Sunday, December 5, 2010

My retro 50s soda shop budget-friendly wedding

Something amazing happened last week, on the heels of a budget stress induced meltdown- I found a way to have an affordable wedding reception. Maybe.
A place I’d come across during my research but which Mike had dismissed POPped back up in my mind. The Pop Shop in Collingswood, NJ.

It’s a retro soda shop with a real soda fountain, super fun décor and award winning menu outside of Cherry Hill with a new party room that can fit up to 100 people.

The décor is super cute- the shop has a counter run by ‘soda jerks’ and a bunch of 1950s touches.

The menus are printed as newspapers, with the dessert menu like a TV Guide, and cards at the table let you know that their grilled cheese was subject to a challenge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay!

They have 31 types if grilled cheese, plus a ton of other burgers, sandwiches, and extensive breakfast options- pancakes are another specialty. Egg creams, flavored sodas, and of course milk shakes. Yum.

The party room recently went through a quarter million dollar renovation and has its own soda counter and separate entrance on a side street around the corner from the main restaurant. There are several dinner, buffet and cocktail menus to choose from. 
Downtown Collingswood is a cute little pedestrian friendly town- it has charm.

Pros: Super Budget Friendly. We could do this whole thing without ‘losing’ thousands, which is what we’re facing in every other scenario. The vibe is really fun and I can really visualize a great party here, with lots of The Beatles and other music, as well as the one dress I have in mind. We can bring in all our own alcohol, which will save us a bundle. And it’s pretty unique, and visually cool. Oh- and they have a vintage photo booth! I wanted one of those and didn’t think it would be in my budget- and here it’s included!

Cons: Can I really serve grilled cheese at my wedding??  I mean, are our families going to be kind of miffed? The fun factor goes out the window if half the guests are put off. Speaking of pissing off guests, Collingswood is a dry town.  So we can only serve beer and wine (and champagne, of course.) Frankly, this is enough for me, but will our guests go bananas? I know it might not sit well with some.  Lastly, the coordinator said we could max out at 90 with a dance floor, but it still seems like it would be pretty tight. We’re struggling to get down to 100; 80-85 would be really tough. And we don’t want it to be too packed.
(There’s one other bonus to this venue- the hotel we could stay at on the wedding night! Next post!)
It’s definitely something to think about, if only for the cost saving bonus- we sat down and tried to do a guest list and budget last week, andwere  left feeling kind of defeated. This is the single budget-frienly option we’ve found so far. In the meantime, here are the pictures!

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