What to Do
“So you want a luau? Well, first thingʼs first. Once youʼve figured out who to invite, itʼs time to work on those important invitations. Depending on how simple or crafty you want to be, there are a lot of creative ways to get the word out. Make sure you include the date, time, location, dress code and a menu description so guests know what to expect. Besides, going to a luau is just half the fun – planning one is where the fun really starts.
Aloha From Hawaii
Send a simple postcard featuring a signature view or landmark.
Include a fresh or plastic lei with a hand-written note attached.
Message in a Bottle
Insert a printed invitation in a mini glass bottle filled with sand and shells.
Soak ivory colored paper in water and sprinkle coffee grinds, then crumple and dry flat until itʼs ready to be written on.
Seashells from the Seashore
Using a paper hole puncher, clip a hole in a small index-sized card and tie a shell using a rafia.
Create an “insert photo here” over a drawing or photo of a hula dancer or aloha shirt.
Roll up an invitation wrapped in plastic and insert it into a drained coconut – be sure to include instructions on how to crack it open.
Trace an outline of a flip flop on colored paper, cut the pattern and glue two paper strips for the straps.
Cut out a hibiscus-shaped pattern on colored paper and write invitation info on each of the petals.
Use construction paper or thin cardboard and create surfboard cut outs – one side with a design and the other with invitation info.
Made to Order
Choose from hundreds of pre-designed luau invitations online.
If your guests canʼt make it to Hawai’i, bring Hawai’i to them. With the right supplies and creativity, you can transform any backyard or spacious venue into an authentic luau setting. Whether itʼs centered around a pool, lush lawn, patio or even indoors, make sure the atmosphere is laid-back, fun and inviting. To create the right mood, here are some key things to keep in mind as you shop around for the perfect decorations.
Greet each guest with aloha by placing a flower lei, silk lei or plastic lei around their necks or set aside a basket of leis for guests to choose one of their own.
Offer loose flowers like the plumeria, orchid or hibiscus for those who want to show their romantic status. If single, the flower goes behind the right ear and if taken, behind the left.
Turn off bright outdoor lights and use tiki torches, paper lanterns, string lights or small bon fires and candles to create a relaxing ambience.
Cover walls with scene setters featuring tropical images like a beach, palm trees, tiki or floral patterns. Hang “aloha” greeting banners and garlands.
Use tropical or bright colored cloths with fish netting. Scatter seashells, sand and other beach-like accents. For a simpler look, try grass skirts, raffia or ti leaves with a basic tablecloth or tapa fabric and fresh flowers. Add pineapples, coconuts, fresh flower and fruit arrangements as centerpieces.
Spice up the scene with inflatable palm trees, parrots, tropical fish and flamingos to name a few. Or use flat cutouts for quicker preparation.
Using cardboard thatʼs about 5 – 6 feet tall, paint the body of a hula dancer and surfer and cut a circle out for each of the faces for guests to pose in.
Luau Party Themes
Add a little island flavor to any special event. After all, who can resist the combination of good food, tropical drinks, games and entertainment – all while wearing flip-flops? Fun and interactive, luaus are perfect for important events and occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, engagements, graduations and going away or welcome home parties. To make your celebration even more memorable, consider trying a specific theme or coming up with a unique one of your own.
Invite guests to show up in their best hula costumes and encourage them to be creative. Hire professional hula dancers and offer free lessons.
Rent tiki statues, torches and other tiki décor. Have everyone wear tiki masks or provide supplies for them to design their own.
Set up sandboxes filled with beach toys, inflatable beach balls and props. Get guests to wear their favorite surf shorts, tank top or bikini.
Enforce an aloha attire dress code, from aloha shirts and shorts to muumuus and sarongs.
Use vintage Hawai’i photos as backdrops and hang posters and memorabilia. Welcome guests to wear retro aloha attire from the ʻ50s, ʻ60s, ʻ70s or ʻ80s era.
Sea Creature Theme
Perfect for kids. Decorate with inflatable fish and other sea creatures along with an ocean backdrop. Have kids wear different fish masks or make their own.
In addition to traditional luau decorations, set up paparazzi board cuts outs, red carpet and flashing lights. Have guests arrive in celebrity costumes with a tropical twist.
Luau Party Favors
Sending your guests home with luau leftovers is nice. But throw in some party favors and now weʼre really talking. Plus, it doesnʼt have to cost you an arm and a leg. Think of fun and practical or decorative and collectable – anywhere from small goody-bags with candies and stickers to toy sunglasses and necklaces. Scatter the favors across tables or hand them out as guests enter or leave. This way, no one goes home empty-handed. And everyone has something to remember the party.
- Leis & Flowers
- Kukui Nut
- Puka shell necklaces
- Puka shell bracelets/anklets
- Puka shell earrings
- Lip gloss
- Chap stick
- Temporary Tattoos
- Magnets & Keychains
- Palm Tree
- “Aloha” or “Hawaii”
- Folding paper fans
- Bottle openers
- Sun block lotion
- Beach towels
- Reusable tote bags
- Lighters or matches
- Beach Toys
- Beach ball
- Mini sand bucket and shovel
- Lifesaver or arm floaties
- Water gun
- Water balloons
- CSs & Music
- Hawaiian music
- Slack key guitar music
- Luau music mix
- Picture Frames
- Wooden with island theme
- Plastic with island theme
- Shot glasses
- Coconut cups
- Tiki mugs
- Floral print coasters
- Pineapple cookie cutters
- Candies & Mints
- Shortbread cookies
- Party mints
- Fruit lollipops
- Fruit flavored bubble gum
- Jelly beans
- Tropical taffy
- Chocolate covered macadamia nuts