Exclusive: 'Married at First Sight' star Taylor Dunklin talks marrying Brandon Reid -- "I did have my doubts" after we met
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/15/2020
Married at First Sight star Taylor Dunklin married a total stranger, Brandon Reid, on the show's tenth season, and now she's opening up about their "awkward" first moments together, the wedding night and her marriage expectations for the future.
Taylor, a 27-year-old research scientist from Pittsburgh, PA, was matched with Brandon, a 34-year-old sales manager originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands who was raised in Washington, D.C., by Married at First Sight experts Pastor Calvin Roberson, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and Dr. Viviana Coles.
Taylor didn't provide many specifics on her ideal husband's looks or qualities other than he would be tall, caring and passionate, but Brandon explained he was hoping for a curvy, long-legged, smart, and ambitious woman with long hair.
When Brandon saw his wife walk down the aisle, he thought she was beautiful and breathtaking, but as Taylor got to know her husband, she found him to be blunt and awkward -- and she couldn't get comfortable around him. However, Taylor intended to remain optimistic.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World via email, Taylor discussed her first impression of Brandon and what her hopes were for their marriage. Below is what she had to say.
Reality TV World: What did you ask the Married at First Sight experts to find for you? What qualities and characteristics were you looking for in your dream spouse, and did you have any dealbreakers?
Taylor Dunklin: I asked for someone very secure and confident. My ex's insecurities really ruined my last relationship.
I asked for someone who was a little older and more set in their career. Someone who's hustle would further motivate me, instead of someone intimidated by my work ethic.
I asked for a life partner -- someone caring, supportive, athletic, adventurous, and loved to travel.
Lastly, someone tall, I'm very attracted to height. My only real dealbreaker was that I didn't want anyone who smoked anything or did any drugs.
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Reality TV World: You said before meeting Brandon you hoped your husband would be tall, but you didn't mention any other physical attributes.
When you first saw Brandon standing at the altar, is he close to what you had pictured in your mind of your future husband? And if not, did you feel attraction could grow over time?
Taylor Dunklin: I don't have a type; I didn't know what to expect! I didn't specify a race or eye color or anything physical. He looks like an ex-boyfriend of mine!
I found Brandon attractive, not as tall as I usually date. But this is the man the experts chose for me, and I would hate to miss out on getting to know someone great because of that.
Plus, I would never want to make him feel self-conscious. Attraction can definitely grow over time, with a sweet personality and as we develop a connection.
Reality TV World: In your first moments of getting to know Brandon, you seemed to think he was "awkward" and you felt uncomfortable kissing him during photos. Did you have doubts in that moment your marriage was going to work?
Taylor Dunklin: Honestly, Brandon seemed pretty spaced out at the altar -- maybe mixture of booze and nerves?? He didn't give me much eye contact and didn't seem too into me.
I questioned if he even liked me! I gave him that compliment at the altar to reassure him and everyone else that I approved, but he didn't ever really respond and tell me I looked nice.
I wasn't getting the reaction I wanted, and I did have my doubts. Brandon is definitely awkward! But I tried to get over those initial thoughts and chalk it up to nervousness.
Reality TV World: It didn't seem like your first dance with Brandon made things any less awkward either.
Taylor Dunklin: He can't dance -- AT ALL! But I didn't want him to be any more nervous than he already was. I tried to reassure him that it was okay, and have fun with it, but it was pretty hard to watch. I'm thinking we'll take some dance lessons in the future.
Reality TV World: After getting to know Brandon on your wedding night, what did you think about him? What did you think your chances were at the time of having a lasting, successful marriage?
Taylor Dunklin: On the wedding night, I had mixed signals. He couldn't put the drinks down at the wedding. But when it was time for us to be alone together, he was very respectful taking off my dress.
Then he went out for food without me. But when we woke up he was cuddling me -- I was very confused. I want to be hopeful while I find out who's the guy the experts chose for me.
Reality TV World: Brandon was hoping to have that "white picket fence" type of life and said he couldn't wait to be a good father to his future children since his father was absent in his own life.
Given you are so career driven, what's your stance on -- or timeline for -- starting a family? Were you two on the same page about that?
Taylor Dunklin: I love that Brandon wants to have kids and be a great father! We're definitely on the same page. A well put together family is very important to me.
Is it crazy that I want us to all wear matching outfits? Me, my husband, our kids, and the dog! I want to get to know, travel, and really have fun with my husband first. But I also want to have kids sooner than later.
Reality TV World: What are your views on gender roles, like how did you envision your marriage would shape up in terms of who pays the bills, etc?
And when children come into play, how would having a family impact those roles? Gender roles have caused problems for several couples on MAFS in the past, including Jasmine McGriff and Will Guess.
Taylor Dunklin: I'm very traditional when it comes to gender roles. I'm looking for a guy to take care of me! But I also want to take care of him.
I'm a leader in every aspect of life, but I would love to take a step back and let my husband lead in this relationship.
I'm very domestic, I love to cook and clean, and take care of my dog that I treat like a real child... and I'm going to try my hardest to be the best mom ever. It would be nice to have a strong husband by my side.
Check back with Reality TV World soon for more interviews with Married at First Sight's Season 10 cast members.
And click here to read a recap of the latest episode which featured Taylor and Brandon's wedding.