Learning About Food and Cooking

Tips For Planning A Luau-Inspired Special Event

If you're planning a special event and don't know where to start, consider choosing a theme first. Picking a theme will help you narrow options such as menu items down, making the planning process easier. 

One party theme that will appeal to a wide range of guests, from kids to grandparents, is a luau. Not only will the theme feature fun, island-inspired decorations, and music, but the menu will also offer many fresh and delicious selections made with fresh seafood and seasonal produce.

A luau theme is appropriate for almost any type of event of special occasion, including kids' and adults' birthday celebrations, family or corporate holiday parties, family reunions, graduation and anniversary soirees, baby and bridal showers, and wedding receptions. The theme also works for both warm-weather and winter parties, and indoor and outdoor venues, such as banquet rooms or country barns. 

Depending on your party-planning budget and the size of your guest list, you can either make the luau-inspired menu items yourself or hire a professional caterer to do the job for you. If you go with the latter option, pick a catering company that specializes in that type of menu.

Here are some additional tips for planning a luau-inspired special event:

1. Hawaiian-Themed Menu 

A Hawaiian luau-inspired menu is heavy on fresh, grilled food as well as pineapple in many different forms. As one idea, set up a build-your-own-skewer bar on a buffet-style table, and allow guests to create their own meals. Provide a variety of ingredients that are easy to slide onto skewers, such as scallops, shrimp, cubed chicken and beef, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple, and mango. 

Grill the skewers and serve them alongside other Hawaiian-themed foods, such as tropical salsa and chips, poke, mac salad, and pineapple upside-down cake. If you're serving cocktails, you can't go wrong with pineapple-flavored rum or traditional mai tais, which are made with rum, orange curacao, fresh lime juice, and a type of almond syrup.

2. Luau-Inspired Decorations 

Whether you're holding the event indoors or outdoors, you can infuse the venue with plenty of Hawaiian spirit. Start by wrapping grass skirts around the guest and food service tables for an authentic luau look. 

Tropical-themed inflatables, such as palm trees and pineapples, as well as vibrantly hued balloons, will give the space an instant pop of color. If the party is outdoors, set up tiki torches to give the space plenty of ambiance at night. 

Table decor ideas include real or paper pineapples, vases filled with fresh topical blooms, and coconuts. Reach out to a catering company such as Marians Island Wide Catering to find out more.