Where do I start? I just have to blog about this lovely person!

First, the coordinates:

I met Pamela at a wedding at Roman Camp, in Callandar last year. She was singing before, during and after the ceremony of Gordon and Lindsay’s wedding on the banks of the River Teith. It had been raining heavily all week, and no-one was expecting to have a ceremony outside, but Gordon and Lindsay were lucky! Lindsay walked down the red carpet to the romantic little area, beside the river, in the gardens of the Roman Camp Hotel.

Pamela was actually looking for a photographer to take photographs for her own portfolio, website and leaflets. She had contacted me just a week or so before the wedding. Pamela had come across my name a few times, and then she realised that her own clients – and mine – would use our services for their wedding. We didn’t have much time to talk during the wedding celebrations, but we quickly met up after and talked through her requirements.

Pamela’s voice is just amazing, and I would describe her songs as contemporary, with a celtic style – if that makes sense 😉 So she is very much perfect for any romantic Scottish wedding! Her songs can fill the air while the couple are signing the register, for example, or when the bride walks down the aisle. Even for afternoon background music, Pamela will always find the right song.

However, she doesn’t just sing at weddings, but you can also hear her songs at private or corporate events. Pamela has travelled pretty much the lenght and breadth of Scotland.

“I have had the pleasure in performing in some of Scotland’s most beautiful venues including St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral Edinburgh, St Aloysius Church Glasgow, Chapel of Garioch, Prestonfield House Edinburgh, Stonefield Castle Tarbert, Cameron House Loch Lomond, plus many others.”

“My style of singing has been likened to Loreena McKennitt, Enya, Bliss & Sarah McLachlan.”

“I sing with an accomplished acoustic guitarist, but I am more than happy to work with backing tracks, a pianist, harpist or musician of your choice.” But she forgets to mention, that the accomplished guitarist is her lovely husband Pete, who is also an experienced musician!

“My vocal range allows me to draw from an extensive repertoire which includes ballads and traditional hymns, classical and contemporary pop and rock songs, tastefully arranged to suit the venue and type of ceremony.
I am more than happy to learn any songs at your request.”

Music and singing has been with Pamela, who is originally from Ireland, all her life. And becoming a wedding singer happened very naturally for her.
Pamela started singing at school, and she performed in a church choir too, but she abandoned church singing for a few years and set up a function band with my boyfriend (now hubby) called “The Wrong Band.”
At the same time, they were writing and recording their own original material.

“We set up the band Tongue with the cream of musical talent in Co. Kildare and set about putting a set together which we would perform live and record. We were signed to a small label in Galway where we played quite a few live gigs and were fortunate to be featured on regional and national radio stations for a number of months. Throughout this time I would sing for at least two family or friends weddings every year or so which I would really enjoy.”

They stopped the band for a few years, and after a lot of soul searching during this time to work out what type of performance she enjoyed the most, she realised that her days with the school choirs and weddings triggered something inside. That’s when Pamela decided she wanted to specialise in singing during wedding ceremonies & she has never looked back.

“I can hand on heart say it is by far the most enjoyable music platform for me.
I am fortunate enough to see all the pieces come together on the big day that many of the wedding suppliers don’t get to see. It’s fabulous!”

“I love the great feedback I receive from people after I have performed inspires me, the smiles on their faces when I sing. I love being asked to perform songs that mean something special to the couple or their family on the day, especially songs that remind them of loved ones that cannot be with them on their big day.”

The video from the wedding – with music by Pamela Kavanagh

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Never mind the business – an annual event at the Glasgow Hilton organised by the charity Action for Children. This year, Peter Martin, Skye Sports Commentator, presented the night with his usual Glasgow wit. The surprise guest this year was Glasgow’s own Claire Grogan. The room was jam-packed again and it proved a very funny and successful night!

 

 

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Gillian and Grant are planning their wedding next year and we met at the venue – where they are getting married: The Lake of Menteith Hotel. Even though it was drizzling, we decided to take the boat to the island in Lake of Menteith and pay a visit to the old Priory. It was pretty dark and the sun did not want to come out, but nevertheless we found a few nice spots to take some photographs.

