Having a theme party is fun! Having a Hawaiian theme party easy and enjoyable in the hot summer heat. Do it pot luck and you don't even have to come up with all of the food! First inform everybody via the invitations that the party has an Aloha theme. If you are using paper invitations, use one of the clip art Palm Trees at the top and pepper your invitation with some Hawaiian words such as:
"Aloha!" (which means 'hello')
"Kokua" (help or help out)
"Mahalo" (thank you)
"Wiki-wiki" (quickly) and so on. You can easily find more Hawaiian words on line with a Hawaiian English dictionary. So now you are ready to invite your friends "pau hana" (after work) to an Aloha Friday Luau! Pot luck!. If you are going to e-vite your friends you can even add some slack guitar sounds to your invite, find them on YouTube. Use a search engine to find "Don Ho" or "Israel KamakawiwoÊ»ole" for some authentic Hawaiian music.
I suggest, since you don't know what your friends will bring to a pot luck that you make several dishes with the Hawaiian Theme yourself. You may want to include pork with pineapple, a fruit bowl with tropical fruits such as mango, guava, coconut and pineapple, and a cake iced with fresh shredded coconut. Feeling ambitious? Try some traditional Hawaiian Luau foods such as coconut pudding called Haupia, and Spam musubi. If you are going to barbeque use popular Hawaiian glazes such as sweet and sour sauce, or teriyaki sauce.
For drinks, have non-alcoholic Hawaiian punches such as a mixture of lime seltzer water with guava juice. Zico makes a coconut water drink that is flavored with mango or passion fruit or can be served plain. You can also use any of these juices as mixers with the alcoholic drinks. Kaluha, milk and vodka makes a sweet "White Russian." Pineapple juice, iced tea and rum makes a sweet "plantation iced tea. The famous Blue Hawaii is made from a blend of 1 oz light rum, 1 cherry, 2 oz pineapple juice, 1 oz cream of coconut and 1 oz of Blue Curacao liqueur. Top it with a decorative slice of pineapple, and all the drinks with small umbrellas you can get from party supply stores.
For clothing ask that men wear aloha shirts and white pants or shorts and flip flops. Ladies can do the grass skirt if they want, or a muumuu if they are feeling modest. Make leis out of stringing plumeria, roses, or by weaving bougainvillea. If you want to make some out of paper your can cut out flower shapes and separate them with bits of drinking straws for kids. Have as many fresh flowers on hand as you can for a lovely garden effect. Woven leis, worn on the head, called "haku" leis are especially festive and Hawaiian looking.
Dig out the Hawaiian slack key music! If you don't know what to download try Keali'I Reichel, Andy Bumatai, Peter Moon and Pahanui brothers for a start. Don't forget Elvis! He had a more than one movie filmed in Hawaii, and his voice is great. If you have musical friends be sure and encourage them to bring their guitars and ukuleles.
Give the party some focus by having a few activities. You can make a nice fire in a fire pit and let people toast marshmallows and make smores. People love to hang out around warm fires in the dark. Burn a few mosquito coils to keep the bugs off. Set up a board game that groups can play, such as Pictionary, using Hawaiian theme words. Get them silly with Twister or musical chairs with the Hawaiian Music.
Make sure everyone has enough to eat so that no one drives home drunk. In addition to main courses and salads and desserts have plenty of small snacks on hand such as nuts, chips, dip and pretzels. Make the nut mix more Hawaiian by adding Macademia nuts, spicy pistachios and spicy cashews. Have plenty of alternative drinks available that are non-alcoholic including water.
Greet everyone the Hawaiian way, with a kiss on each cheek and a lei over their head!
If you mean to go "whole hog" the main thing that makes a "luau" a luau, is the steamed pig. Cooked traditionally, you need to dig a deep pit and line it with large rocks. Wrap the pig in ti leaves and lay it in the pit. Start a fire in the pit, and cover everything with more large rocks, so that essentially the pig is steaming for 24 hours from heat of the "imu" or fire pit. Pull out the whole pig a day later and you will have absolutely the most delicious pork you have ever eaten!