some of the party girl's favorites...
personalized sweet 16 invitation

personalized passport invitation
Custom Passport Invitations


personalized banners for your luau party

sweet 16 luau theme party life-sized photo cutout 

Natural Raffia Table Skirt with Flowers


Inflatable Palm Tree Cooler

Sweet 16 Luau Party Ideas

Celebrate your birthday witha tropical bash that will sear summer into the minds of every guest! Sweet 16 Luau Party Ideas will bring the sizzle of a summer party to any time of the year. Hot!

Sweet 16 Luau Invitations

Use a personalized luau invitation and include a plastic lei or hair flower. Tell them they must wear the enclosed pieces on their bodies somewhere, and that you want them to dress luau-creative. That will get them talking long before the party!
Passport invitations are another fun option for your invitation. You can add a picture, personalized wording and custom stamps. Your guests will be very impressed with these!


If you want to send a spectacular invitation, consider a semi-custom caricature invitation. Using art that has already been drawn, we can add a photo face or a caricature face and personalize the message for you! You can use the design for other fun elements in your Sweet 16 luau, including centerpieces, a welcome sign, thank you notes, and much more!
Here are some fun luau theme wording examples that you can use on your invites, or even a party banner -
  • Join us for a Tiki-rific Party to Celebrate Amy's 16th Birthday!
  • Come and Hula by the Poola at Jackie's 16th Birthday Luau!
  • Join us for a "Lei'd Back " Hawaiian Luau Sweet 16!
  • Come and party in your sunscreen, this Hula Girl is turning 16!
  • The torches are lit, the theme is set... we're having a luau you'll never forget!
  • We're going tropical for Kathleen's birthday, so break out the flip flops, grass skirts and leis!
  • Dress code is Tacky Tourist (go ahead, show us your worst!)
  • Put on your craziest Hawaiian shirts and a few leis, bring a swimsuit, sunblock and shades!

Sweet 16 luau supplies and birthday decorations
To make a grand entrance, place bamboo Tiki torches and inflatable palm trees outside your door as the first indication to your guests that this is going to be the luau to remember. You may even want to adorn your porch rail or doorway with white twinkle lights for a festive effect.

Welcome everyone with a custom luau banner at the front of the party (they are also great above the buffet). Put on some island music to create the perfect atmosphere. If you are really adventurous use pink flamingos to adorn your front yard or line them up the driveway or front sidewalk.
This general area is also a great place to have a sign in. There are many great ways to set this up, here are a few of our favorite ideas -
  • An inexpensive surfboard for everyone to sign fits perfectly in theme. Make sure to buy permanent markers!
  • Have your guests fill out tropical postcards with birthday wishes and drop them into a mailbox!

Use a beach scene setter or netting as your backdrop around the room. Have a big basket of leis inside the door where people can help themselves to a few. I would plan on 5 or 6 per person so that they can be creative and festive with their leis. If you think you have the time, stand at the door and greet everyone with a lei--this is always a nice gesture and a traditional way of saying aloha.


Set up a great photo op near the front of the party so guests can snap pictures as they come in. Make sure to include your party's hashtag in a sign near the photo booth!

Luau Party Photo Booth

Set up a luau photo booth area where guests can get a little dressed up and take some great pictures!

  • Custom Luau Party Tiki Photo Op - This is a fun photo op you can set along a 6' table and guests stick their faces into the tiki heads! add your custom wording or logo to the sign.
  • Hire a Mermaid! Seek out local talent to come dressed as a mermaid and have your guests take photos with her. Over the top and memorable!
The backyard is just as fun to decorate as the rest of the house, so don’t neglect this space if weather permits or if you plan to expand the party outside.
  • Bright lanterns or ceiling swirls might be a nice touch, whether inside or in the back yard. Tribal masks are fun, too.
  • Hang wind chimes and wooden parrots to give a complete background to your setting. 
  • Shells, sand and silk hibiscus flowers are in order here as well.
  • If you really want to go crazy, rent realistic looking fake palm trees and wooden totem poles to place around the yard/patio. 
  • Bamboo torch candles are a must, and don’t forget the citronella candles on the tables.

If you are assigning seats or if you want to give out nametags (and this is wise when you have a lot of friends that don't know each other), here’s a thought: flip flops. They make for a great nametag or seating card. Just write the name in magic marker, add a 25¢ chain or ribbon (necklace) and voila--a humorous way to get people talking about your creativity and their flip flops. Line them up alphabetically on a table near the entrance.

Another thought on this is to use starfish or sand dollars and write the name of the person on it. For nametags, string some ribbon around it.

Fill the room with balloons in tropical colors (great as bouquets tied to a "real" pineapple), and flowers and you'll have a party to remember.

Sweet 16 Luau Table and Menu

We would start with a raffia table skirt around the buffet table to bring Hawaii right inside your home. Use a green plastic or linen tablecloth over the buffet and pin the skirting to the edges. Then think of something fun for a centerpiece!
  • Beachcomber hats upside down are great to hold different snacks and munchies.
  • A balloon bouquet weighted down with a bucket of sand makes a unique centerpiece.
  • Another great ideas is to use a piñata as your centerpieces or if you prefer, hang them above the tables.
Use baskets on each buffet to hold luncheon napkins, luau-themed plates, cutlery and cups. You may even want to get matching guest towels for your powder room!

Make sure to use tropical colors for your tablecloths--yellow, green, hot pink, melon, orange and bright blue. Add your own seashells, maracas and sand.

A tiki cooler (filled with drinks) makes for a great decoration and is something different than the norm. The first drink should be served complete with drink umbrellas. You may want to add some extra candles to create some atmosphere--and you may want to add some tropical lights around the bar as well. Don’t forget the all-important coconut cups! Here is a great drink to serve your guests:
Tropical Fruit Punch
A fruity tropical punch is a great option for both children and adults. Mix 1/2 gallon pineapple juice, 1/2 gallon fruit punch, 1/2 gallon orange sherbet, and a 2 liter of ginger ale. Serve in a punch bowl and float pineapple rings on top.
Here are few more fun Swee 16 Luau Ideas for your table and buffet -
  • If you can, rent a slushie machine and serve frozen drinks with tiny umbrellas!
  • Freeze the gummy fish and sharks in cubes of ice for drinks!
  • Hollowed out pineapples, coconuts and oranges make great votive and tealight holders; use them to decorate your table.
  • Colorful beach towels draped over plain plastic tablecloths will dress up the buffet!
  • For a cute addition to your drinks, freeze gummy fish and sharks in ice cubes!

Serve tropical foods in a fun buffet:

  • Hawaiian ham and pineapple pizzas - simple and inexpensive... this is my favorite food idea!
  • Sweet and sour meatballs
  • Cinnamon chips with pineapple salsa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chicken long rice
  • Poi
  • Beef teriyaki
  • Hawaiian chicken with ham and pineapple
  • Chocolate cake and/or coconut cake

Sweet 16 Luau Games and Activities
A luau should have authentic Hawaiian dancers, hire the hula and fire-eating kind. Oh, and one last thing--don't forget to do the limbo!

Another common activity at a Sweet 16 party is the candle lighting ceremony. Checkout out the Sweet 16 Candle Lighting Ceremony Guide if you need instructions. And don't forget to check out our complete list of Sweet 16 Party Games!

Luau Party Favors
Hand out a special party favor your friends will be talking about long after the sun goes down. Here are some fun ideas:


From us here at, have a super Sweet 16 luau!