Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Cheap (but Fabulous) Luau Party

Beautiful Chelsea
So once upon a time I lived in London, England, and lived with this awesome girl named Sara. Fast forward almost 10 years later, Sara and I are now 10 hours a part and living totally two different lives, but thanks to Facebook we're still able to remain close.

Sara recently contacted for ideas for her open house. I asked her what theme she had in mind, and she said something "easy breezy,"  because she was going to make sangria (yummy)! I originally went down the path of a sangria and tapas party, but after talking to Sara it was obvious she wanted something more Hawaiian. (I should have listened better the first time; she did say easy breezy - lol).

Since I already did the leg work for a Sangria and Tapas Party, I will share that blog soon! ;) Gives you something to look forward. 

Thankfully, I recently hosted a baby shower for my wonderful neighbor Chelsea. Chelsea will be having her second child but first daughter. Chelsea's awesome mom and step-dad graciously offered their pizza joint, Knight's Pizza, as the location for the baby shower. Doug and Cathy spent a lot of time giving their pizza place its own unique character, so I decided to take cue from their interior design skills and throw a Luau Baby Shower (with an emphasis on pink flamingos to bring in the pink of a new baby girl).

*There are a lot of elements that I used at the Luau Baby Shower that Sara could use for her open house. 

A Luau Them is Perfect for a Baby Shower - True Blue Style Event Planning

Luau Decorations

The decorations were easy because we had the baby shower in July and luau decorations were plentiful. I bought most of my decorations from Dollar Tree and Party City. There are many different ways one can throw a luau party, but since I was hosting a coed baby shower, I decided to throw a kitchy luau party. 

Party Decorations I Used: (*next to items that I see easily being used for Sara)
  • Key Limes* grouped in small numbers and strategically placed on the food table and other areas of the party make for a great design element. $6.79 from Kroger.
  • Vintage Brown Grass Skirt Table Coverings with Multi Colored Flowers* that can be used on the main food table and would look great when paired with wooden serving dishes. $5.99 at Party City.
  • Hibiscus Flower Cutouts from Dollar Tree were used under flower arrangements and can be used on food table that can make certain dishes stand out. Two packs for $2.
  • Hibiscus Wind Catchers from Dollar Tree that were used on either side of the dessert table to set it off. Two for $2.
  • Leis* that we used as added bits of color around the party and for guests to wear, but I can see Sara using them to wrap around the bottom of hurricane candle holders that you can buy $1 at Dollar Tree. I bought 10 leis from Party City for $1.49 each totaling $14.90.
  • Plastic Pink Flamingos* were used to in sand buckets to decorate the gift area but could be used in potted plants at the open house or used in a fun photo booth. $19.99 for two from Walmart.
  • Tiki Umbrellas* can be used to decorate anything from cupcakes, to floral arrangements  to food, to a lamp shades or wreaths. Two boxes of 20ct. Cocktail Umbrella Picks from Party City for $1.98.
  • We also used a lot of luau party decorations Cathy and I had on hand, i.e. tiki bar sign, luau party sign, Hawaiian foot tent, etc.

Decorating for a Luau Party - True Blue Style Event Planning

Tiki Bar Sign for Luau Party - True Blue Style Event Planning

Key limes are a cheap decoration for a Luau Party - True Blue Style Event Planning
Key lime decorations on the food buffet table.

Focus on Pink when using Luau Party Decorations for a Baby Shower - True Blue Style Event PlanningPink Flamingos are the Perfect Decoration for a Luau Party - True Blue Style Event Planning

Dollar Tree Decorations for Luau Baby Shower - True Blue Style Event Planning
Hibiscus Wind Catchers from Dollar Tree decorating dessert station.

Luau Centerpieces:

I wanted to create a really cool centerpiece to to sit at the table that not only centered the room but was the first sight anyone saw when walking into Knight's Pizza. On the table were extra leis for guests to wear and mom advice cards for people to fill out. So, I decided to use a pineapple instead of flower vase

To create a pineapple flower centerpiece you need the following:
  • Pineapple - $3.79 from KrogerCut off the top of the pineapple and core the pineapple with a long and sharp knife.
    You have to cut a hole out of the bottom where the pineapple is attached.
    * I then cut up the inside of the pineapple and served it at the party, and used the top of the pineapple to garnish the bowl of the fruit.
  • Green Floral Foam - $1 from Dollar TreeShave a piece of green floral foam to fit inside the pineapple, and then soak it with water before putting it in the pineapple.
  • Floral Arrangement - I bought mine for $10 from KrogerIndividually place each flower into the foam to create the arrangement. Fill in any holes with leftover cocktail tiki umbrellas.
    *Since there is a hole, I did have the centerpiece sit on a small coffee saucer.
Luau Pineapple Flower Centerpiece - True Blue Style Event Planning

Remember in my last post, Construction Party - Happy 2nd Birthday Von, how I talked about Kroger being my favorite place to buy flowers because you can usually workout a deal? Well, I was able to get four additional small flower arrangements marked down to a $1 piece, because I asked if I could get a discount if I bought the full price bouquet for the pineapple centerpiece. 

