Chandra J.: Destination Costa Rica

Chandra J.: Destination Costa Rica

Mother Of: Devin
Wedding venue: Casa Chameleon Hotel in Las Catalinas, Costa Rica
Vibe: Intimate, seaside destination wedding
Dress: JLuxlabel 

Chandra visited Costa Rica for the first time in 2019 for a combined 20th wedding anniversary, 50th birthday celebration. Her husband surprised her by arranging for around 40 close friends to be in attendance. It was a true surprise, more than two years in the planning by Chandra’s husband with the help of their son Devin.

“No one ever slipped up and told me!" Chandra recounts. "This is what made Costa Rica even more memorable. It will always hold a special place in our family’s heart.”

So when it came time for Devin and his finance Christina to plan their wedding, it had to be Costa Rica. They chose the Casa Chameleon at Las Catalina resort along the shores of the Pacific Ocean in the Guanacaste province of northwest Costa Rica. And Chandra found a strapless blue-green dress with layers of ruffles that fit the Spanish vibe.

“Location and weather were huge factors in deciding what to wear because I don’t do well in the heat!” Chandra says. “I knew I wanted something cool, yet flattering.”

The bride Christina gave her soon-to-be mother-in-law the go-ahead to wear whatever she wanted. “Just one more reason why I love Christina—she gets it!” Chandra says. “She understood the complexity of trying to get everyone on the same page. I did, however, share with her each dress selection I liked before purchasing since it was her big day!”

As fate would have it, mother of the groom and mother of the bride both found dresses in shades of blue-green—perfect for the tropical setting.

“I loved, loved the color,” Chandra says. “The design was also out of my comfort zone, but it was flattering and hid all the places I wanted to hide.”

Pro tip: Chandra avoided silk fabric, for fear of "glistening" through it in the sun. The polyester of the dress wasn’t the most breathable, but it was more forgiving.

A health emergency kept Chandra’s husband from flying to Costa Rica for the wedding (he’s fine now!). The bride and groom had asked both of their fathers to give speeches, but Chandra stepped in and says the heartbreak of the day became a special memory. “I carried the torch,” she says. Then she and Devin danced to Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me.”

“It wasn’t our intention,” she says, ”but I heard we made everyone shed many tears.”


| Photography by Wyeth Augustine

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