The Hawaiian word LUAU (pronounced loo-ow) means- a feast. For the people who live in the Hawaiian Islands, a luau is a gathering of family and friends to enjoy good food, good company, and good times! Because the atmosphere at a luau is Hang Loose and less stuffy than a traditional formal wedding reception, guests and the wedding couple tend to be more relaxed right from the start, which allows everyone to enjoy themselves and the reception more fully. With creative decorating any backyard or banquet hall can be turned into a virtual Hawaii destination!
Encourage guests to wear aloha attire to get in the Aloha spirit and contribute to the Hawaiian atmosphere. The most cost-effective way to add touches of Hawaii is to decorate with fresh loose orchid blooms. It is amazing what a change in atmosphere adding a few fresh orchids here and there can do! They can be used to add tropical touches to your wedding cake, food plates, bar drinks, tabletops, grassy areas, and float in water features. You can encourage guests to pick up a loose orchid and put it in their buttonhole or behind their ear. In Hawaii, wearing a flower behind an ear has a specific meaning…Behind the left ear means taken, behind the right ear means available.
How much Hawaiiana you want to add is up to you your personal preference and budget. Some additional creative ways to add touches of Hawaii to your wedding reception are:
- Have children dressed in hula outfits to greet guests with silk or shell leis?
- Have a live Hawaiian band with hula dancers perform.
- Have a professional hula dancer give a basic hula lesson.
- Encourage guests to get up and dance by award the first 6 people on the dance floor a fresh lei.
- Have a Hawaiian photo scene set up for guests to take a keepsake photo then sign your guest book.
- Have stations with Hawaiian luau wedding theme games for guests to enjoy to get them to mingle and have fun.
- Translate your guest’s names into Hawaiian and put it on their place cards.
Have cards on each table with Hawaiian words and their English meanings or fun Hawaii related facts to entertain your guests and teach them a little about Hawaii.
- Use whole fresh pineapples and loose orchids to create table centerpieces.
If your budget is tight, don’t be afraid to improvise like playing Hawaiian luau wedding music CDs instead of having a live band. Also, get a Learn to Hula DVD and have one of your wedding party learn to do a hula dance that she can do at the reception as well as teach the other guests. Keep in mind it is your special day so incorporate whatever most appeals to you.