A luau is a Hawaiian party or celebration. An authentic luau should meet certain requirements pertaining to entertainment, menu, etc. However, you can have a great party no matter where you are by throwing your own luau themed party.
So how do you decorate for your luau?
If you can have the party outdoors, that will work the best, but you can adapt any of the ideas for an indoor space if you need to.
If you’re outside, invest in some tiki torches. They really add a special feel to your party, and they’re relatively cheap too (and reusable). If you need more lighting, try putting out fairy (aka Christmas lights) or candles (if you’re outside, citronella candles can help keep mosquitoes at bay). If you’re by a pool or have a water feature, consider floating candles.
Even if you have the party indoors, try to have as many candles as possible, or possibly even mini table top tiki torches. Depending on whether you’re going for a classy or kitschy look, you can have nice hurricane candles, or brightly coloured fish shaped candles.
2. Table Center pieces
Whether you only have tables to hold refreshments or everyone is sat down, you need to decorate your tables. A really stunning center piece is to use real fish. Buy cheap goldfish bowls or vases (I’ve used round glass fish bowls from the dollar store before). In the bottom of the bowls, put in some glass pebbles, sand, or seashells. Fill the bowls with real fish (remember to let the water sit out for a day first or to treat it-you can’t put fish directly in tap water). We recently did this and bought red minnows and gold fish for 13 cents each! We had helium balloons and tied the strings around the top of the goldfish bowls so that the balloons floated above them. This looked fantastic and made a really memorable focal point to the decorations.
The one drawback to using real fish is that you will still have loads of fish the day after the party, so make sure you can find new homes for them. If you have a pond or stream, you can buy varieties that can live in the wild outdoors and simply put them in there (climatize them first). Or you can add them to your fish tank. Or let people bring fish home with them!
Other centrepiece ideas are to use exotic flowers (like live orchid plants), or tiki objects.
3. Shop cheap
Especially during the summer, it’s worth checking out bargain shops before holding your luau. Dollar and discount stores will often have luau themed party objects for a pound or less. Consider buying a pack of little umbrellas to go in drinks, some palm tree confetti to sprinkle on the tables, etc.