Who wants to go to Maui? (both hands raised) We do. Pretty much always. But as I'm sure you can imagine, Maui is not always on the menu. But now that it's Summer, themed parties are definitely on the specials board and we'll have a Mai-Tai. So if you're into the Luau vibe, this post is for you. Here's 31 of the most awesome party decor tips and Polynesian fusion recipes to throw your best Luau, playlist and all!
1. SET THE THEME WITH LUAU INVITATIONS
Get your friends excited to party Hawaiian style with Luau themed invitations from Paperless Post; they let your guests know to hula up in their best aloha-wear. Click the cards below to customize your own:
2. decorate with pineapples!
We have a major obsession with pineapples. Can't explain it, they're not even our favorite fruit. My (Allie here) favorite fruit is a nectarine and if I'd have to guess, say Mom's are cherries. But back to my point, pineapples are just have that perfect shape and texture as a decorative piece. All of these pineapple decor ideas are DIY'able and the ingredients can be picked up right at the local grocers.
From Left to right:
- Spray painting pineapples gold is absolute genius. An inexpensive way to decorate the party with a little glitz via Ruffled Blog. Place them on the bar, buffet table or use as a centerpiece.
- Set up the bar with pineapples, because why not. Mai-tai's, coladas or pineapple margaritas (recipes below) pair perfectly with a few pineapples along the bar next to your beverage dispenser, party straws and champagne cooler. Via The Reformation.
- Bring a little aloha to the table. This bridal brunch featured on 100 Layer Cake is pineapple perfection with sea green table linens, gold flatware, gold rimmed dinnerware and a centerpiece of, duh... pineapples.
- Pineapples and pom fronds down the table. Chic and festive via Studio DIY.
- Itty Bitty DIY Pineapple Walnuts. Aren't they the cutest?!?! Would look adorable to decorate down the table runway and buffet table. Tutorial via Studio DIY.
- Sponged Painted Pineapple Runner, so chic! All you need is a black paper runner and a big car wash sponge to whip up this awesome DIY runner via Dukes & Duchesses.
- Tie in some color and spray paint just the tip, just to see how it feels. Pursuit of Shoes gives us the skinny on spray painting pineapple with a DIY tutorial here.
- DIY yourself a pineapple lantern with start to finish instructions via Studio DIY.
- Carve out a pineapple vase for a colorful centerpiece via Sugar & Cloth.
- Morph pinecones into pineapples by spray painting them in bright hues, glue gunning tissue paper leaves and tied to ribbon for your very own pineapple garland via Tara Whittakher.
3. SET THE SCENE WITH LUAU INSPIRED PARTY DECOR
Decorating with color is one of the easiest ways to create the island vibe. If you're like us and tend to err on the side of neutrals, colorful paper lanterns, umbrellas and party straws are affordable ways to set the scene for your Luau without breaking the bank.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
- Paper lanterns. Add height and color to your Luau with paper lanterns, paper poms, and paper rosettes in orange, pink, coral, teal, yellow and green for a true Hawaiian color scheme.
- Paper parasols for colorful shade in bright colors. Inspo via Apartment Therapy. Find parasols in all the bright colors here.
- Pineapple lawn bowling with gold spray painted pineapples and a coconut "bowling ball" is pure genius. Via Kelly Go Lightly.
- We love mason sippers and party straws! They're easy for guests to refill and play at the party without spills. The set of 12 is only $35.99 and what's not to love about that.
4. TASTE THE ISLAND: RECIPES FOR A HAWAIIAN BUFFET:
The last time we went to a legit Luau on Maui, we definitely over ate because the buffet was filled with fresh pineapple, coconut pudding, grilled mahi mahi and the Luau staple...fire roasted pork. These are the dishes that make a Luau so memorable. To give your friends a true Hawaiian experience, we've rounded up some flavorful dishes to serve buffet style.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
- Hawaiian Hula Pork Fajitas with Pineapple Slaw and Coconut Rice via Half Baked Harvest.
- Huli Huli Chicken Skewers bia Aida Mollenkamp
- Mahi Mahi Sliders with grilled pineapple, corn brussel sprout slaw and lime sour cream via Cooking for Keeps.
- Hawaiian BBQ Salmon Burgers with Coconut Grilled Pineapple via Half Baked Harvest.
- Pineapple Fried Rice via KokoCooks
- Pineapple Salsa via Food Mayhem
- Chili Lime Fruit Platter via Sugar & Charm
- Pineapple Boat with Sorbet via The House that Lars Built
- Haupia Coconut Pudding via Vegetarian Times
5. EMBRACE THE SPIRITS OF ALOHA
DRINKS. No party is complete without a beverage buffet, so let's get tropical, people. Ever since Elvis's Blue Hawaii, it's traditional to make a Mai-Tai for your Hawaiian Luau, so we've rounded up some delicious recipes for the perfect Mai Tai, Piña Colada, Pineapple Sangria Mojito (untraditional but still in theme, judges ruling) and non-alcoholic drinks infused with fresh fruits.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
- Traditional Mai-Tai via Chow
- Pineapple Infused Water via Maui Creative Photography
- Pineapple Mojito Sangria via Kitchen Treaty
- Coconut Margarita via Gimme Some Oven
- Modern Mai-Tai via Oh So Beautiful Paper
- Shipwreck Punch via Oh So Beautiful Paper
6. A MODERN LUAU PLAYLIST: ALOHA STYLE
As always, the icing on the pineapple upside down cake is the perfect playlist to create some cool Aloha vibes. We've compiled over 2 hours (and growing) tracks set the Hawaiian Mood. If you're looking for traditional ukelele and sounds of the Pacific Islands, put Hapa radio on Pandora and you're set. Our playlist takes a more modern spin including Bob Marley, Slightly Stoopid, Michael Kiwanuka, Anuhea, Sister Nancy and more. Listen on spotify here.
Aloha! xx // allie + deb