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Corporate photographs in Edinburgh for Business Consultant

Alison contacted me first about 3 years ago because she needed a corporate portrait for her online presence. Then, we created a portrait in the studio and Alison told me that she used this photograph absolutely everywhere and she has been very pleased with it. But, 3 years on, she wanted a little update and more photographs, but this time taken outside. We both had the same idea of meeting up in Edinburgh and using the Old Town as a backdrop. After that, we went to the Botanics for a bit of green in the photographs too.

Corporate photographs in Edinburgh for Business Consultant

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I just love this place! Port Edgar in South Queensferry is just amazing for photographs! Super-busy couple Shona and Anthony who run a hotel in Fife, only had a very small gap in their busy time table before their wedding in January. I suggested to meet at Port Edgar in South Queensferry and Shone loved the idea as she spent lots of time there as a child. So there was a strong connection and Shona could show her fiance a glance of her past.

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In September, I finally managed to persuade my friend Lorraine and her husband Jamie, the owners of Big Bang Hair Dressing in Bathgate, to have a family photograph taken. We had been speaking about this for YEARS!!! We almost managed to make an appointment 2 years ago, but life got in the way! But this year, we found a suitable weekend and we met up, on a windy and rainy morning, in a local park.

First of all, I told the kids they would be in charge! They LOVED this! They were in charge of mum and dad and I could take some lovely photographs. We had about an hour or so until the rain started, but this was more than enough time.

Have a look yourself:-)

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  • caitlin black9 July 2012 - 9:25 pm

    omg that is me :-)

Big Bang Hairdresser in Bathgate – Corporate Photographer West Lothian

I have been a loyal customer of Big Bang for years! It was their lovely staff who looked after me, my bridesmaids and my mum on my wedding morning. Since then (over 6 years ago!), I have been working with them regularly on different projects. One of these days, the Big Bang website will be complete and all their staff will have a little column to say something. And for this reason, I have taken a photo of everybody.

Corporate Photography West Lothian

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75 – the number for Haute Couture in Edinburgh!



Just recently, I had the pleasure to meet Mette Baillie, Proprietrix of Freja Fashion in Edinburgh. Mette is an amazing lady, originally from Denmark, with a four-year degree in Haute Couture Design. Mette started her business in Edinburgh, responding to a demand for an Edinburgh based Haute Couture Dress Designer! Mette does her magic from 75-79 Cumberland Street Edinburgh EH3 6RD, and employs 4 staff. All her girls have completed Dress Making apprenticeships abroad, and one has a degree from Herriot Watt. ! So they are a well-trained team of very skilled people!


How do you go about having your own wedding dress designed?

A bride to be initially sends an enquiry and Mette reponds with initial information about the design process with Freja Fashion. The next step is an appointment with Mette where the wedding details are discussed, together with the bride’s dress requirements. For example, a wedding on the beach in Antigua requires a different dress from a wedding in a stately home in Scotland!

The process is not sales driven, but quality-focussed! During the first meeting, Mette will establish what the bride likes about herself, and what type of garment she feels comfortable in. Does she have a tattoo, or a scar, for example, she wishes to cover up for the wedding?

The next big point on the plan for the perfect dress is, of course, the fabric. What is the main character of the dress material? Floaty, stiff, solid, fluid? Mette has literally hundreds of fabric samples at her finger tips. The bride can see and feel the different properties of the fabrics and Mette can show the bride what the material would look like by draping over a tailors dummy. If more is required, there is a selection of photo albums with many dresses that Mette and her team have designed and produced.

Freja Fashion’s main fabric suppliers are all UK based. Nowadays, most wedding dresses are produced in the Far East. That’s one of the reasons why some wedding dress shops urge their customers to order their dress sometimes 12 or more months before their wedding. For Mette it is important, that her fabric has an ethical background, and her suppliers can confirm the fabrics are sourced conscientiously.

Another interesting fact: Brides can also bring their own material. Again, an off the rail dress shop would be very limited with the garments they have on offer.


