.
BJ: With all that you have lived and loved through on this love journey, what does love mean to you now?
Trina Braxton: It means friendship and being connected spirituality. It’s being like-minded and, while I love my kids and family, putting him first. My kids will go their own way and find their own love. My sisters and mother are on their own love journey. So I don’t want to make the mistake as I did before of not creating a relationship where he felt like he could trust me to have his back no matter what. If it’s not us against the world, it going to be the world against us.
BJ: That sounds like wisdom that only comes from experience. What are you most excited about in the future? What’s the next big experience?
Trina Braxton: I’m most excited about some grandchildren. My kids are approaching the age where grandkids will be coming up. I don’t want any more kids of my own, but I am looking forward to seeing how we work together to foster the growth of our children’s children.
BJ: It’s going to be interesting if it’s a girl.
Trina Braxton: Yeah. Because he grew up with a brother and has two sons. I don’t know what he would do with a girl. (laughter)
BJ: This has been an amazing conversation. I can feel the passion you have for Von and the excitement is evident in every word you used today. What do you want everyone looking forward to for the Trina Braxton brand.
Trina Braxton: Thank you so much, Byron. You are the best. Thank Julian again for me. He is amazing. I want everyone to know that Bar Chix is opening its new location in the East Point area of Atlanta soon. Also follow my upcoming candle line S.Cents Candle Company. You can find me on TV One with the amazing ladies of “Sister Circle”.