where are you located?
I sometimes see them in the speciality produce markets
you can try asking your wholesale produce supplier to get a case for you.
As for banana leaves, can get these and other very large exotic leaves in the wholesale flower markets at a reasonable price and if you have another event soon you can reuse them (doesn't have to be a tropical theme, it still looks ultra cool as an overlay.
I have this very old address for buying direct from Hawaii - so I cann't promise it's valid - for me since I live in NYC, it's easier and cheaper to go down to the floral district early in the morning - just make sure you have your resale number, because some places won't sell retail and this way they don't charge you the tax either.
Here's an old source (from early 90"s)
PO Box 464
Kurtistown Hawaii 96760
808 966 8884
However I am sure a search on google for exotic tropicals will turn something up
What I also find very cost effective and pretty are the cheaper stems of orchids (that here in NY all the Korean greengrocers sell 4-5 stems for about $5-6 and at the market are $8 for 8-10 stems depending on length and color)
They come in a myrad of colors and you can pluck them off the stem and dot them around the table and greenery.
I also have a ton of wooden tropicals that I imported from Bali years ago that have more than paid for themselves. Ditto for the carved wooden banana leaves, mangos, eggplants etc in great colors and shapes. I may know how to get those so PM me if you are interested.
Other things you might find useful from the florist are moss and that brown "savannah moss" that you can stuff into edges of baskets and trays
I also use wheatgrass alot. I buy it at the farmers market because it is cheaper than the floral market. Last week we bought some seeds to try to grow it ourselves in interesting shapes so we don't have to deal with the crumbling earth when we cut it down. It works well on the center of trays with any sort of flower "sprouting out" so you could sprout tropicals (really just stick the stem in and it stays)
Hope this helpshttp://www.imagestation.com/album/pi...?id=4291084839
I am not sure how to put in a link, but this may work to bring you to SONY Image Station, where I have a catering album stored. You will need to register with SONY Image Station before you can view the album, but that will also give you free priveledges to store your own photos there and let others view them on line (if they register).
I don't seem to have any pictures of the bali trays on this album, I'll see if I can dig any up - again when is this event?