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Floral Magic

Making Floral Magic! Designs by Amber Lanier create the perfect Wedding Ambiance BY CARLA EDSTROM (photos by Avonne Photography & Marcus Anthony Photography) My mother’s yard is full of flowers, plants and a large vegetable garden. She has everything you can imagine growing there in her little half acre, and each year when I go home to visit, I get a tour of the yard to see what she has planted in the spring and what plants made it through the harsh Midwest winters. My favorite is her two giant lilac bushes that were a gift to her from my dad on her first Mother’s Day over 60 years ago. I have yet to find lilacs with the strong scent that her lilac bushes emit. I’m sure she got her love of flowers from her mother.

My grandmother lived in a big Victorian house that had a sidewalk that went all the way around it. One of my earliest memories was running on that sidewalk around that house with my sister chasing me. Grandma had Lily of the Valley flowers planted along the shaded areas. To this day, the second I smell that flower, I am instantly taken back to grandmas, running around the house, intoxicated by that beautiful strong fragrance. Flowers often bring back fond memories of happy times, and also remind us of the special events in our lives through their fragrance and beauty. No one knows this better than floral and event stylist, Amber Lanier. “I’ve always been a creative person with a love for flowers,” she said. From a young girl helping her mother find plants in the woods, to making necklaces out of dandelions for her friends, Lanier knew that she always wanted to “spread the love of all things flowery to others.” Her breathtaking design style and eye for details makes me want to throw a party tomorrow just so I can hire her. Lanier’s hard work through real experiences is what helped her find her artistic voice. “Formal schooling was never my calling but rather life lessons and experiences through trial and error is where I found my true talents bloomed,” she explained. After years of working in the film industry in Wilmington, NC and Charleston, SC and then in small stint in corporate America, Lanier she found her way home back in Southeastern NC where she married and started her family. While she was a stay at home mom to her twins, she honed her floral arranging skills during their naptimes and play dates. “My experience in the film industry was a large factor in learning the importance of continuity and cohesiveness throughout a space in telling one’s story, ” she said. “I also find that I look at styling a space through a camera lens perspective makes for beautiful photos that last a lifetime for client’s to enjoy.” She sharpens her skills by attending floral workshops and she constantly stays up to date with the latest styles in design. Lanier has created her own brand of floral and event styling, and in 2007, Designs by Amber Lanier, Floral & Event Styling was established. She describes her brand as “being foraged from nature itself and cultivated by God’s grace. In nature all things have their own unique beauty and it is with this I find inspiration. I would describe my floral style to client’s as organic, whimsical and inspired by how things grow in nature.” A lot goes into an event that is planned by Lanier. From the beginning of a project, she puts her heart and soul into each and every detail of the event. From the color schemes and table linens, to carefully choosing each flower and setting just the right mood, it is Lanier’s pure artistic eye for design, strong faith in God and relying on his guidance that helps her create successful events. “I find confidence in knowing that I am not alone in the fact that what I am creating is for someone who has trusted me with one of the most important moments in their lives,” said Lanier. One of the biggest challenges of her job is convincing people that they should hire someone to take care of the styling and set up of their event. Relying on family and friends to do it often ends up with details not being done and a lot of stress for the client. It’s worth the extra money hiring a professional event designer helps insure these details are carried out successfully. “Every event that I have been blessed to take part in has been special in its own way,” said Lanier. “And that is seeing the joy on a client’s face when they see their vision come to life. I find great pleasure in getting to know my client’s personality then creating an atmosphere that represents their own individual story.” I can understand why her clients are highly satisfied with her work. Her love of style and design is evident in her projects. Her work is organic and original and highlights her precise attention to detail. “I find great pleasure in getting to know my client’s personality then creating an atmosphere that represents their own individual story.” Lanier says that one of her biggest influences in her work is her mother. “My Mom is the greatest! Without her I would not be the creative person I am today,” Lanier explains. “As a child she always encouraged me to hone my artistic skills and taught me many life lessons without being overbearing. She spends most of her days in her flower garden, which I find so very inspiring. Her botanical knowledge often helps me with identifying floral varieties and her garden produces some of the most beautiful blooms, which I love to use in my floral creations. Without her I wouldn’t have had the courage to establish Designs by Amber Lanier.” Lanier resides in Brunswick County with her husband Mitch and their twins Sara and Fletcher. You can reach her by email at or through her website

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