Special touches of Aloha
turn a good luau into an amazing luau!
Below are tips and suggestions to easily create a luau or Hawaii theme celebration
Hawaiian word "Lu'au" (pronounce loo-ow) means 'a feast'. A
luau is not necessarily a public affair on the luau grounds of a Hotel. For the people who
live in the Hawaiian Islands a luau is a gathering of family and friends to enjoy good
food, good company, and good times! There may or may not be spontaneous ukulele or guitar
playing by uncle, with everyone singing, and auntie dancing the hula.
Luaus are a fun way to enjoy quality family time and are especially held for occasions
like birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, bridal & baby showers, rehearsal dinners,
weddings receptions, family reunions, class reunions and more. You can enjoy a fun
authentic Hawaiian luau with your friends and family anywhere, anytime. The
atmosphere at a luau is "Hang Loose". Luaus are ideal if you are planning a
party with many people meeting for the first time. Your guests are more relaxed right from
the start. We offer a wealth of information to assist you in hosting a Hawaii theme
party anytime, anywhere...
Send Hawaii Theme Invitations to
Your Luau Guests
You can create your own luau invitations using your home computer
and printer or add touches of Hawaii to professionally printed invitations. You can
incorporate popular words and phrases as well as translate guests first names into
Click here to review our resource of popular Hawaiian words
Click here to review our resource of first names into Hawaiian.
Encourage Your Luau Guests to Wear
Hawaiian attire is very popular and many people have a Hawaiian
shirt or dress in their wardrobe, especially those who have visited Hawaii. Since Hawaiian
attire is popular many stores offer it. Thrift stores are also a great resource for Hawaii
attire. The internet also makes acquiring Hawaii attire anywhere just a click away.
The Guest of Honor Should Wear A
In the Hawaiian culture a lei is a garland or necklace and they
are typically made of real flowers, silk flowers, nuts, shells, leaves, or feathers. A lei
can acknowledge someone of great importance, such as a guest of honor. A lei can also be
given to express love, appreciation and show respect. If all of the guests will also be
wearing leis the guest of honor should wear a different lei or a fancier to make them
stand out. For men who do not want to wear flowers popular masculine leis are maile leis
or kukui nut leis. Maile leis are green leafy vine looking leis. Kukui nut leis are made
from the nut of the state tree and in ancient Hawaiian times were only give to people of
great importance since they were very sacred. Silk leis, kukui nut leis and shell leis
which are a nice economical alternative to fresh leis which require expensive express
shipping and special packaging.
Most Popular Lifelike Silk Flower Leis: Plumeria, Rainbow Bougainvillea,
Puakenikeni-Pakalana-Pikake, Shell Ginger
Most Popular Masculine Forever Leis: Kukui Nut, Silk Maile
Have a Hula Girl or Girls Welcome
Your Luau Guests with Leis
If you would like to adorn all of your luau guests in leis a
great thing to do is have one or a few girls dress in Hawaii attire or as hula girls and
greet each guest as they arrive with a lei. Silk leis, nut leis, or shell leis are the
most economical options when you plan to adorn a number of people in leis. Shell leis are
the most cost effective lei available and make great keepsakes from the luau.
Most popular forever leis for guests: Silk Rainbow Lei, Dovetail Shell with Cowry Shell
Lei, Kukui Nut Lei
Use Loose Blooms to Decorate
Lifelike silk loose plumeria blooms are great to use to decorate,
they really turn an area into a tropical paradise. They can also be used to decorate
buffet displays, dining tables, the bar, lawns, and dance floor. Combine the loose blooms with items like Hawaiian Kissing Couple s&p shakers, hula
wigglers, tropical wooden bowls with macadamia
nuts and pineapple hard candy, Hawaii theme guest book, silk,
kukui nut or shell leis and fresh pineapples or flowers to create festive table
centerpieces and guest book table decorations. Encourage your guests to pick up a loose
bloom and for the men put them in a button hole. For the ladies they can easily put them
in their hair by using bobby pins.
