LA GRANDE FLORIST REACHES BRIDAL BOUQUET MILESTONE

February 25, 2003 11:00 pm

Weddings are a very special time for all involved — including the bride and her mother.

But how many times does it happen that they both got their flowers from the same florist?

When Cindy Lahti Simonis married on Dec. 12, 1981, she purchased her wedding bouquet from the Bridal Bouquet, owned and operated by Yvonne Whitney.

And on Feb. 15 this year, when Simonis' daughter, Andrea, married Scott Hayden, she purchased her flowers from the same shop.

It also marked a special occasion for Whitney, who designed the floral arrangements for her first wedding 27 years ago.

"I was happy and proud to present the bridal bouquet for my 1,000th wedding," said Whitney, who's been a florist for 40 years.

What a milestone for the business that began operating in 1976.

Things have changed since then, Whitney said.

"While Cindy Simonis chose silk flowers for her bouquet, Andrea selected fresh flowers for her wedding," Whitney said.

"And this has been a definite trend in wedding flowers. Over 20 years ago, about half of our wedding flowers were in silk.

"I am pleased to say that today nearly 100 percent of our brides choose fresh flowers. And fresh flowers on the wedding cake is also a popular trend I really enjoy," she said.

In honor of producing the 1,000th bouquet, Whitney gave the Simonises a 20 percent discount on their flowers and a free tossing bouquet.

And in honor of the 1,000th bouquet, Whitney will give all wedding customers a free tossing bouquet.

Originally, the shop, at 701 Crook St., supplied only wedding flowers. Today flowers constitute only 25 percent of sales for this full-service floral shop.

While preparing flowers for the Simonis-Hayden wedding, some out-of-towners stopped in, selected and waited while Whitney created bouquets for impromptu wedding 1001, she said.