Inside Mekia Cox and Britt Leach's Love Story

Plus, look back on exclusive photos from their 2018 wedding.
Mekia Cox and husband Britt Leach
Photo: Getty Images,Design: Natalie Romine
joyce chen wedding news expert the knot
Joyce Chen
joyce chen wedding news expert the knot
Joyce Chen
Wedding News Contributor
  • Joyce writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in celebrity wedding features and pieces on wedding trends and etiquette
  • Joyce conducts interviews with real couples about how they’ve adapted to the challenges of wedding planning during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • In addition to The Knot Worldwide, Joyce also regularly contributes writing to Architectural Digest, Paste magazine, Refinery29, and
Updated Dec 19, 2023

Mekia Cox found her happily ever after. The actress, known for roles in shows like Chicago Med and Once Upon a Time, has been married to basketball analyst Britt Leach since 2018. The couple shares two daughters together, born in December 2018 and January 2022. In fact, the actress' real-life pregnancy was written into her storyline as Detective Nyla Harper on The Rookie.

The couple's nuptials were nothing short of a colorful, Caribbean-inspired celebration—and we're still obsessed, even over five years later. Here, we look back on exclusive photos and details shared from Mekia Cox and her husband Britt Leach's wedding day.

  • Mekia Cox's husband is Britt Leach. They got married in Miami, Florida in 2018.
  • Mekia Cox and Britt Leach have two children together. Their first daughter was born in December 2018.
  • Mekia Cox's' second pregnancy was written into her storyline on The Rookie. Her daughter was born in January 2022.

Inside Mekia Cox and Britt Leach's Wedding Day

Mekia Cox and Britt Leach wedding photo
Photo: Christian Alexander

Mekia Cox and Britt Leach got married on April 28, 2018, before 130 guests. The couple kept things fun and tropical for their loved ones in accordance with the bride's Caribbean background.

"Our wedding style was 'Caribbean chic,'" the actress star exclusively told The Knot at the time. "Being a Cruzan (hailing from Christianstead on the Island of St. Croix) as well as a Bajan (my father's side of the family is from Barbados), I wanted things to be elegant and simple but with a Caribbean flair. Being from the Islands is a large part of who I am and I wanted to be able to incorporate that into my wedding."

The Venue

Mekia Cox and Britt Leach wedding photo
Photo: Christian Alexander

Cox and Leach made sure of that tropical influence from the get-go, with a wedding held at Miami's Samsara Gardens, a place near and dear to Cox's heart. "We have a tradition in my family of going to the Redlands every year on Christmas Eve Day to buy the most amazing sticky buns ever made," said the bride. "Afterwards we'd stop by a close friend of the family—Uncle Phil and Aunty Karen's' house. Uncle Phil owned a nursery business and had a knack for gardening and building in his backyard. Every year we'd go back and a new section had been added."

"Eventually, Britt mentioned what a great place it could be for a wedding," she continued. "I'm pretty sure Uncle Phil already had that in mind because not too long after, it became one of the top marriage destinations in the Miami area."

The Wedding Aesthetic

Mekia Cox's wedding flowers
Photo: Christian Alexander

Cox's love for neutrals, contrasted with bright, colorful blooms, dictated the palette of their wedding day. "My entire closet consists of neutrals, so I figured, why not have the bridal party reflect what I like?" she said. "So I asked the girls to go neutral with their dresses, and I let them pick their own dresses. I wanted to make sure they had something they could wear to other events or occasions rather than a dress that would sit in their closet."

Mekia Cox and Britt Leach wedding party
Photo: Christian Alexander

Leach's look similarly reflected mellow neutral tones; the groom wore a blue DKNY blazer with a grey Ralph Lauren vest, coupled with grey pants from Kenneth Cole. He and his groomsmen wore matching maroon ties, pocket squares and socks for a tiny pop of color.

Other Caribbean influences on their wedding day included their choice of flowers ("tropical flowers for the bouquets") and cake: their four-tier wedding cake gave a nod to the Caribbean love for rum, with two layers of rum cake and two layers of chocolate cake for the non-alcoholic lovers.

Mekia Cox and Britt Leach wedding photo
Photo: Christian Alexander

The couple made sure their dance floor playlist reflected their love for the Caribbean as well. "We had to make sure there was a classic 90's hip hop/R&B section as well as a festive reggae session," she said.

Mekia Cox's Wedding Dress Details

Mekia Cox's wedding dress
Photo: Christian Alexander

Mekia Cox previously played Princess Tiana on ABC's Once Upon a Time—and that character heavily inspired her wedding dress. Considering she portrayed royalty on television, choosing a dress in which to get married off-screen was a tough task. Luckily, Cox told us, she connected with Julie Vino, whose Spring 2018 collection was entirely inspired by the romantic city of Venice.

The dress she selected, which was, by Cox's description, topped with "a pearl-crested bodice nestled in sheer fabric," also featured a high, detailed neckline and narrow capped shoulders. The skirt was a "layered chiffon with a thigh-high split to show off a little leg occasionally." Vino also provided Cox with a veil, lightly edged with lace. In order to best show off her gown's high neck details, Cox opted to sweep her hair up into an elegant updo, inspired largely by her Princess Tiana character.

When asked how she would best describe her wedding dress, she responded, "Me, myself, and I."

"That dress represented everything that encompassed who I am," she explained. "It was unique, elegantly designed, and most importantly, it was comfortable. I cannot thank Julie Vino enough for that dress. She truly made this little Island girl's dreams come true."

The Ceremony

Mekia Cox and Britt Leach wedding ceremony
Photo: Christian Alexander

In keeping with tradition, Cox and Leach led their family and friends in releasing butterflies to honor "those who have gone before us," with the sounds of Mariah Carey's "Butterfly" sung by Deone D'Alessio in the background. For the setting itself, the ceremony was set up with all the chairs in a semi-circle in a scenic garden environment; the aisle was flanked with glass cylinders filled with palm greenery to pay respects to the Caribbean chic theme.

"My godfather escorted me down the aisle," she said. "After my father passed at age 17, I knew the best person to represent him that day would be my godfather. He has been an integral part of my life since birth, literally, because I was born on his birthday."

The Food

In keeping with the Caribbean theme, Cox and Leach naturally had a smorgasbord of delicious food to keep their guests well-fed and dancing all night. Hors d'ouevres included coconut-crusted shrimp with a pineapple chili dipping sauce, salted codfish fritters, skewered beef rolls with spring onion soy, ginger chicken satay with a coconut peanut sauce, and vegetarian West Indian pumpkin soup shooters with coconut cream.

For the main course, guests were presented with a salad of heirloom tomatoes and avocado, airline curry chicken breast with Jamaican curry sauce and a citrus soy-glazed salmon with traditional Jamaican rice, all with a side of red peas and Caribbean-spiced grilled vegetables.

The Wedding Cake

"You can't have a Caribbean wedding without some rum, so we had a four-tier cake, two layers of rum cake and two of chocolate (for the non-alcohol lovers)," Cox told The Knot.

Mekia Cox's Wedding Advice

Mekia Cox and Britt Leach wedding reception venue with string lights
Photo: Christian Alexander

Reflecting on her wedding planning process, Mekia Cox had one piece of advice for all to-be-weds. "Take all the help you can get," she urged, citing her busy filming schedule as a challenge in the wedding planning journey. "My mother always says it takes a village. I happened to have an amazing group of family and friends that were all willing to help out in some way. My mother helped with the invitations and flowers. My cousin did the photography. My aunt handled the cake and some florals. … There is absolutely no way my wedding would have been anywhere near where it was if it weren't for the help of these people."

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