Perfect Presentations: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up
These couples took the classic cookie table and made it their own with beautiful — and delicious — displays.
Photos by Snappy! Film Studios
You are what you eat, and on Alexandra Falvo and Andrew Lamar’s wedding day, they took the adage very seriously. The couple, married on Sept. 30, featured sugar cookies in the shape of their faces on their classic Pittsburgh cookie table.
“I saw the idea on Pinterest,” Alexandra says. “I just thought it’d be a fun, personal and funny addition to the table.”
After purchasing a custom-made cookie cutter from a shop on Etsy, Alexandra had a family friend make the cookies for the big day.
“Afterwards, [my friend] said, ‘Never again,’” Alexandra says. “It took forever.”
When decorating for Alex and Andrew’s wedding, Missy Martz of Occasion Creation Designs saw the perfect opportunity to showcase the couple’s cookie table — and the city. Sitting in front of a large window at PNC Park, the cookie table — rather, cookie tables, as there were four tables surrounding the main display — was framed by the glowing Roberto Clemente Bridge outside.
Martz decorated the tables with candles, tiers and a sparkling tablecloth to attract attention to the delicious spread. The table also featured a sign adorned with the Pittsburgh skyline that read, “The Pittsburgh cookie table / A sweet tradition for all of yinz to enjoy.”
A groom’s cake also sat on the table, decorated with green icing in the pattern of a baseball field with various beloved shared interests, including a hamburger and a Terrible Towel. On top of the cake stood newlyweds holding a picture frame.
Friends and family made all of the cookies and candies on the table.
“Both our families are from Pittsburgh,” Alexandra says. “They’ve always done the cookie table tradition.”
First Runner Up
Photo by Lindsey Zern Photography
A cookie table doesn’t just have to have cookies anymore. The guests at Mallory McLaughlin and Brant Toulouse’s Dec. 31 wedding were met with much more than the approximately 45 dozen cookies offered; the couple also had about 10 dozen doughnuts from Mac’s Donut Shop and 26 dozen pastries from La Gourmandine.
The cookies were made by family members and friends, particularly Brant’s aunts. Mac’s, located in Aliquippa, provided multiple kinds of doughnuts, which stood on rods connected to marble stands sitting atop candlestick holders.
“Our cookie table was huge,” Mallory says. “It had its own room.”
Mallory and Brant provided take-home boxes for their guests, giving them the opportunity to take the delectable desserts home.
Second Runner Up
Photos by Jenna Hidinger Photography
Justin Bersuder’s family, hailing from Michigan, has attended a Pittsburgh wedding before and knew what they were looking forward to the most at Justin’s wedding: the cookie table.
Shady Elms Farm dedicated their carriage house to Lyndsay Petruny and Justin Bersuder’s dessert spread on Oct. 7. The desserts were provided by family members and Kretchmar’s Bakery in Beaver.
“[Justin’s family] kept asking, ‘Is there going to be a cookie table?’ They’re probably still talking about it,” Lyndsay says.
Lyndsay, on the contrary, is from Pittsburgh. She viewed her cookie table as a chance to feature baked goods that she grew up eating. Lyndsay’s Sita, or grandmother, on her mother’s side (who are Slovakian and Lebanese) used to make butlawa, or baklava. From Lyndsay’s father’s side, her grandma made roszke, or apricot sour creams. As both of her grandmothers have passed, Lyndsay featured both desserts on her cookie table in memory of them.
Along with the family desserts and various cookies from friends and from Kretchmar’s, there were cupcakes — s’mores, caramel apple and vanilla bean — made by Justin’s sister, who also made the wedding cake.
“It felt like the carriage house was a little bakery,” Justin says.
Third Runner Up
Photos by Kristen Wynn Photography
Despite their original plan to have two cookie tables, Kylie Wallach and Marc Zmijowski received more cookies than they anticipated for their Nov. 25 wedding day. The couple had to find a place to house over 200 dozen cookies, but their wedding coordinator Mary Ann Papantonakis found the perfect solution. The room at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh - Green Tree that held Kylie and Marc’s cocktail hour was flipped to become the new cookie room.
The excess of cookies, displayed over multiple tables, was supplied by about 12 people, both family members and friends, and Kylie herself.
“It’s an opportunity for the women in my family to spend time together while baking, time that our busy lives don't usually afford us,” Kylie says.
Among the 24 types of cookies in the display were lady locks, pizzelles, mini cheesecakes, pumpkin cookies and Swedish wafers, described by Kylie as “a staple in our family.” The couple also had a variety of pies and cheesecakes, as Marc doesn’t like cake.
Fourth Runner Up
Photo by Kristi Telnov Photography
Both coming from Italian families, Marisa Satira and David Celko had to uphold traditions from Italy and Pittsburgh at their wedding. Luckily, one tradition that fell under both umbrellas was the classic cookie table.
Marisa and David decorated their cookie table, which ran the length of the whole ballroom, in accordance with their Italian theme, featuring Italian flags and red and green uplighting.
The couple, married on Sept. 16, had about 500 dozen cookies on their table, with 40-42 different kinds featured. Some cookies displayed include biscotti, amaretti, pizzelles, lemon, carrot, chocolate chip and M&M. The cookies were all homemade by Marisa, her mother and members of David’s family.
“Guests were astonished by how many cookes we had,” Marisa says. “They really gave us that big wow factor.”