Create Tropical Table Centerpieces
Easily create tropical centerpieces for your luau using items
like Hawaiian kissing couple s&p shakers, dashboard hula wigglers, fresh pineapples,
lifelike silk plumeria blooms, tropical wooden bowls with macadamia nuts and pineapple
hard candy, candles in real bamboo or coconut shells, Hawaiian Warrior Helmets, and silk,
kukui nut or shell leis. They really set the Hawaii mood and then you can give items like
fresh pineapples, Hawaiian kissing couple figurines and dashboard hula wigglers away as
game or door prizes to your guests at the end of the luau.
here to view MORE PHOTOS of other table centerpiece suggestions you can easily create.
Use Strands of Flowers to Decorate
Arches, Alters, and Isles at the Ceremony
Strands of flowers are the easiest way to add a tropical touch to
arches, line the isle, decorate fences and table skirts and more.
Above a circle of flowers is shown. Ideal for marking the area announcements
will be made from, creating an extra special atmosphere around the person of honor, or a
photo location for guests to capture festive memories from the celebration. The circle of
flowers shown above is created using 2 10-foot long open silk plumeria strands and 40
loose silk plumeria blooms.
Tiki Torches Make Great
Decorations for Day or Evening Luaus
Tiki Torches are a great way to add a tropical atmosphere. If the
luau is in the evening the torches can be lit, if the luau is during the day the tiki
torch makes a great flower arrangement holder. To use as a flower arrangement holder as
shown above remove the fuel holder and put the fresh or silk flower stems in it's place.
Orchid sprays, shower tree branches, anthuriums and other tropical flowers are great for
tiki torch flower displays. Silk leis, especially silk ankle/wrist leis, are ideal for
tying on to the torch stand to add more tropical flare. Lightweight chiffon fabric can
also be tied between the tiki torches to create an isle, section off areas, etc. Tiki
torches are typically available in home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes and
can also be found in the patio section of stores like Walmart and Kmart.
Have Candles in Real Coconut Shell
or Bamboo on the Tables
For evening luaus candles in real bamboo or coconut shells are
great to place on the tables and fill the air with the fragrance of Hawaii.
Provide Name Tags for Your Guests
with Their First Name Translated Into Hawaiian
Luau guests find it fun to learn what their name would be in
Hawaiian. Using your home computer and printer create name tags using label stickers.
Print on them your guests first names translated into Hawaiian.
here for phonetic translations of first names into Hawaiian.
Hawaii Flower Behind the Ear
Have lifelike silk plumeria blooms available for your guests to wear behind their ear. The
tradition in Hawaii is if you are single the flower should be worn behind the right ear
and if you are taken then the flower should be worn behind the left ear.
Use Fun Items for Food and
Rather than using a
typical cooler to store your canned and bottled beverages fill up a plastic or blow up
kiddy pool with ice and use that!
Instead of typical
serving bowls and platters to serve punch, salads, macadamia nuts treats, chips, or other
buffet items use large sea shells or beach pails as a fun alternative. Small shells are
great to hold condiments like salt and pepper.
Use grass skirts to go
around the outside of tables.
Use fish nets and sea
shells to decorate tables, the patio and/or dance floor areas.
Use beach sand or pool
filter sand to the decorate patio and/or dance floor area.
Rather than using sand to
decorate food display tables and dining tables where it could get into food use brown
Serve Popular Luau Foods
Introduce your luau guests to foods and beverages which are
favorites in the Hawaiian Islands by serving items such as kalua pig, teriyaki beef,
mahi-mahi, laulau, mochiko chicken, shoyu chicken, huli-huli chicken, chicken long rice,
potato-mac salad, lomi lomi salmon, haupia, macadamia nut cream pie, mochi, mai tais, and
blue Hawaiians. We offer recipes for these and more so you can make them yourself or hire
a caterer to make them for you. We also offer recipes specific to having a luau theme
Thanksgiving dinner and a luau theme Christmas party.
