The Donald tells PEOPLE that his bride-to-be "totally understood" having to sign a prenup

By Liza Hamm and Tom Cunneff
Updated January 20, 2005 03:00 PM

Just days before his Jan. 22 wedding to model Melania Knauss, Donald Trump tells PEOPLE he has no prenuptial jitters.

“If I didn’t have a great woman, I would be much more nervous,” 58-year-old real estate mogul and reality TV star said, speaking from the site of his new golf and housing development in Palos Verdes, Calif.

Knauss, 34, feels confident too, enough to ignore tradition and pose in her Christian Dior wedding dress for the cover of Vogue before the ceremony. The white duchesse dress, described as “close-fitting with revealing d collet ,” required nearly 300 feet of material and features a 13-foot train, topped by a 16-foot veil. It took 1,000 hours to make and 550 hours to hand-stitch more than 1,500 crystal rhinestones and pearls in a swirl pattern.

Despite the couple’s confidence, that’s not to say that there won’t be any stress in the marriage. “I’m in a business that’s very consuming, so it’s never easy for a woman,” says Trump, who has been married twice before – to Ivana Trump and Marla Maples. “But I think it will be very successful.”

Still, he had Knauss sign a prenup, but “she totally understood,” he says. (Knauss declined to comment.)

As for their 400-guest wedding, Trump has had a 17,000-sq.-ft. ballroom built at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort, for the reception, where guests will dine on roast tenderloin of beef, chocolate truffle cake and champagne.

And what does the future hold for the soon-to-be newlyweds? Perhaps little apprentices. “Melania would like to have children,” says Trump, who has four other children from his previous marriages. “I’m up for it.”