Is a traditional sit-down wedding dinner not quite your thing? Host a fondue party instead as a fun alternative that is hip and modern! It immediately spells warmth, fun, and casual interaction—precisely what you’d wish for as you bring your families together for this special occasion. If they’ll be meeting for the first time, in particular, the relaxed atmosphere of such a party would be perfect.
Here, we present ideas for creating an inviting yet elegant ambiance for a gathering of 15 to 20 guests, and for setting out an enticing fondue spread for all to enjoy. Ready to host a get-together that celebrates your special day with warmth and élan? Take your cue from our great fondue party tips below!
Set Up a Relaxed Yet Stylish Venue
Casual can certainly be chic as well. In our fondue party venue, an overall palette of warm tones sets an urban-rustic mood, with an elegant flair. Shades of brown, beige, gold, red, and a hint of blue interplay amidst the furniture pieces, throw pillows, a wool throw, and Persian rugs on wooden plank flooring. The earthy hues extend even to the serving accessories—wooden bowls, bamboo trays, and earthenware mugs. While groupings of candles provide an enchanting golden glow.
What better place to stage this appealing setting than somewhere familiar and convenient for you—your own home? Particularly for a celebration, it’s like extending a welcoming hug to all who come to the party.
Send the Word Out with Charm
Set the warm tone of the event by sending out invitations with a whimsical touch. Have them in the shape of fondue pots decorated with chocolate brown polka dots. Or cut them out like strawberries half-dipped in melted chocolate!
Plan a Scrumptious Fondue Menu
For your fondue menu, you may opt for the ever-popular dipping sauces made of melted cheese and chocolate. To make it interesting, though, select a variety of foods that will appeal to most people—with some surprises thrown in. In our party example, we served up fresh fruits like strawberries, cherries, bananas, pears, and apples. On the side, we had marshmallows, pretzels, nacho chips, biscotti, breadsticks, butter cookies, and nuts—for guests to either munch on as finger foods or dip into the yummy fondue sauces.
For an exotic twist, you can offer up dried dates or figs, or preserved fruits, such as carambola (star fruit), kiwi, mango, and papaya. Crunchy vegetable sticks would be a great addition as well. And for a fun, sweet sensation, try serving up mini scoops of ice cream balls in various flavors together with sides of rainbow sprinkles, chopped nuts, and coconut flakes.
If you’d like to offer a heavier dish, you may consider “main dish” fondue options like these:
Or you may want to surprise guests with an unusual dipping sauce or two. Here are some fun recipes that you can try out:
With such a scrumptious spread, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is whether or not there will be enough strawberries to go around for dipping!
Set Out a Variety of Drinks to Match
A fondue party can be held at any time of the year. But when holding it in the fall, a variety of both warm and cool drinks would be great. Depending on your expected guests’ tastes, decide on a selection of wines, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and even liquor.
A good approach would be to assemble a beverage station, so that guests can readily serve themselves. Offer up a nice wine or two: for a cheese fondue, a dry Riesling or even sparkling champagne; for chocolate fondue, any dessert wine or port, or a Cabernet with a hint of fruits or berries. Coffee, of course, is always sought after—so have a freshly-brewed pot ready at hand. You may also opt to serve up a variety of teas such as chai, green tea, or jasmine. If you think liquor would be appropriate for a fall-time party, you may offer cognac, brandy, and sherry. And speaking of fall…hot cocoa would be perfect for this fondue party, served with a heap of marshmallows of course!
Hint: Infusing liqueurs from Kahlua®, Tia Maria®, or Baileys® adds a flavorful and unique taste to drinks such as coffee.
Play Music to Get the Party in Full Swing
What’s a fondue party without some mood music? Make it an Ipod® party! Or tune in to Internet radio sites like Pandora®. Whatever you choose, a great touch would be to compile a playlist of your favorite songs, including those of your fiancé. That way, everyone enjoys the party while getting to know you through your music.
Hint: When sending out the invitations, you may even get your guests in on the fun early by having them name 3 to 5 of their favorite songs. Then, include these in your playlist, and see the fun reactions as the tunes liven up the party!
Give Fun and Eco-friendly Favors
With all the gaiety at this party, guests might never want to go home! Extend the warmth, then, with lovely take-home favors that are eco-friendly besides. Some delightful ideas include: an assortment of fall-time nuts, delicious home-baked cookies, or fragrant wood-shaving potpourri (shown in our photo). Present these in charming heart-shaped gift boxes woven from natural abaca material, and attach cornhusk thank-you tags. Or wrap the boxes in silky fabric rounds in different colors, and display them atop multi-sized glass vases filled with raffia fiber. Candles add an elegant touch to this ultra-easy, but eye-catching favor presentation!
Other great favor options for this fall-time fondue party: incense sticks, soy-based soap, or sachets filled with lavender buds. You surely have more gift ideas of your own. Let us know about them!