Start bringing together your Hawaiian luau party ideas by giving your tables a luau look with brightly colored tablecloths and raffia skirts. Use palm fronds, scattered orchids or seashells to add interest. Bowls of fruit with flowers for decoration will make striking centerpieces. You can create a casual feel by using rattan paper-plate holders lined with ti leaves and bright plastic utensils.
Traditionally, Hawaiian wedding reception luaus are filled with food, music, and dance. The main dish is roast pig, cooked in an 'imu' or underground oven. Other popular luau foods include chicken, salmon, and fresh tuna. Hawaiian recipes for these can be found online, as well as instructions for making an 'imu' and roasting a whole pig. 'Poi' a taro-root paste, might not please your guests' palates, but it is traditionally Hawaiian and should be available to taste.
Drinks for your reception might include a punch made from fresh tropical fruits, or you could serve Mai Tais, pineapple Daiquiris, or Pina Coladas. A rubber raft filled with flower-strewn ice would make a fun drink cooler.
For your wedding cake, consider a coconut-flavored cake with tropical fruit mousse filling. As a cake topper, try a mysterious tiki figure surrounded by orchids.
Hawaiian music has a romantic sound like no other. If you can, hire Hawaiian musicians with Hawaiian instruments. The slack-key guitar, ukulele, drums, rattles, bamboo trumpets, and even nose flutes are all traditional and will add unique sounds to your celebration.
A Hawaiian king once said, "Hula is the language of the heart - the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people." Let it also be the heartbeat of your Hawaiian-theme wedding. If you do not know where to hire hula dancers for your wedding reception, check dance studios for hula classes. Consider hiring the instructor, and maybe some accomplished students to give a demonstration and perhaps get your guests swaying their own hips.
Other Hawaiian luau party ideas for your wedding reception activities include:
- Traditional Hawaiian tattooing with henna dyes; tattoo lasts for 1-2 weeks.
- A hula-hoop competition for kids of all ages.
- Sandboxes set up in wading pools complete with shovels and pails.