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The Hawaiian theme wedding
works just as well in Iowa as in the islands themselves!

We're only half kidding. If you're going to have your hawaiian theme wedding in Hawaii, you're going to need a few things to fit in with the locals. And if you love the idea of Hawaii but can't imagine dragging legions of relatives halfway across the ocean to get married there, you have another option. Bring Hawaii to them!

Those that have been there will have fun reminiscing, those that are going soon will love the anticipation, and everyone else will enjoy the atmosphere of island paradise created from your Hawaiian theme wedding.

If you're going to be in Hawaii, you've got less to do. Your guests will most likely want to dress in Hawaiian fashion. If your wedding is going to be outside and dressy casual, your guests could dress as they would at a nice luau.

For men, classy floral designs in silk for Hawaiian shirts paired with khaki slacks or even white pants will work.

For women, an abundance of classy summer dresses exist.

To get a feel for this type of clothing, check out Hilo Hattie's website at or designs by Tori Richards, Reyn Spooner, Tommy Bahama, Cooke Street, or Kahala.

If your guests are in Iowa or anywhere else on the mainland, they will most likely dress traditionally and you can decide how far you want to go with your dress as well. Here is an example of a Hawaiian wedding dress and a Hawaiian wedding shirt. Of course, the special touches you use for your Hawaiian theme wedding are completely up to you.

You can go as far as you want to go with your Hawaiian theme wedding, so we'll give you lots of possibilities.

Shell necklaces are an inexpensive way to set the tone.

Fresh flower leis are more expensive but seem to have a way of making their wearers smile and relax.

Flowers that your guests can wear in their hair are an even less expensive way to create an island mood.

Silk flower leis may lack the amazing aroma of a fresh flower lei. But what these lack in aroma, they make up for in style - plus, they'll look just as good at the end of the night as they did at the beginning. This is especially important if your receptions "weather conditions" are not the perfect atmosphere for tropical flora.

There's another key reason for considering leis or necklaces. When you show up at a luau, you're usually greeted at the entrance with a lei or shell necklace. You might be offered a drink with an umbrella in it, served in a pineapple, etc.

Why? To put you in the right frame of mind. Not only that, who can frown when someone is smiling at them and including them with a kind gesture? The good time begins right at the door with the simplest of things.

It's easy, it's fun for the guests, and it reflects well on you. Include a lei greeting and you've just made your guests feel included in your great night - it's a win, win scenario.

That's not the only thing that will create atmosphere, of course. Beach wedding theme items of all sorts blend well with a Hawaiian theme wedding. Almost anything you can think of to use at a wedding reception can be found with a beach theme.

Napkins, swizzle sticks, tiki torch centerpieces, candles, bottle stoppers, bottle openers, spreaders, coasters, and more are just some of the things easily available at our store alone. You can get even more authentic with Hawaiian wedding favors and accessories that can be explored at the wedding section of Hilo Hattie's site (mentioned above).

Hawaiian music playing during dinner creates a romantic atmosphere and doesn't drown out conversation. Again, Hilo Hattie is a good starting place for the kind of themed music you might be looking for.

Hawaiian flowers are a little tougher to get. Plumeria and pikake are popular, but alternatively, Hawaiian floral arrangements of any tropical flowers you like will work just as well.

Specialty spa soaps such as these treats from Maui Tropical Soaps - found in our store's spa page - can add a special ambiance to reception restrooms, hotel welcome gift baskets/bags, showers, and wedding favors. Handmade spa soaps with the best natural ingredients, these luxurious indulgences can keep part of your Hawaiian theme wedding going long after your big night.

Hawaiian pictures or Hawaiian artwork can complement your wedding decorations on walls or tables.

There are even Hawaiian wedding cake toppers, grass skirts for tables, and coconut bowls and serving trays.

Add in a little luau food and you're Hawaiian wedding theme is complete. You can consult a Hawaiian cookbook for some ideas, or consider the following foods most common to a luau on the islands:

Pulled pork
Coconut desserts
Rice or fried rice
Spam and eggs
Lomi lomi salmon (sort of like lox in a fresh salsa-like form)
Poi - for the truly adventurous.

More Unique Wedding Ideas for your Hawaiian Theme Wedding:

  • You can find Sugar Cane Swizzle Sticks for your bar in specialty shops and online. The best hotels in Hawaii use them and they are not that expensive. You can get as many as 500 for around $30.00.

  • Shave Ice stands are popular all around Hawaii. Better than a snow cone, in their purest form, these are cones filled with ice that is shaved off of a big block of ice into very fine powder-like ice and then flavored with syrup or juice. Even if you have regular snow cones, that would still create the authentic atmosphere.

  • Serve sugar cane juice in pineapple halves or whatever type of cup you have. As you drive around in Hawaii, you'll see roadside stands offering this little treat along with fruit and, you guessed it, more shave ice.

  • Don't forget the little umbrellas for the drinks. These keep kids entertained and adults love them, too.

Now that you've seen the basics, don't miss our

unique beach wedding ideas page. With an example taken from a hypothetical Hawaiian theme wedding, it will show you how to take these Hawaiian decoration ideas as well as other specific ideas and weave them together in a way that appeals to the five senses.

Most people have no idea how to see things from a different angle and create a Hawaiian wedding theme in this way. But,as we like to say here, you'll be making a big difference with the small details. It's easy to do, and your guests won't forget anytime soon.

If you need even more specific ideas, our
beach wedding theme page has more reception decoration ideas that will work with your Hawaiian theme wedding.

More About Hawaiian Theme Weddings

Beach Wedding Theme Ideas

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