If you go to a luau in the Hawaiian Islands you are usually
able to see how an entire pig is roasted underground in a traditional Hawaiian imu pit
which is an underground oven. It takes a day to prepare the imu pit and a day to slow
roast the pig in the pit. It is a lot of work but the meat just falls off the bones and is
very tender and delicious. This roasted pig is called kalua pig. We offer directions on
making kalua pig using an authentic Hawaiian imu pit. We also offer easier methods for
making kalua pig by oven roasting it or using a slow cooker in our popular luau foods
view recipes for popular luau foods and beverages click here.
recipes for having a luau theme Thanksgiving click here.
recipes and games for having a luau theme Christmas party click here.
instructions on cooking with a traditional Hawaiian imu pit click here.
Serve Poi, A Traditional Hawaiian
Poi is a starch food that typically accompanies an authentic
Hawaiian luau. Poi was eaten by the ancient Hawaiians and is attributed to keeping them so
healthy. It is still enjoyed by people in Hawaii as a side dish or a snack. Poi
accompanies dishes like Kalua pig and laulau really well. Poi is made from the taro root
which is similar looking to a yam root. To make poi the taro root is pounded repeatedly
with a heavy rock or wooden implement called a poi pounder and mixed with a little water
at a time until the taro is mashed and the consistency of pudding. Poi is purple in color
and is traditionally eaten with the fingers. Eating taro can be compared to having mashed
potatoes with a meal but is much healthier for you. For your luau you may now want to
pound your poi yourself since it is a lot of work. There is now an easier way to get poi
then pounding it, it is to make it from dehydrated poi. It is 100% taro which was made
into poi then all the water is removed to create the powdered poi. You only need to add
water to the powdered poi and you instantly have authentic Hawaiian poi without all the
work of having to pound it yourself.
Serve Tropical Fruits from Hawaii
Pineapples are delicious and good
for you. They are high in vitamin C and have an enzyme that aides in digestion. A tip for
serving fresh pineapples is to leaving the skin on cut the top off then cute each
pineapple into quarters length wise. You can then cut the quarter into portions but don't
cut it all the way through the skin. The skin will act as a serving bowl and each quarter
can be put on a table. Those who want some can easily break off a single serving
To create Pineapple Boats by taking a whole pineapple with the skin and top
still on and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop/cut out the pineapple meat leaving the skin
and top. Then fill each pineapple half with the pineapple pieces and other fruits like
sliced banana, apples slices, grapes, strawberries, etc.
Pineapples make a great item to stick fruit skewers into for serving. Create fruit skewers
using items like different kinds of melon, kiwi, pineapple chunks, papaya, and
strawberries. Then stick the skewer pointy end into the pineapple to serve.
Papaya are another delicious tropical fruit popular in the Hawaiian
Islands. Papaya are great sliced into spears and served on their own or cut into cubes and
put into a fruit salad or on fruit skewers. Fresh papaya also makes a great salsa! Fresh
papaya are also healthy for you and contains enzymes which are excellent for your
digestive system. They are a perfect complement to any luau!
Decorate the Luau Cake With a
Use adorable Hawaiian figurines, lifelike silk plumeria blooms, and silk leis to easily turn any plain cake into a tropical delight! Whether you bake the cake
yourself or get a store bought cake this is a simple but impressive way to decorate the
cake for your luau.
for popular luau cake recipes.
Serenade Your Luau Guests with
Hawaiian bands are all over the USA and you can hire a band to
play live for your guests. You can also play cds of Hawaiian music or play streaming
Hawaiian music on your computer.
Click here to review Hawaiian radio stations you can listen to on your
Hire a Hula Dancer to Perform or
Hula dancing is popular all over the world. We offer a resource
of listing for hula performers for hire where you can have them come to dance for your
guests or even teach them a few hula moves! You don't have to hire a
professional hula dancer, you can learn how to hula and teach your guests! We offer
information on basic hula moves.
Click here to view information on basic hula moves.