Following the initial meeting, Mette will take the time to put her design ideas down on paper, collated with the different requirements of the bride. The bride will then receive a design proof, a quote, and a contract. And because Mette loves her job, she can never quite stop drawing after the first design, but usually provides a few design options. This will then give the bride the chance to combine the ideas on the proofs and come up with the perfect wedding dress!

I remember very well trying to buy my own wedding dress in the UK. All they had to offer was sleeveless, shoulder free dresses. I didn’t want that for my wedding. And Mette confirms that she designs a lot of dresses with sleeves, shoulder cover and interesting necklines, because the wedding dress shops are very limited with the dresses they can offer.

If a wedding dress shop recommends buying a dress 12 months before the wedding, how long does it take to design a dress?

The average time from initial contact to dress delivery is 6 months. So there is no need to have the initial consultation any more than 6 or 7 months prior to the wedding. Therefore, having your own dress designed from scratch and delivered can be a much faster process than just picking one of the racks in a shop! How fantastic!

Mette said that during the Winter months, a dress can often be completed in an even shorter period, but it’s harder to do that during the busy summer months, due to the popularity of Mettes Designs.

After the initial meeting, the bride will receive first designs within 1-2 weeks. Many brides like to get the dress started straight away so they know it’s well under way, and one less thing to worry about!

The first fitting – Toile

I am learning a lot of new words today. Toile… After the designs have been agreed, the bride comes back for the first fitting to try on the toile, which I have been told is a mock up of the dress made of sheet fabric. It looked very strange on the dummy, but once Mette explained the process, it all started to make sense! This allows the designer to shape the dress on the person. One of the most important things is to check if the dress is well balanced. Is it centred front and back, and are the sides hanging straight down? If you had a collar bone fracture there might be differences in posture which are taken into consideration. The waist and hip lines are drawn on the toile so the dress will look proportional. This all plays an important part so that the dress is shaped perfectly for your own body.





The dress mock up has a lot of notes on it which allows the staff to translate the mock up into the actual wedding dress. Only after the initial two stages, the actual selected fabric is used to produce the dress.

At the next fitting, the bride can wear her dress in the actual chosen fabric. The dress does not contain any buttons or zips. Again, Mette will check if the posture is OK, and the dress sits perfectly. Adjustments are made to the length of straps for example, and the posture of a person will determine how much netting is required under the dress to show off the fabric.

In comparison for example, with an off the rail dress, they can only take up the hem but not alter the dress to take your body into consideration.





At Freja Fashion, everyone is involved in each garment. Every wedding dress is a combination of the expertise of five experienced people. Usually, the girls will attend the client meeting and take notes so that it is easier to translate the drawings and mock-up details into the proper wedding dress.

The third meeting could be the final one. It sounds quite complicated, but it’s a magical process as you are being part of your most important dress being brought to life.

How much does it cost?

Dresses start at around £1500 and at Freja Fashion, you will have a lot more variety than in a shop with brand limitations.

For what you pay for an off the rail dress from a retailer, you will still need to calculate £200 to £300 for alterations. This is all included in Mette’s dresses, obviously. The quoted price is the final price for the dress.


So, Mette, did you design your own wedding dress?

A resounding YES was the answer: I made mine way too close to my wedding. But I made a denim version of my dress before that, which i still wear, and I have been married for 17 years!

How do people find out about the business?

A lot of Mette’s clients find out about her by recommendation and through her website. Her work is often featured in wedding magazines, and quite a few wedding suppliers recommend her work.

And, Freja Fashion has been in the Final three of the Vows Awards for the last three years and they won the award in 2009. And Freja Fashion has just been nominated for the 2011 Vows Awards! Congratulations!!!

Find out more about Freja Fashion online.

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  • Ditte2 October 2011 - 3:18 pm

    Love this article – My favourite wedding dress designer! Lovely photos too!

  • Ian Jamieson2 October 2011 - 5:59 pm

    Love the look and feel of your site.

    We book a lot of venues around Edinburgh and The Lothians for weddings so I’m delighted to read about your services.

    Ian

  • Iona3 October 2011 - 6:52 am

    Fantastic article. I used Mette for my wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses. Perfect!! She really listens and inspires.

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