Updated: Feb 13
Ali and Caitlin knew they needed to celebrate two of their best friends getting engaged the same week... What better way than a mini engagement luau?!
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We're going to start off by saying we planned this thing in less than 2 weeks! We weren't totally sure, but we had a strong feeling that our friend Marissa would get engaged while on a trip to Disney with her now fiancé. We were scheming beforehand, saying how perfect it would be... as soon as we heard he popped the question, we got to planning!
As if one engagement wasn't exciting enough... much to our surprise another friend, Angie, got engaged just 2 days later!
Okay, so how we planned this thing and how you can recreate it for a party of your own!. We picked the luau theme so we could easily have this party outdoors on the patio and we loved the idea of having all the girls come in cute floral summery dresses.
Spoiler alert... the weather foiled our plans! To our dismay we had to move our party indoors. We gave it a good go setting up outside and then made a last minute switch to inside due to the wind and rain.
1st thing to check off our list, the bar. Who wants to go to a luau without a cute, pink tiki bar?! We are NOT good with power tools, so thankfully, Caitlin's husband John was able to step in and help us build this.
To Create the top "tiki bar"
-2 grass skirts (we picked ours up from the Dollar Store)
-Wood 2x2's and 1x2
-Large piece of cardboard
-Extras - Tiki bar sign, Toucan
John created the side frames with 2x2's like shown below. The tallest part was about 3.5 ft. tall. The parts were secured using screws.
Then between the 2 side frames he used a 1x2 to sturdy the frame and make it as wide as we needed it to be. These were placed between the two top parts of the frame.
Caitlin stepped in then and painted the frame pink to go with our decor.
To create the roof, we used a large piece of cardboard and stapled this to the 1x2's
Drape the grass skirts over the cardboard and secure with glue or staples again.
Jazz it up more if you want with a tiki bar sign and bar menu like we did!
We set the tiki bar topper on a basic folding table and covered it with a pink tablecloth from the Dollar Store and surrounded the base of it with more grass skirts. We also included fun flamingo straws, tropical themed drink stirring sticks, flamingo napkins and drink umbrellas.
We decided on 3 different drinks: a classic mai tai, strawberry daiquiri and a shark bite shot. We've learned we really like mai tai's, neither of us had tried one before this!
There is nothing we love more than a good table scape. This one is pretty easy to pull off, with the exception of the pineapple flower arrangements...We'll explain more in a moment.
To Create this look:
-Pineapple photo holders
-A tropical flower(s) of your choice (We used a double tulip)
We placed the largest of the palm leaves down as a "placemat" and added on the plate and silverware set. The silverware is actually wrapped in extra leaves from our flowers used in the pineapple arrangement.
For the pineapple arrangements we scooped out the middle of the pineapple... which is much more difficult than one might think! From there, we then trimmed our flowers to fit the height.
To complete the look we added name cards to each setting (more below on making these) and printed pictures of each of the girls engagements and rings to put in the center.
Every party needs a super cute photo backdrop! We made ours with gold foil, white balloons and palm leaves.
To create this:
-Palm leaves (same pack that we used for the table)
-Lungs of steel
We blew up all of the balloons and tied them like normal. Once we had two balloons we tied the ends together to make a grouping. Then you twist two groups of 2 together to make a cluster of 4. The clusters you can line up next to each other and loop that illusion cord around like a mad woman until it seems to hold together.
We secured the gold foil to the wall with painters tape and the balloons to the ceiling also with painters tape and more of the illusion cord. To place the palm leaves all we did was separate two balloons and slid the palm right in between no adhesives needed for that part!
Next, the crafts: We made custom cups with tiki faces on them for all the attendees and each of the brides to be got their own cup that said Bride on it! We also made name place cards for each attendee, tags for all of the food, a welcome sign and a bar menu sign that fit the theme.
To create just about all of these things, you'll need a Cricut and the Cricut all access plan, or if you are old school you need the "life's a beach" cartridge.
-Pink plastic cups
Other Cricut tools you'll need:
-Light or standard grip mat
To make these we chose a tiki face from Cricut Access and sized it to fit on the cups. We cut them all out on vinyl (speed!) setting and weeded them. Then we used transfer tape to move the vinyl onto the cups. You can watch our tutorial video on this here.
-Cardstock in a variety of colors: Pink, Green, Orange, Gold and Pink Glitter
The process for these was similar for both the name cards and food tags. We created a rectangle shape in Design Space with a line through the middle to signal where to fold. We used a leaf banner and the "Life's a beach" font from Cricut for the name cards. We secured both of these items using a glue pen. For the food tags we used the same rectangle shape with the written version of the "life's a beach font" as well as a pineapple and flamingo shape for the tags.
Since neither of us have pretty handwriting, we used the Cricut again for this. We created a rectangle in design space that was the same size as our chalkboard designed the board and cut it out in cardstock. Then we took the outlines and placed these directly on the chalkboard to trace. Since we had so many leis we decided to create a display with them on a blanket ladder!
-Cardstock: White, green (light and dark), pink, yellow, orange
Again, we used the life's a beach font for the wording and just about all of the rest of the leaves and extras on this are from that same cartridge pack.
We had a hard time coming up with sides to fit the Luau theme, but we landed on a menu of bbq pulled pork, fresh fruit with a fruit dip, pineapple cream cheese wontons and a fruity angel food cupcake.
For Drinks, we did a Strawberry Daiquiri, Mai Tai and Shark Bite Shot. The Mai Tai and Strawberry Daiquiri's are just standard recipes you'd find anywhere. The Shark Bite shot is made with 1.5 part white rum, .5 part blue curaçao and splash of grenadine. Enjoy!