How To Throw A Celebration in Style | We Malaysians love a good celebration! Whether it's a birthday, graduation, or even just catching up with friends, we know how to throw a party (or "kenduri" as we might call it) that's memorable and fun. But sometimes, we might feel stuck in a rut, doing the same old things.

Fear not, fellow party people! This guide is here to help you celebrate in style without breaking the bank or going over the top. We'll cover everything from planning to decor to food and drinks, all with a Malaysian twist.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan!

The first step to a successful celebration is planning. This doesn't have to be complicated. Just grab a pen and paper (or your phone) and answer these questions:

  • What are you celebrating?
  • Who are you inviting? How many people are you expecting?
  • When and where will the celebration be?
  • What's your budget? Be realistic about how much you can spend.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Choose a date and time that works for most people.
  • Decide on the theme (if any). It can be as simple as "colours of the rainbow" or something related to the occasion.
  • Make a guest list and send out invitations (e-vites are perfectly acceptable!).
  • Delegate tasks to friends and family if you need help.

2. Decorate Your Space

Even if you're having a small gathering, adding a few simple decorations can elevate the atmosphere. Here are some Malaysian-inspired ideas:

Batik: Hang beautiful batik cloths as tapestries or use them as table runners. You can even find affordable batik napkins or placemats.

Flowers: Fresh bunga telang, frangipani, or even vibrant bougainvillea can add a touch of colour and fragrance. Looking for something grander? Opt for grand opening flowers instead!

Fairy lights: String up some fairy lights for a warm and inviting glow.

DIY decorations: Get creative! Use recycled materials like tin cans or plastic bottles to make your own centerpieces or decorations.

3. Food and Drinks

Malaysian celebrations are all about delicious food and refreshing drinks. Here are some suggestions:


  • Potluck: This is a great way to involve your guests and save money. Ask everyone to bring a dish to share.
  • Local favourites: Serve up some classic Malaysian dishes like nasi lemak, satay, or rendang.
  • Easy finger foods: If you're short on time, opt for easy-to-eat snacks like spring rolls, kuih, or even roti canai.
  • Sweet treats: Don't forget dessert! Cendol, pulut hitam, or even just some fresh fruit can hit the spot.


  • Teh tarik: A classic Malaysian beverage that's perfect for any occasion.
  • Air bandung: A sweet and refreshing drink made with rose syrup and milk.
  • Fruit juices: Opt for fresh or homemade juices for a healthy option.
  • Mineral water: Always have plenty of water available for guests to stay hydrated.
Tip: Label the food and drinks clearly, especially if you have guests with dietary restrictions.

4. Music and Entertainment

Music sets the mood for any celebration. Choose a playlist that's appropriate for the occasion and your guests' age range. You can even create a collaborative playlist on Spotify and ask your guests to contribute their favourite songs.

Entertainment doesn't have to be expensive. You can play simple games like charades or Pictionary, or have a karaoke session (fun for both the singers and the listeners!). For smaller gatherings, board games can be a good way to keep people entertained.

5. Capture the Memories

Don't forget to capture the memories! Take photos and videos of your celebration. You can even set up a photo booth with fun props for your guests to take silly pictures.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Assign a "photographer": Ask a friend or family member to take pictures throughout the event.
  • Use your phone: Most smartphones have good enough cameras to capture special moments.
  • Encourage guests to share: Let your guests know they can share their own photos and videos on social media using a specific hashtag.

6. Be a Gracious Host

  • Mingle with your guests and ensure everyone feels included. Introduce new people and facilitate conversations.
  • Offer second helpings of food and drinks.
  • Thank your guests for coming and making the celebration special.
  • Clean up afterwards. It doesn't have to be a one-man show! Ask your guests to help with tidying up, or assign cleaning tasks to a few people beforehand.

7. Celebrate with a Budget

Celebrating in style doesn't have to mean spending a fortune. Here are some ways to save money:

  • Have the celebration at home instead of renting a venue.
  • DIY decorations as mentioned earlier.
  • Opt for a potluck or ask guests to bring a dish to share.
  • Choose seasonal and affordable ingredients for your food.
  • Skip the fancy drinks and stick to water, homemade juices, or plain tea/coffee.
  • Borrow or rent any equipment you need instead of buying it.

8. Remember, it's about the People

Ultimately, the most important thing about any celebration is the people. Gather your loved ones, create happy memories, and celebrate life Malaysian style!

Bonus Tip: Get creative and personalize your celebration! Add your own special touches to make it unique and memorable for everyone involved.