Sorry to have gone MIA for a week! Sister Hot Cocoa, Hot Mama Cocoa, and I spent a few days in Bangkok doing what we do best: shopping, eating, and shopping. Of course, we brought back a souvenir for the hive -- namely, this inspirational visual for you orchid-loving brides.
Sigh. Thailand is blooming with orchids. This was just one of several arrangements sitting on the counter at the check-in desk at our hotel. And there were orchids in the bathroom. And on the bed. And at the airport. Even on the plane! Orchids of the most luscious, must-see-to-believe colors and varieties. Giant aubergine and mauve vanda orchids, speckled like robins' eggs. Delicate, multicolored dendrobium orchids, deliciously pale pink at the tips and fresh apple green at the center. And tons of "ordinary" fuchsia dendrobiums, like those seen here woven into garlands with michelias and jasmines as an offering at the popular Erawan Shrine.
A close-up of the garlands:
Here's the kicker. Even at the airport, where you can pretty much expect a 100% markup on everything, 20 stems of gorgeous orchids were a mere 500-1000 baht ($15-30), depending on variety/color. That's less than $1 per stem on certain varieties! Back in the U.S., even at wholesale prices, the most standard of orchids will set you back $2-3 a stem. Which pretty much means that the closest I'll come to getting these stunning orchid bouquets is . . . well, here:
Since I couldn't bring home the orchids, I had to make do with a selection of handmade floral papers, which I purchased on the cheap -- about fifty cent per 22 x 30 sheet (retails for $3.70 at Papermojo) -- from Chatuchak (or "JJ") Market, the famous weekend flea market.At close to 9000 stalls, JJ floors even the most ambitious bargain hunters, like the Hot Cocoas. Thank goodness for the refreshing lime and honey coolers sold roadside. And the foot massages we got the next day.
Did you find any wedding-related inspirations or bargains on your summer travels?