Ask An Expert: Hawaiian Luau Theme

In Ideas, Inspiration, Trends

Hello. My name is Lina and I???m getting married in April 2013. The theme for my wedding is a Hawaiian luau. I???m on a $4,000 budget, with 30 people in attendance and I would love to get some great ideas for this wedding I???m planning on a budget! Ple...

Hello. My name is Lina and I’m getting married in April 2013. The theme for my wedding is a Hawaiian luau.  I’m on a $4,000 budget, with 30 people in attendance and I would love to get some great ideas for this wedding I’m planning on a budget!  Please help!! Thank you!!

Hi Lina, and congratulations you must be so excited! I have done some research for you and have some great little tips you can use. Since your budget is so tight, the first thing that you want to focus on (and one of the most expensive) is venue. I would suggest organizing the wedding at a backyard, maybe a friend’s, family, even your own. I am lucky to live by the coast and if you are as well, one of the other obvious choices for your theme is the beach (preferably one that is not too crowded). Just be sure to check out the permits required for your area.


Let’s move on to the most important thing when it comes to you, as the bride. Wedding dresses these days are not at all cheap. The best places to look for a dress on a tight budget would be local vendors, vendors that rent out dresses, or even something a little less traditional. When it comes to hair and makeup you should check out our website for some great deals we have on those services. They could really save you a ton of money. You could even get the make-up for you, your maid of honor and cut the cost by getting the bridesmaids to do the make-up themselves.

Moving on to your theme, the word luau means feast. For Hawaiian people this feast is a great time to enjoy delicious food with friends and family. If you stick with the backyard venue, this really opens up the opportunity to have friends and family contribute some great traditional luau dishes.

Also, you can incorporate Mai Tai’s into your wedding as the main drink of the night. You could use the idea we had on our Summer Scavenger Hunt Blog and pour the drink into a watermelon. That will give the presentation a tropical effect. 

Let’s move on to the décor. A few main things you could have that are not costly would be tiki-torches, and leis. The great thing about the leis is that they are also a great take home presents so they are almost like a gift favor. You could have one of the flower girls or bridesmaids stand at the front door and greet each guest with lei. The tiki torches are also a convenient thing to have. During the day time you could put flower bouquets in them and turn them into pedestals, and at night you could light them to give the area that great romantic luau setting.

For entertainment I would recommend searching for a great little Hawaiian band in your area as well as some hula dancers if budget permits. The price for those services really varies in certain areas so you would have to do some research. For a budget-friendly solution you could put some Hawaiian music onto an iPod and play it during the wedding. And in the case that hula dancers don’t fit into your budget, you could get some of your girls, find some hula dancing videos and/or instructions, and have them change for a portion of your reception to help set the mood. Even better, you could learn to dance and surprise your guests with a little performance!

A couple more inexpensive ideas to have for your theme is incorporating Hawaiian words and phrases as well as encouraging your guests to dress up in the Aloha attire.

These are some of my quick, fun ideas that I am hoping will inspire you or at least have answered your question a little bit.

We are looking for a reasonably priced florist or a wholesaler for orchids, roses, hydrangeas and lilies. We could DIY as we have some talented people in our bridal party. We have all the vases, is there anyone out there that you would recommend for this at a reasonable price?

The good news is, having your bridal party help you with DIY centerpieces/bouquets/ boutonnieres will save you money. Most vendors actually charge you for the setup as well. The percentage can vary but they will usually charge 5 % to 20% per item. It really does get expensive. The great news is that you are in the same city as me so I was able to give a call to a couple of places and found a company that only focuses on DIY flower pieces. I spoke to Tiffany who is also one of our vendors. She was great at explaining to me that the way their company works is they deliver the flowers to you (that you have previously picked out with the help of their advice), and any other items you need for decoration. They then give them to you and your bridesmaids to put together and accessorize. She agreed that it is definitely a big difference in the cost when a florist charges you for setup and time versus you and your bridesmaids ordering flowers and doing the centerpieces/bouquets yourself. I have included their contact information at the bottom as well as one of their deals that they have with us.


Pretty Posies
Phone: 778 834 1140
Weddingful Deal: 

Hope this helps! Thanks and have a great day,

Katarina I.