How to Plan a Luau Wedding Reception
Luaus make for easy, casual wedding receptions
By Cynthia Myers
Whether the bride and groom have planned a honeymoon in the South Pacific, or only wish they could, a luau is wonderful way to start their married life together. Traditional luaus celebrate family, friends, good food and fun--the same things they'll want to celebrate at their wedding reception. Luaus are more relaxed than formal receptions and encourage guests to mingle and enjoy themselves.
- What You Need to Know
- Organize the familiar elements of a luau ceremony. Typical things to include are orchids and other tropical flowers, flower leis, candles, tiki torches, twinkle lights, paper umbrellas, coconut shells, Hawaiian music and tropical drinks and food.
Choose your location carefully. Ideally, a luau should be held outside. A pool or an area with fountains makes an ideal venue for your tropical party. Arrange tables near the water, float flowers in the pool, and accent fountains with lights and more flowers. If you're confined to an indoor setting, bring the beach inside by adding a portable fountain or two.
Set the mood with decorations. Think orchids on the tables, large arrangements of birds of paradise, lots of citronella candles and tiki torches. Thread twinkle lights through potted palms. Construct a palm-frond-topped palapa over the bar and add a grass skirt to the buffet table to add to the island feel. Mark place cards out of paper umbrellas or coconut shells.
Greet guests with a hearty "aloha" and present each with a lei of fresh or silk flowers. Offer orchids for the women to tuck in their hair.
Play Hawaiian or beach music, at least to begin the evening. Hire hula dancers to provide entertainment.
Offer your guests punch with paper umbrellas or a signature cocktail with an island theme, such as rum punch, mai tai or tequila sunrise. Serve teriyaki chicken, fresh pineapple or Polynesian shrimp. For dramatic meal, serve a whole roast pig.
Send your guests home with a favor that invokes the islands. Shop stores that specialize in Hawaiian souvenirs for items such as carved tiki figures or hula girl wigglers. These items can serve as table directions until your guests depart.
About the Author
Cynthia James is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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