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Party in Paradise: 7 Tropical Cocktail Party Decor Ideas

Get ready to sip, savor, and soak up the sunshine, because it’s time to throw a party in paradise! I’m going to share seven fantastic tropical cocktail party decor ideas that will transform your home into a beachy oasis.

It’s summertime and I’m here for it?

This time of year always reminds me of vacation and is there anything better than a vacation at the beach?

But it’s not always possible to get away and head to the beach.

So why not bring a slice of that island life right into your own home?

Do you love to entertain?


Oh…good us too!

Since you love to entertain like Anne & I, you’ll love our monthly virtual supper club posts.

Every month we get together with our friends Stacy, Rachel, Jen, and Michele and share our tablescapes and recipes on our blogs.

It’s so fun to see what everyone in our group comes up with each month.

There’s so much talent and creativity with this bunch of bloggers.

And to add even more inspiration, we invite a different guest host to join us each month too!

We’re thrilled to welcome Kelly from The Tattered Pew again this month.

Kelly is a good friend of ours who’s joined us before with our virtual supper club pals.

This month our virtual supper club is featuring ideas for a tropical cocktail party. You’ll love these healthy tropical cocktail party appetizer ideas, this guide on what to serve at a tropical cocktail party, and these tropical essentials to make entertaining a breeze.

Get the links to our previous tablescapes for even more inspiration at the end of this post.

If you’re joining us from Kelly’s or if you’re new to our blog…

Hey there & welcome!

AnnMarie and Anne standing on deck outside holding tropical cocktails

We’re AnnMarie (wearing a black jumpsuit) and Anne (wearing a floral dress), the two moms behind this blog.

We work together to share simple and budget-friendly ideas for decoratingrecipesDIY projects, and tips for life with older teens (and beyond!).

You can read more about us and our families here.

And we would love to learn more about you! Be sure to say “hi” in the comments below and tell me where you’re visiting from.

But that’s enough about us…let’s talk more about this month’s theme… and my tropical tablescape and party decor!

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How to Host a Tropical-Themed Party at Home

bloggers standing in front of table at party

Are you dreaming of a tropical vacation but can’t actually get away at the moment?

No worries I’m going to show you how to create a mini oasis right in your own home.

A tropical-themed cocktail party is the perfect way to transport yourself for an evening of fun with friends.

With just a few simple touches, you can transport your dining room into a tropical oasis.

For our cocktail party in paradise, I moved the chairs out of my dining room to make more room for guests to mingle and easily get to the buffet table.

I also rolled up our area rug and stashed it in my husband’s office so I didn’t have to worry about the colors clashing with my party decor.

How to Design a Beautiful Tropical Centerpiece

close up of Hawaiian luau themed tablescape styling

As always I started designing my tablescape with the centerpiece.

This table was a bit different because the food that Anne was making would be the star of the show or the guest of honor at the party.

S2M Tip: Keeping the food in mind when styling a buffet table with pretty decorating items is important so that you leave enough space.

overhead view of tropical centerpiece design

When styling my table centerpiece, the first thing I did was lay this seagrass table runner down the middle of my white dining table.

The woven runner gives the plain surface some color and texture.

Next, I grouped several tropical decorating items to create a gorgeous display on either end of the table.

To create this look I placed large faux palm leaves on the woven table runner, then added faux palm fronds and finally faux white orchid stems.

A clear glass vase wrapped in rattan filled with water and a floating candle adds a bit of sparkle and ambiance to the table.

Fresh pineapple and coconut complete this part of the table design.

How to Set Up Buffet Table for Serving Food

dining room decorated for Hawaiian luau tropical themed party

Once the middle of the table was decorated with greenery, florals, candles, and fruit I was able to start placing the serving pieces around the buffet table.

S2M Tip: White bowls and dishes are great to keep on hand because they’re so versatile and coordinate with many entertaining themes.

I bought these 8″ square palm leaf disposable plates so there will be less cleanup for me after the party is over.

A large wood riser in the center of the table is ready for one of tropical Anne’s appetizer creations.

tropical themed buffet table with food on wood riser

And here’s a view of the table once the food was all set up.

The pineapple in the middle is filled with different appetizer options on skewers so they’re easy for guests to pull out.

We filled in around the pineapple with crackers, bread slices, cashews, and chocolate-covered macadamias on the tray.

serving baskets and bowls on table ready for party set up

Baskets in different shapes and sizes are perfect for a tropical-themed buffet table as they add a natural vibe.