Hire a Fire Knife Dancer to
Fire knife dancing is a popular event at a luau but it is not
actually a Hawaiian tradition, it is Samoan. But it is spectacular to see! We offer a
resource of listing for fire knife performers for hire where you can have them come to
dance for your guests.
Offer a Hula Outfit or Outfits for
Luau Guests to Wear for Photos
A fun way to get luau guests in the mood is to put on Hawaiian music
and offer a few hula outfits, maybe real coconut bra, and silk leis for them to put on and
try a few hula moves. It makes for great photos and lots of laughs. A Hula outfit is also
great thing to have the guest of honor wear at a little girl luau parties!
CUSTOMER COMMENT FROM SOMEONE WHO HELD A LUAU USING OUR TIPS, FRESH LEIS,
HULA SKIRT, & COCONUT BRA:
My deluxe liberty lei and deluxe haku (head wreath as everyone kept calling
it) were absolutely gorgeous and I received several compliments. The hula skirt and
coconut bra I ordered was a source of entertainment for all. I decided to wear something
with a little more coverage than it provided. I ended up hanging it on the wall for
decoration and before the night was over most of the MEN had put it on and performed the
hula. But, I dont think what they were doing could REALLY qualify as the
hula! (The hula dancer shown in the photo has a wig on that I just happen to
have handy!) - Terry C, Arkansas
Play Fun Hawaii Theme Games
Entertain your guests by playing fun Hawaii theme games that
everyone will enjoy like the tacky tourist relay, toss the coconut, musical beach towels,
hula hoop races, judge who has the loudest aloha shirt and more!
suggestions for Hawaii theme games click here.
suggestions for Hawaii theme Christmas games click here.
Provide Fun Photo Opportunities for
Luaus are a lot of fun and should provide for a lot of fun photo
memories. Have a digital camera handy and be sure your batteries are well charged.
Encourage your guests to bring their camera or have a few disposable cameras on hand for
guests to use. A fun thing to do for your guests is to have a photo station set up where
your guests get a keepsake photo taken. Fun ideas for a photo station are:
- set up a Hawaii scenic backdrop and have guests take photos as they enter
- offer guests items they can put on for the photo like a hula skirt, mu'u mu'u, beach
hat, silk leis, snorkel mask and flippers, oversized sunglasses, wigs, etc. Offer props
like a boogie board, beach ball, surfboard, inflatable floaties, etc. An ironing board
makes a great make shift surfboard so your guests can hang ten for a fun photo!
- Make a fake giant wave or Hawaiian scene with a face cut out. If you are creative you
can do this using plywood, cardboard or and old sheet for the backdrop and paint, poster
paint or markers to decorate it.
Have a Hawaii Theme Guest book for
Guests to Sign
Set up a guest book table with a Hawaii theme guest book. Have them
provide their email address so you can email them photos from the luau as well as thank
them for attending. If you have loose blooms on your guest book table you can also have a
sign on the table asking your guests to please sign the guest book and take an bloom for
behind their ear or for their button hole. You can create a festive guest book table by
using a Hawaii theme guest book, Hawaiian kissing couple s&p shakers, dashboard
hula wigglers, fresh pineapples, lifelike silk plumeria blooms, tropical wooden bowls with
macadamia nuts and pineapple hard candy, candles in real bamboo or coconut shells,
Hawaiian Warrior Helmets, and silk, kukui nut or shell leis.
CUSTOMER COMMENT: "Our 50th Anniversary (Midwest)
Hawaiian Luau went so well last week. We are especially grateful to you for making that
so. We utilized almost every aspect of your luau tips - from menus to games and
especially to the flowers and ti leaves. I was so skeptical about the leis arriving safely
and fresh - and they turned out wonderfully. In Iowa a lei is a real rarity and
especially appreciated....and using the ti leaves on the tables produced a wonderful
backdrop for the fruit centerpieces. Well, you get the idea. We had a very successful
party, and couldn't have done it nearly so well without your tips and services. Mahalo is
the best way to conclude!" Jim & Joe W., Iowa
Be sure to
check out our
additional tips and resources
for having a Hawaii theme luau!