Local Love: Kesley McIntyre


“As soon as I knew what a wedding was, I was fascinated with wedding dresses,” says Kelsey McIntyre, owner and designer at Edmonton’s Serendipity.

While her company is often known for its ready-to-wear collections, she also brings her passion for vintage-inspired, girly clothing to the custom wedding and bridesmaids dresses she creates.


“I’ve always been drawn to older movies, and I’m a Jane Austen fanatic,” McIntyre says. “I’ve always had a ‘pretty’ sense of style.  But I’m not limited to just super-feminine, ruffly and pink things. But my dresses do tend to have a throwback, vintage feel.”

Recently she did a wedding dress for a court house ceremony that was modelled on Audrey Hepburn’s 1960s minimalist style, and last October she sourced vintage details for one of her customers.

“The bride was in love with pearls and I wanted to sew them down the back of her dress like old pearl buttons,” she says. “But I couldn’t find buttons like that anywhere, so I bought vintage pearl necklaces and pulled them apart and sewed them onto her dress.”

It’s this creative thinking that has inspired McIntyre to remake a dress that belonged to one bride’s mother, and incorporated lace doilies another bride’s grandmother had made into her one-of-a-kind dress.

She is happy to do custom bridesmaids dresses as well, something that can be hard to find in town.  “It’s tricky to find one style that looks good on everybody, she says. “Often brides will make them all the same colour but different styles. It’s nice to be able to customize for each girl and make them look good!”

Kelsey-headshot-sm-200x300And custom does not need to be more expensive than off-the-rack, either, she emphasizes.  “My dresses tend to start around $2000, but often when you buy a $1500 dress in the store, by the time you get alternations done, you could have had something made specifically for you for the same price.”

“If you’re doing a shorter, more cocktail length dress, it’ll also be less,” she says. “And cost depends a lot on the details, fabric choices, and design you choose.”

Your best bet? “Go try on a bunch of dresses and figure out what you’d like. Then get in touch with McIntyre for a free consultation and let her give you a price quote.  Who knows? You might end up with the dress of your dreams for the same budget as a store-bought one – all while supporting a local artist.

For more information on her bridal wear or to contact Kelsey McIntyre, please visit her website or email her at Please note that custom dresses must be ordered a minimum of 4-6 months before your wedding.


Wedding Invitation of the Week

I hope you all had a great first week of March! I love that the sun is up early, and shining every day. Makes the -20 temperatures somewhat livable.

I had the opportunity this week to talk to the Grant Macewan University design students. The topic was about the GDC and the importance of being a part of an organization that represents your profession. But it quickly turned into a Q&A about the design world (How do I price my work? What are contracts used for? How do I find more local design events?). I really enjoy talking to young designers and giving them some insight into what they can expect when they start working. I also think its super important to continue promoting local events for designers. We are such a small community and if we don’t support these events, they will not exist anymore.


In honour of the warmer temperatures and sunshine, my wedding invitation of the week pick is soft, but clean and chic. And I am over the top in love with the floral liners (we get it… you’re obsessed with flowers). Sally from la Happy designed these invites for a destination wedding IN FRANCE for Megan and Nick.

Sally is a master of modern calligraphy. I love how she pairs it with a really strong sans serif type. And the slight arch of the first line ‘Hooray!’ is so cute. And note that the type is not done in black. Seriously, why do people go to black as a default colour for text? Why not choose a soft grey, or charcoal, or just go crazy and use a deep plum!


If Sally’s calligraphy wasn’t amazing enough, she even designed the floral pattern. It really balances out the clean lines of the invitation. The colours are gorgeous! Soft blush with different tones of green.

The invitation is completed with a stitch detail (each card has to be done by hand!) along the short side and vintage stamps were used on the envelope, including a stamp featuring the French flag as an ode to where the couple was married. Such a pretty package!

Wedding Invitation of the Week

notablesThis week’s invitation of the week post is dedicated to Notables Stationers. A lovely stationery store that anchored Edmonton’s High Street for almost three decades. Sadly, they will be closing their doors at the end of May.

Throughout the years, Suzanne and her team have created beautiful invitation suites for countless amounts of brides and grooms. Her store is filled with examples of every different style and format that you could imagine. Notables really is a one stop shop where every decision from the colour of the cardstock, to the size of the seating chart can be made. A paper lovers dream land, that’s for sure!

Business as usual will carry on until mid-April with fresh new inventory still arriving. And there will be a Moving On Sale where all merchandise will be marked down and priced to go! Make sure you check their twitter  for further updates on sale dates. We hear there will be a closing out party as well!

Thank you, Suzanne, for setting the bar for high-end invitation design in Edmonton. Your store will be missed by many, but we will miss you even more. Happy retirement : )



Wedding Invitation DIY Disasters

I will never tell you that you can’t ‘DIY’ your wedding invitations. But I will strongly suggest that you don’t. Sure, you can wrap your invites with twine or ribbon, or even pour your own wax to seal the envelopes. But please don’t (for your own sanity) try to design and print your own invitations.

Think about it. You spend a major portion of your budget on the reception venue and the catering, that makes sense. But what I see are brides and grooms trying to save a few dollars by taking care of their own insert cards, or envelope addressing, or another details that makes up the complete package. In the long run, do you really want to spend your nights and weekends trying to track down 100 sheets of the same colour cardstock? Or fighting with a free template design?

If you are looking for ways to save on your invites, trust me, there are ways to do it that don’t involve you crying over a printer at 2 am on the night before your invitations need to be mailed. Today, I put together a list of the biggest wedding invitation DIY distaters for you to laugh at (and hopefully learn from too!)


Lauren opted to have her invitations printed and cut at Kinkos. She quickly found out that Kinkos doesn’t really print for quality. There’s a pretty funny story about the 200 invitations she left on her front porch to dry too.

2. You’re Invited (Part I): A DIY Invitation Disaster

Mrs. Parasol of did a decent job of designing her own invitation. But she struggled with formatting them in the software that she wasn’t familiar with. And of course, the printing was difficult as well. When you send your invitations to print, you are in charge of the sizing and ensuring that the printer has a usable file.

3. Monica’s DIY Invitation Disaster

This will remind you to proof, proof, and proof your invitations. Monica actually got her wedding date wrong. Speaking from years of design experience, once you have looked at something for hours, you start to miss things. Small typos can hide anywhere. Make sure you ask both parents to review your invitation, as well as a few people from the wedding party.

4. Meet our Wedding Invitations

Mrs. Tulip of obviously didn’t learn anything from Mrs. Parasol. She printed her invites with a Gocco which is a Japenese screenprinting system. But this technique uses a lot more ink than a normal printer and that is why her type looks uneven – heavier in some spots, lighter in others. Also, notice the smudging on the top corners. How frustrating would that be? Especially if you had a limited supply of white cardstock.

5. Wedding Invitation Disaster

I left this one for last because she posts about her research into the cost of her wedding invitations. I’m glad she went to a professional designer to get a quote but that quote was way too high (no, I don’t know exactly which paper stocks were quoted but envelopes do not cost $2 each). I will always recommend getting more than one quote for your invitations if you are really budget conscience. There is nothing wrong with price comparison. But make sure you are getting good quality as well.


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