Engaged couples looking for a beautiful, more informal and relaxed wedding theme should look no further than the Hawaiian luau! This theme is absolutely perfect for weddings taking place in spring and summer since the traditional luau would take place outdoors. Also, when most of us think of luaus, we’re imagining a balmy, tropical summer gathering of family and friends. So if you’re inclined towards a more informal wedding event, and especially if the big day is taking place outdoors during a warm time of the year, why not consider embracing some of the rich cultural traditions of a luau?
With its distinctive beauty and style, guests arriving at a luau concept wedding will immediately feel immersed in the theme. In most cases, today’s luau themed weddings for couples not born and raised in the Hawaiian culture are more casual and invoke a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere. And a Hawaiian luau themed wedding is also a fairly easy theme to accomplish with tons of ways to add tropical Polynesian touches. Just remember to be respective of the culture when incorporating these traditional elements. And just a few touches are most appropriate.
You can choose to wear traditional Hawaiian wedding clothes and encourage your guests to wear traditional Hawaiian semi-formal attire. “Hawaiian shirts and dresses” are a great suggestion for guests if you’d like the mood to be casual and want your guests to fully participate in the theme. Traditional apparel for the bride would be a long, white, loose dress and haku lei (flowers) worn around her head. The groom would traditionally wear a white shirt and white pants, often with red sash. Some grooms chose to wear linen pants with a “Hawaiian shirt”. A green maile lei (fresh green leaves from the maile vine) would be worn around his neck. If you choose to wear a tropical plumeria bloom over your ear, Polynesian culture proposes that you would wear it over your left ear, indicating that you were “taken” and not seeking a relationship!
It’s also a wonderful idea to provide leis not only for the wedding party, but also for all your guests in attendance. Women would receive the customary floral or kukui nut leis and men, floral, green maile or kukui nut leis. Keep in mind, silk leis are less expensive than fresh leis shipped from the Islands. They look terrific and provide a lasting keepsake from your wedding as well.
Plumeria, known as the lei flower, is a floral native to tropical areas including the Pacific Islands. Fresh or silk plumeria petals scattered down your aisle and plumeria garland strands draped behind you as you recite your vows are a lovely way to add Hawaiian elegance to your event. An abundance of tropical flowers lining tables, creating fragrant centerpieces, filling corners and framing doorways is a must. Anchoring “tiki torches” around your reception are another excellent choice, serving as an apropos decorative touch when filled with tropical flowers during the day, and an enchanting source of illumination at night. Tropical décor staples include orchids, palms, fruit, coconuts, coconut palm leaf fronds, conch shells, grasses and bamboo. Check out Save On Crafts for other tropical supplies and decorations!
Be sure to feature Hawaiian music throughout your wedding event. Perhaps even choose to use the Hawaiian Wedding Song for the song in which you walk down the aisle. Great ways to bring in Hawaiian music include hiring a Hawaiian music band and/or ukulele musician for your wedding reception or simply stream Hawaiian music during the event.
Definitely consider serving traditional Hawaiian cuisine at your luau themed wedding reception. Delicious menu selections include teriyaki beef or chicken, mahi-mahi, poi, haupia, lau lau, kalua pig (roast pork), lomi salmon and various tropical fruits. There are tons of other luau food ideas out there! We found this great pinterest board on luau party ideas featuring lots of delectable appetizers, entrées, drinks and desserts. And be sure to consider making the Blue Hawaiian your wedding signature drink!
Want to see highlights from an amazing luau themed wedding? Check out Cynthia and Dan’s wonderful Hawaiian luau wedding event held at the Marquand House, complete with gorgeous tropical leis, a Hawaiian music band, hula dancing and a ukelele player!
November 13th, 2014
by Kristi Chapman
in Tips & Ideas