Hosting a luau or a tropical themed dinner is a perfect way to celebrate a special occasion in the warmer months. I faced similar dilemmas when planning my daughter’s 9th birthday luau dinner. Instead of a kids birthday party, we decided to keep the event to family only and host a sit-down meal outdoors. We dined al fresco on a perfectly balmy late summer evening and created a happy family memory I still cherish to this day!
In this post, I’ll share with you how I set up a tropical-themed table, the Hawaiian party food that was served, and tips on how you can easily add special details to take your luau over the top! We will receive a commission if you make a purchase through our affiliate link at no extra cost to you.
(A special thank you to my sweet sister in-law who, per usual, captured the moment beautifully in these photos!) Since the occasion was for my young daughter, I wanted the decor to feel youthful but still sophisticated. Next, a faux monstera palm leaf was placed on top of the straw chargers.
I positioned them slightly off center so that they would peak out from the dinner plates, which were placed on top of them.
To finish the layers, a folded napkin with gold cutlery was placed on top of the plates. Sometimes it’s nice to preset salad, especially when you’re serving a sit-down meal for a crowd because it gets everyone eating it at the same time.
After hollowing out the pineapple, I lined it with a plastic bag to hold a little bit of water to keep the flowers fresh. The pineapple floral arrangements were placed on a pink ombre table runner, which we dyed in the same color as the napkins.
For a finishing touch, plan leaves and clear votive holders with sand and tea candles were placed near the floral arrangements. Not only did I want the meal to coordinate with the tropical party theme, but my guests also had a few dietary needs. For this party, we served Kona Brewing Co. beer – and the labels looked so cute on ice in our beverage container! For this party, we served Kona Brewing Co. beer – and the labels looked so cute on ice in our beverage container!
Using inexpensive white napkins and a sheet cut into strips for the runner, I followed a tutorial for tie dying and was pretty happy with the results. Using inexpensive white napkins and a sheet cut into strips for the runner, I followed a tutorial for tie dying and was pretty happy with the results. For this party, I used pink plates and palm leaf printed napkins for birthday cake. For this party, I used pink plates and palm leaf printed napkins for birthday cake.