The Wording for Invitations for a Couples Luau

by Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Summer is an ideal time for entertaining with a luau-themed couples party. You can take advantage of the warm weather and your guests will be comfortable wearing the appropriate "aloha" attire. Luau party decorations are readily available this time of year, and you can coordinate your invitations with the party decor. How you word your invitations can help set the mood of your soiree.

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Considerations

Before you decide on the wording for a luau-themed party invitation, evaluate the occasion. Is it a birthday, a graduation or simply a reason to get together with other couples? Also, think about what type of invitations you will use. Will you be designing and printing your invitations on your computer, custom-ordering them or do you prefer to buy premade invites? If you make your own or custom-order them, you will not only add a personal touch, but you will have the freedom to create the wording you like.

Language

A luau-themed party provides the opportunity to incorporate a touch of Hawaiian culture and language into your celebration. One potential pitfall, however, is the risk of reducing your party to a cheap, kitschy generic luau wannabe party. If your guests have ever lived in the islands, they will know the difference. Stick with wording that as accurately as possible reflects and respects Hawaiian culture.

Words

Everybody knows the word "aloha" and that it roughly translates as "love" and can be either a greeting or farewell. "Aloha nui loa" is "much love." Other Hawaiian words you can incorporate would be "mahalo" (thank you), "kokua" (help), "ohana" (family) or "a hui hou" ('til we meet again). "Pehea 'oe" means "How are you?," "pupule" is "crazy" and "akamai" is "smart" or "clever." "E komo mai" means "welcome," and "pau hana" means "finished working."

Possibilities

Incorporating Hawaiian words into your invitations isn't difficult. You could say something like "You are invited to come share in the aloha spirit with our ohana as we celebrate Jim's 50th birthday. Dress in your best aloha attire. A hui hou." Another possibility would be "Your kokua is requested in helping us to celebrate the graduation of my akamai wife Sally. Aloha nui loa and we'll see you ____." Adding a simple reference guide at the end with the translations adds an educational element to your invitations and lends a sense of cultural authenticity.

About the Author

Dina Gilio-Whitaker began writing professionally as a freelance journalist in 2001 when she focused on community activism. She has a bachelor's degree in Native American studies with a political science minor and is currently a graduate student in American studies at the University of New Mexico. Gilio-Whitaker has won numerous awards for her academic writing and is an accomplished Native American artist, crafter and dancer.

Photo Credits

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