How to Throw a Luau

Hey friendship!

With summer coming to an end, it was time to have one last hurrah in the sun before we start settling for cooler fall weather. We threw a luau.  The theme of the night was “You had me at aloha.” You can find my general Pinterest inspo board HERE for more luau ideas.  We didn’t incorporate everything on the board, but you’ll see a majority of the ideas came from there.

The Decorations


First and foremost – our guests were greeted with a place to grab leis for the night that you can find HERE.  I don’t know about you, but I’d say avoid those cheap ones you get in elementary school that feel like trash bags.  I prefer the ones that are more of a light fabric.  They aren’t really that much more expensive, and it makes it seem like a more legit night.

Let me tell you, Party City was my jam when planning this event.  They have a great selection of all things luau.  We bought fun cups to drink out of – which I think was more interesting than just having normal red plastic solo cups.  Here’s links to them (PINEAPPLE CUPS, COCONUT CUPS, PALM TREE CUPS, TIKI CUPS).

We bought TIKI TORCHES from Target.  I would recommend them.  They were inexpensive and set the right aesthetic. Mosquitoes are pretty bad in our area, so we filled it up with the kind of oil that keeps them away.  It worked pretty well for the most part, however, it seems like everyone’s feet got bitten up.  So even if you use that, I would recommend bug spray still. But the oil did significantly improve the amount of mosquitoes I usually see in my backyard.

Also, when we invited our guests we said “Hawaiian attire appreciated, but not required.”  I have such great people in my life because look at all this wonderful floral from the ladies of the luau.

We got a PALM TREE COOLER.  This was my incredibly fun – had to have, piece and I foresee me using this in the future, not just at luau-themed functions.  We have a picture of it filled with drinks and jello shots.  It looks like a lot of alcohol, but there was a significant amount of people there, I promise.

The Menu

The food of the party was incredibly Pinterest inspired.  I’ll link the each specific pin that helped guide us in the right direction.  I would say really commit on the menu.  It makes it more fun.

Appetizers – Dolphin Fruit – PIN / Chips – PIN

Shout out to my friend Aby who made the dolphin fruit platter – turned out, so cute right?  I feel like more people eat fruit when it’s cute like this. So stay healthy, make fruit cute.

We were looking for SAND PAILS at Target randomly found this pineapple ones.  Chips are kind of a party staple and so easy, but putting them in sand pails kept them more in theme.

Party Drink – Rum Punch

We had a rum punch recipe, but ended up not following it at all.  It had a lot of cranberry, and I took a survey from our guests and absolutely no one in this world likes cranberry (sorry if you do, I’m kidding).  Aby and I somehow made this by throwing stuff together, and people liked it? The contents of the rum punch are – Bacardi, Malibu Rum, Pineapple juice, Simply Tropical, Orange Juice and a little simple sugar (and then fruit to make it pretty 🙂 ).  I wish I had a cool recipe for you to follow, but we just poured, taste tested, and adjusted.  I would recommend a partner for a sanity check if it does taste good.

Main Course – Hawaiian Kebabs – PIN

We followed this recipe, but left the guests with the choice of beef or chicken.  We used the same marination sauce from the pin for the beef and it tasted just as good.

We also had someone bring sliders as secondary option and we put them on Hawaiian bread – because STICK TO THE THEME! 🙂

Dessert – S’mores Starfish – PIN

I got my little sister to make these guys.  They were really cute in real life.  Of course not quite like the pin, but when is it ever?  Also… really super delicious.  Like if you don’t have a luau, I would make these anyways. They are the right amount of sweetness.

Also – shout out to my sister Jessica – if she reads this – I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of your sailboat deviled eggs 🙁 but everyone please know I love her and I appreciate her (and plz luv me still <3 ).


There you have it.  Here are some ideas and things that worked for me for creating a summer ending luau bash.  All the guests seemed to enjoy themselves.  Gotta love a good theme.  Do you have any summer ending fun coming up in your life?

All the love and regards,


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