From entering village fete floral competitions using flower arrangements she would create with her Granny to a fully fledged business creating fashion-focused floral designs fused with flecks of vintage and creative ingenuity, Harriet Parry is a floral marvel and an absolute gem of a person (with a lot of patience). She ran wedding floral hairpiece and corsage workshops at the Etsy Wedding Fair, where we caught up with her to discover just how she dreams up with such extraordinary creations.
I grew up in the countryside, close to my Granny who always had an unusual flower arrangement in the house using things she had grown from her beautiful garden. She and I would enter something each year into the flower arranging category at the village summer fete! This has always stayed with me, so I'd say my interest in floristry really stemmed from my childhood.
My sources of inspiration are so varied , design trends, fashion, a piece of art, maybe a moment in a film, a pattern, a particular time in history or just something that's caught my eye whilst going about my day.
I specialise in over the top floral head dresses and accessories for fashion shoots or private commissions, working in both fresh and fake flowers. I also approach my work using my Fine Art background and because I paint a lot I do tend to arrange flowers almost like a painting, using colours, textures and shapes that I feel work together.
Sometimes these are experimental clashing creations or they can be wild and loose, staying true to the natural movement of the flowers and foliage.
Creating a floral design for a couple getting married is also a bespoke floral collaboration. I provide a very personal and friendly service right from our first meeting all the way up to their wedding day. One of the things I love about making floral designs for weddings is combining the couple's own ideas and wants with my design and floristry experience to create wonderfully unique wedding flower concepts. The bold shape and fresh smell of hydrangeas makes them one of my favourite flowers to work with. They always remind me of my Granny's beautiful garden.
I've created so many different floral wedding designs but three that stand out as personal favourites are a full fake flower wedding, with a brief of ‘1970s Kitsch fabulousness' , it was great to create as it was bold, bright and fun. I also loved doing a wedding using only gypsolhila which, used alone, looked so chic and elegant.
Another one of my favourites was a wedding where we used loads of greenery and garlanding. The are many shades of green and the foliage's textures made this wedding wild and rustic. It was so simple, but it looked incredibly striking.
Any advice I could give to a couple getting married would be to be as creative as you can and just have fun.
The first thing I'd probably pack for a honeymoon or holiday would be my lipstick and the last would be my big ‘Bridget Jones' knickers!