Luckily, they were trying to get rid of the smaller flower arrangement, so they said I could have $2 off for each one. So for $4 I had four additional flower arraignments  Motto of this story: You never know unless you ask! :)

Tropical flower arrangements from Kroger - True Blue Style Event Planning
A $2 Centerpiece for tables at a Luau Party - True Blue Style Event Planning
Underneath this flower is the Hibiscus Flower Cutout

Total Luau Decorations Costs: $72.44

Luau Food

For this coed shower we stuck to basic food:
  • Pizza - FREE thanks to Knight's Pizza
  • Fruit - $6 for already cut up fruit from Kroger (put it on a skewer for a more appetizer feel)
  • Chips and Dip - $5 - I just had to spend a $1 on the dip because I had all the ingredients in my refrigerator.
  • Nuts - $2 from Kroger
  • Cupcakes -$12 for all the ingredients I needed
Nathan :)
I would say WITHOUT a DOUBT the pizza was the third best thing about this luau baby shower (after Chelsea's preggo tummy and her baby boy Nathan). 

The main course was Knight's Pizza's slim slices of Hawaiian Knight and Southern Knight - best pizza I've had in Middle Tennessee.

With the pizza we served fresh cut fruit, mixed nuts and an AWESOME Hawaiian Cheese Dip. The dip was a big hit. We served it with regular and barbecue chips, but it could be served with wheat thins or baguettes. 

Best Pizza in Nashville - Knight's Pizza - True Blue Style Event Planning

Luau Party Menu - True Blue Style Event Planning

Colorful serving dishes for Luau Party - True Blue Style Event Planning


You can't have a luau without pineapple upside cake, but since I LOVE cupcakes I found this great recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes. The only difference between the cupcakes I made and the recipe is that I chose to put the cherry on top instead of inside of it.

Luau Party Dessert - Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes - True Blue Style Event Planning
When making these cupcakes follow the recipe and make sure to have as much liquid as possible drained from the pineapple you add to the frosting mix.
Hawaiian Cupcakes for Luau Party - True Blue Style Event Planning
In case anyone didn't like pineapple upside down cupcakes, I also made regular chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

Total Luau Food Costs: $25

Luau Baby Shower Activities

Another key to the success of this coed baby shower was the non-girly baby shower games and fun activities that all ages could do. 

  • Mommy advice cards that people filled out put in a photo album for Chelsea to keep - $4.64 from Walmart and photo album to hold cards - $6 from Walmart
  • Paper butterfly decorating for the kids and final products were hung up in baby Emma's room - FREE - Chelsea provided for the kids to do.
  • Karaoke - FREE - provided by Knight's Pizza

  • The dirty diaper / guess the melted chocolate game - Diapers FREE (personal stash) chocolate bars $6 (We bought the bag of mini candy and used the rest in bowl on the dessert table.)
  • Beer chugging out of a baby bottle contest - six 6 oz. baby bottles for $10 from Walmart and beer was free courtesy of Knight's Pizza.
Game Giveaways:
  • One $15 gift card to McDonald's
  • One Knight's Specialty Pizza given by Doug and Cathy - FREE

Luau Baby Shower Costs: $41.64
Coed Baby Shower Games - True Blue Style Event Planning
Karaoke time with Nathan and Doug.
This baby shower was a hit! The simple but yummy food, paired with the great coed friendly and kid friendly games and activities made everyone not want to leave. The total cost was pretty friendly on my pocket too. I also think there are aspects of this baby shower that Sara can use for her open house and anyone else can use for their Luau Party.

Total Luau Party (Baby Shower) Costs: $139.08 

1 comment:

  1. Superb photographs from Luau Party. Thanks my friend for this post. The luau party that I attended in last month at domestic venues in Houston was also brilliant. The party planner did wonderful work in this event. I wish I would get opportunity to attend such parties in future!