S2M Tip: Remember to line baskets with neutral cloth napkins before putting any food in them.

Baskets are great for serving crackers, chips, and bread.

wood riser with a white plate on dining table

Regular everyday white plates and bowls look a bit more dressed up when placed on wood pedestals and risers.

The rustic wood adds warmth and color to the white serving pieces and table.

Bowls and plates can be used for appetizers, fruit, and dips.

cut fruit on pedestal stand as part of party buffet table

S2M Tip: Use pedestals and risers to lift some of the plates.

Having items at various heights makes your table look more interesting and actually gives you more space on your table.

Risers also allow guests to see everything you’re serving spread out on the buffet table.

Where to Serve Drinks and Cocktails

side console table styled with tropical faux greenery and flowers

I have a console side table that’s an awesome spot to set up a minibar or drink station for a cocktail party.

A large round wicker tray corrals a glass serving pitcher, glasses, and a raised bowl filled with lemons and limes.

S2M Tip: Serve a signature cocktail when hosting a party at home.

To keep party preparations simple consider serving a signature cocktail or two rather than having to worry about different spirits and mixers.

Anne created two different signature cocktails for our gathering…Pineapple Mojitos and Spicy Mango Margaritas.

Stay tuned for those recipes to hit the blog soon!

Where to Set Up Desserts at a Cocktail Party

side buffet table with rattan wrapped vase with faux ferns

Since the dining table was filled with all the delicious tropical-inspired food, I left space on this little cabinet for a dessert table.

A jute tasseled placemat in the middle of the tabletop adds texture to the surface.

I placed another glass vase wrapped with a cane-style rattan on a small wood riser and filled it with faux fern stems.

mini trifle cup in wood bowl riser on jute and tassel placemat

A wooden bowl with a white platter is the perfect neutral spot for these colorful irresistible keto tropical trifles.

Served in individual bowls with mini spoons makes dessert easy for guests to help themselves to one or two.

What Decor Can You Use for a Tropical Cocktail Party

standing chalkboard decorated with faux palm fronds and leaves with Aloha written

This A-frame sidewalk chalkboard is a great item to have in my decorating closet.

Here you can see how I used the chalkboard for my daughter’s graduation party.

It’s a fun piece to pull out and write a message on when I’m throwing a party at home.

For our tropical cocktail party, I decided to keep it simple and just write Aloha down the length of the chalkboard.

I added faux palm leaves and palm fronds to one side of the wood frame using double-stick tape.

S2M Tip: Use this style chalkboard on your front porch as a welcome sign when you don’t need it for entertaining.

faux orchids and palm fronds hanging from edge of mirror on cocktail table

More of the faux palm leaves and an orchid floral stem were hung on the side of my mirror in the drink station area.

I love how the greenery reflects in the mirror.

Never underestimate the use of fresh fruit when styling your home for a tropical party.

Fruit is affordable and consumable so it’s a great way to add even more to your cocktail party theme.

two different sized rattan candle lanterns with handles on floor beside console table

Do you remember the outdoor woven lanterns I have under the pergola on my backyard patio?

I brought them in since they went so well with the paradise oasis look I was creating in my dining room.

These two large woven rattan candle lanterns add even more texture to the party space.

rattan wrapped vases filled with faux ferns and floating candle next to pineapple

The rattan-wrapped clear glass vases are from Michaels and are available in two sizes.

I used the smaller 6″ size as a candle holder and filled it with water, then added a 3″ floating white candle to the vase.

Two faux fern bushes fill the taller vase behind the candle.

And a fresh pineapple completes this corner and follows the decorating rule to style in odd this case, three.

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collage of product images to decorate a buffet table at a luau party

Sources: seagrass table runner | faux palm leaves | square wood riser | faux palm fronds | faux orchid stem | marble and wood pedestal stand | long wood riser | rattan lantern | round wicker serving tray | clear glass pitcher | 3″ floating white candles | rattan clear glass vase | faux fern bush | jute tassel placemat | disposable palm leaf plates | wood beaded cake stand

More Tropical Tablescape Ideas from Our Friends

Next up on the tour is our friend Rachel from The Pond’s Farmhouse.

Be sure to click each of the blog names below the photos to get even more inspiration for your tropical cocktail table.

If you’re a blogger and you’d like to join our virtual dinner club for a month leave us a comment below or contact us here.

Our Previous Tablescape Ideas

Get all of our previous virtual supper club ideas here.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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