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Authentic Summer Luau Party


I have been bursting at the seams to share the outcome of our luau with you!  I’m sure you saw the sneak peeks on Instagram over the weekend, but today I have so many photos all taken by the amazingly talented Allie Lehman who was able to capture us having time best time.

I shared with you guys a month ago what my vision was for the party.  I am obsessed with all things Hawaii, so I wanted to bring the things that I love most about the islands to my friends and family in Ohio.  We teamed up with Pier 1 Imports on the project, sourced some perfect accessories, and were able to create exactly the look I was hoping to achieve – a very classy, non-cheesy, traditional style hawaiian luau.

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When I told people I was having a luau, reactions ranged from people thinking it was the cheesiest theme-y idea ever to people asking if I was wearing a grass skirt (neither happened).  I pulled inspiration from the island feeling that I have when I travel to Hawaii with an aim to create a sunny, relaxed, natural, and rustic atmosphere.  I pulled colors and textures from that of nature rather than that of a party store.  Bright hues came from the tropical flowers and fruits that we decorated with.  I loved Jenn’s idea of using a pineapple as a vase, which is an obvious tie-in to the tropical table.

Mai Tai’s (my absolutely favorite tropical drink) were adorned with fringy umbrellas and a giant wedge of pineapple.  Fresh orchid leis certainly put everyone in the aloha spirit.  There are so so so many photos of all the many details.  Keep on reading for tons more details!

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We created a menu based on the luaus we’ve attended on the islands.  Kalua pork which was slow smoked over a period of 12 hours was the star of the menu and was served with pineapple friend rice, sesame slaw, and of course, hawaiian sweet bread.

A big platter of tropical fruits, key lime pie (not because it’s hawaiian, just because I like it) and a giant 4 layer coconut cake were a sweet treat after the smokey pork.






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We had a blast!  I couldn’t have asked for a better night or better company!

I hope you’re inspired to throw your own luau!  My source list for the majority of the decor is here.


Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pier 1 via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pier 1.



16 Comments on “Authentic Summer Luau Party”

  1. Mary @ The Kitchen Paper June 18, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    Woohoo!! I love this! These pictures are beautiful (as are you!), and this looks like it was a blast!

  2. Lexi @ Glitter, Inc. June 18, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    This is absolutely adorable — I love a great outdoor Summer party!
    xx Lexi, Glitter, Inc.

  3. Yolonda June 18, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Gorgeous! Feeling inspired.

  4. Erin | Holtwood Hipster June 18, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Turned out absolutely lovely! The table was beautiful and that key lime pie looks amazing (it’s my favorite dessert!).

  5. Ashley | StyleOnHigh June 18, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    What a great idea and beautiful party! Super impressed and inspired. Well done!

  6. Rachael June 18, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Erin, this is so beautiful! I’m obsessed with coconut cake, your instagram has had me craving it like crazy!

  7. Kerry / Burritos & Bubbly June 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    Yay! I’ve been excited to see the final party ever since you shared your ideas. I love it. I think we need a little more Hawaii in Ohio all the time, haha!

  8. emily June 20, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    wow! love, love, love the pineapple turned vase. so many fun details.

  9. Darleen June 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    We love luaus! The food and flowers and the music is such a wonderful combination and no matter how many times we go we always love it! Thank you for sharing the pictures and the memories with us!

  10. Amy Ledesma June 26, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    Wow I love this theme . We have had Luaus in the past and both were great fun .We played some Don Ho,had the little ones dance in grass skirts and enjoyed a great batch of coconut cake,Then the kids played football grass skirts and all.

  11. jenn June 26, 2014 at 2:32 am #

    Your table is beautiful but I think you can try adding more than a few custom like blue jet ski drinks.

  12. Susan June 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    I would been in paradise if I could win this never have had any thing like this or even close to it

  13. mel June 28, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    love these ideas!!! i will have to try it

  14. Mariella July 4, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    This is all gorgeous, Erin. Congrats! I absolutely love all the details.

  15. Susan Brown July 9, 2014 at 7:21 am #

    So absolutely beautiful and inspiring!! I am throwing a Luau very soon, going to start getting plans ready today!!

  16. Katie Meyers / Meyers Styles July 10, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Erin – This party looks fab! A chic twist on a traditional luau party… love it. :)

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