Friday, June 19, 2009

Hawaiian Luau Party Ideas

Often Luau's are held in the backyard under tents, with palm fronds woven together to make windbreak walls. The tent poles are decorated with ti leaves, ferns, heleconia and red ginger. Entertainment is usually provided by friends with guitars and ukuleles and impromptu hulas abound.


  • When you throw your luau, be sure to decorate with plenty of silk flowers or you can even order tropical flowers, foliage and orchid sprays from lei vendors in Hawaii who will ship to the mainland (our name for the other 49 states).

  • To save money buy silk leaves and do one large centerpiece at the head table or near the buffet bar and smaller flower bouquets at the guest tables.


  • Hawaiian music is a must for your luau. You can buy a CD or tape by some of our great local musicians whose styles range from the traditional Hawaiian slack key guitar to Hawaiian-style reggae. Click for our music suggestions.


  • To decorate your tables you can create a traditional center table runner of leaves, ferns and flowers or you can go with an ocean theme and spread an ornamental fish-net topped with shells, sand and glass balls.

  • Another great look is a Hawaiian print sarong used as a tablecloth. Raffia hula skirts look tropical edging the buffet table.

  • Reproductions of the old travel posters from the '30s and '40s would look great on the walls and also make great art for your invitations.

  • Place a few real whole pineapples along the center of the table. You can also set out candles in real coconut shells or bamboo stalks.

  • For a Hawaiian themed party, wherein you plan for a candlelight dinner, you can very well fit in a pineapple centerpiece. Take a pineapple and carve out small, oval shapes on three sides of the fruit. Scoop out the excess of fruit and let it dry. You can place small light lamps in these openings and place them at the center of the table.

  • Another interesting pineapple centerpiece that can be easily made is Pineapple Appetizer Centerpiece. For this, take a pineapple and peel it off. Do not remove its crown. After this, chop other fruits into small cubes or take small fruit items such as grapes, cherry tomatoes, apricots, olives, chunk cheese etc. Now, take toothpicks and prick the fruits, tucking them onto the pineapple. Cover the whole pineapple with fruits and place it at the table. Your guests can pick different fruits with the help of the toothpicks and once they are finished, you can chop the pineapple for dessert.

  • You can even make Pineapple Fruit Boat as your centerpiece. Take a pineapple and remove the skin from one of the sides. After this place the pineapple on a table, with the flesh side facing upwards. Scoop out the pulp of the fruit by cutting it into cubes. After you have removed the pulp, it will look like a hollow bowl. You can fill this with other tropical fruits, cut into small cubes. Set it at the table and enjoy the fruit salad.

  • Fill up large shells with macadamia nuts, and use a child's beach pail to hold potato chips. Place the shells and buckets on the table.

  • With the Hawaiian party theme, you do not have to spend a lot on decorations. You can make the buffet table your Hawaiian centrepiece. Decorate this with a Hawaiian party table centre or table runner and hey presto you have your party theme almost covered.


  • Paper parasols and slices of pineapple on the edge of drinks will put your guests in a tropical mood.

  • Check out our Luau recipes.

  • Hawaiian's use a lot of chicken, pork, pineapple and rice in their traditional recipes.


  • Be sure to greet your guests with a shell or flower lei and a big "Aloha" and have them leave their shoes at the door! You can also have loose flowers on hand for your guests to tuck behind their ears. If you're available romantically, put the flower behind your right ear. If you're taken, put it closest to your heart, behind your left ear.

  • If you also ask your guests to come dressed up in a Hawaiian outfit. This also helps to carry the theme into other rooms, without much in the way of party decoration. This fancy dress approach adds color to the room with you having too.

  • You might want to contact a dance school or hula halau in your area to have professional hula lessons or professional hula performers at your luau.

  • Make Hawaii themed cookies to use as place cards. Make a batch of sugar cookies and shape them in the form of flowers. Use icing and write each guest's name on a cookie. Lay it in front of the plate corresponding to the seating chart.

  • You could pack little take out cartons of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts for party favors or check out Hawaiian Luau Party Supply for a variety of fun kitsch items (like our favorite - the wiggling hula girl sculpture shown here).

    A Suggested Menu (for an authentic meal)
    Kalua Pig
    Sweet potatoes
    Luau or laulau
    Lomi salmon
    Tropical fruit such as pineapple, mango and papaya
    Mai Tai Drinks

    A Suggested Menu (for a more casual meal)
    Skewered marinated meats
    Grilled Veggies
    Tropical Fruit
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