Mekia Cox has found her forever after. The Once Upon a Time actress married her longtime love, basketball analyst Britt Leach on Saturday, April 28, 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 Chicago Med star tells The Knot. “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.”
Cox and Leach, 37, 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,” says the bride, who plays Princess Tiana on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. “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 continues. “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.”
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.
The bride looked resplendent in a sleeveless gown by Julie Vino featuring a high neck and an embellished bodice.
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 says.
To find your perfect wedding day vision, start with The Knot’s Style Quiz.