HGTV star J.D. Scott is ready to say “I do” on the spookiest day of the year. The 43-year-old sibling of Property Brothers hosts Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott, who recently revealed he’s been battling a mystery illness, opens up to Us Weekly exclusively about his plans to wed fiancée Annalee Belle on Halloween.
“We’re having our wedding on October 31st, so that’ll be one year from when we got engaged. I personally didn’t want to have a really long engagement because when [I first became sick] I didn’t know if I was going to make it too long,” the host explains to Us.
J.D. has been battling what he believes to be an infection in his gut — a diagnosis that came months after multiple doctors’ appointments and scary side effects including a severe sensitivity to heat and memory loss. “I asked Annalee if we could not have an engagement that was two or three years because I’d like to get married before I die and now the situation’s very different. I’m still happy that we’re getting married at that time, but originally that was the reasoning there,” he admits. “Halloween’s more of my thing. It’s always been my favorite time of year. I like getting dressed up. I love the whole feel of Halloween. It’s going to be a very themed wedding.”
The Property Brothers at Home star, who has been treated with antibiotics and is currently on an elimination diet (a diet which consists of rice, fish and salads, but void of gluten, dairy, sugar and soy) to help identify foods that might cause inflammation in his body, recalled some of the scariest moments of his illness. “I had a few times where there was just this overwhelming sense of dread that I knew something bad was coming, and I felt like I was kind of nearing the end, but I think overall with having to accept that what I had done in my life might be my legacy,” he explains to Us.
“I hadn’t done everything that I wanted to do yet. From a purely selfish point of view, there’s some things that I’ve wanted to do myself, and I’ve never gotten to go to Egypt, and I’ve wanted to travel through Japan. I think that going through something like this really puts your world in perspective because you can identify the things that maybe you were a little lazy at pushing yourself towards before and can definitely focus on when you find that you have that second opportunity.”
And while things are on the upswing for J.D., the All-American Amusement Parks host credits his fiancée and the support of his close-knit family for making his recovery a bit easier. “I can’t even put into words all the areas that Annalee has picked up my slack in because obviously, I can’t really go out very often when it’s hot so she runs all our errands in town and she goes and gets all the groceries and I have just a specific diet that she has done all this research on what to eat or what I can eat. She has also been eating the same thing as me, like the same diet just to support so that I don’t feel bad if she’s eating other foods.”
Adding to the sweetness, J.D. couldn’t help but gush over his younger brothers, who renovated the home he shares with his love on their hit HGTV show, Forever Home. “My background is construction and it’s something that I was planning to do, but I just was not in the physical shape to do a project like that and they knew it would be a lot more comfortable for me to deal with this problem that I’m dealing with if I had a comfortable home to do it in. I am forever grateful for them for doing that and they managed to capture both our style and the episode turned out fantastic and so did the house. I’m really grateful to have such a supportive family.”
Ahead of the couple’s upcoming festival nuptials, J.D. says he finds inspiration in his brother’s marriage to wife Linda Phan. “Drew and Linda have been the perfect couple when it comes to synergizing work life and personal life. They’ve worked together for years and years and years, are so immersed in each other’s business, and I know that a lot of couples can’t do that,” he explains. “A lot of couples kind of get at each other’s throats when they work together, so I love the idea of having a partner that I can not only spend my free time with, but I can also dive into work with and that is the case with Annalee. We have managed to find that common ground where we can work on things together and have projects that we do that contribute to both of our brands.”
As for what’s next for J.D.? It’s full steam ahead. “The game plan is just to keep going with the current treatment and hopefully keep improving and get back to my old self and my normal life, and then get back on the road working and making shows and all that kind of good stuff. I mean I don’t want to jump to that conclusion because although I’m way better than I was, I know that it’s still like a work in progress, so I’m hopeful that yes, this will continue, and I’ll keep getting better and better. I have to be pragmatic as well and sometimes the human body is a little more delicate than we’d like it to be. I’m keeping my mind open as far as things go.”