How to Plan your own Hawaiian-Style Luau

Luaus are great if you’re looking for an unusual and fun party theme. Here in Hawaii, luaus are a traditional way to celebrate a baby’s first birthday, graduations, weddings or any excuse for a party. Often they 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, foliageand orchid sprays from lei vendors in Hawaii who will ship to the mainland (our name for the other 49 states).

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 Hawaiian 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. You can buy most of what you’ll need online from Hawaiian Luau Party Supply.

Paper parasols and slices of pineapple on the edge of drinks will put your guests in a tropical mood. Check out our Mai Tai recipe.

The popular dashboard hula dancer - acailable at Hawaiian Luau Party SupplyBe 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.

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.

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).

Our Suggested Menu

Kalua Pig
Poi
Sweet potatoes
Luau or laulau
Lomi salmon
Tropical fruit such as pineapple, mango and papaya
Haupia
Mai Tai Drinks

Click for luau recipes and have fun!!