A Polynesian-style luau is truly an exciting departure from the traditional concept of wedding parties. Recreating the look of this lavish feast, the focal point of a wedding luau would naturally be its stunning table display—set off by the perfect tropical ambiance and a vibrant color palette applied to centerpieces, place settings and decorative accents that are both exotic and elegant. » Click to view slideshow
Paint the Scene in Vibrant Tropical Colors
Think “tropical paradise” and visions of vividly-colored flowers and verdant foliage come to mind. These are precisely the inspiration for an elegant luau color palette, with fuchsia and olive green as the dominant colors. Brilliant fuchsia sets the scene through the tablecloth that underlies all the other table elements, while olive green serves as a complement with fresh hues of leaves and rich tones of olive fabric. Each balances the other, while at the same time enhancing one another’s lovely shade. In addition, earthy colors such as brown, sand, and the natural tones of bamboo and shells provide the neutralizing elements in this palette; while splashes of flaming orange from bromeliad blooms act as the accent color. Lastly, add touches of yellow to complete the tropical color scheme.
Add Authenticity with Organic Textures
To recreate the look and feel of an island paradise, the organic elements of fresh plants, water, fire, bamboo, and shells are all brought together in a marvelous table display. Large bromeliad blooms in vivid fuchsia and orange are the stars of each table, set in cube-shaped clear glass vases—a chic contrast to all the natural elements. The height and lush foliage of these arrangements mimic the dense flora and fauna of a tropical forest.
To extend that authentic tropical feel to the individual place settings, use square wooden plates with fabulous wood grain in place of traditional porcelain dinnerware. Then to complete the look, arrange slender sticks of bamboo in criss-cross fashion amidst the table display elements, with the longer pieces serving as unique table runner down the center of the table.
Bring Romance to the Table With Candlelight
For luau-style illumination at the venue, there are a number of alternatives to the customary tiki torches. For instance, consider lining the pathway from the wedding venue to the party with candles housed inside smoked-glass lanterns. Then, softly light the luau venue itself using fabric-covered glass luminaries featuring tropical-inspired patterns such as hibiscus or shells.
For the tabletops, a softening feature is called for. The perfect romantic touch? Warmly glowing tea lights set at random among the decor pieces. As lovely tea light holders, these seashell candle trays enhance the decor of the party’s theme, with a handful of sand and tiny loose shells providing a bed for each candle. Incidentally, a practical option would be to use citronella-infused tea lights to ward off any mosquitoes and other insects, while larger citronella candles may be set underneath the tables and around the venue.
Prepare Beach-Inspired Keepsakes
Beach-inspired favors ensure that guests go home with warm memories of the wedding luau. Lovely shell-encrusted picture frames, for example, would be much appreciated as both a decorative and a practical gift. To present them at the wedding, display these frames as part of the table decor, each packaged in an olive-colored organza wrap and laid atop the place setting with a sprig of fuchsia bougainvillea, which completes its authentic luau look.
A Piece of Paradise on Your Tabletop
An elegant luau-inspired engagement party is indeed right within a couple’s reach. The key is to select stylish decorative elements that capture the look of a tropical island paradise—magically recreated on each tabletop. It begins with a color palette using fuchsia and olive green as the principal hues, and orange as the accent color. Earthy tones and organic textures are introduced through wood, bamboo, and shell elements; while glimmering tea lights are positioned amidst the table display. And lastly, tropical-inspired gift items go from tabletop decor pieces to take-home guest favors.