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Sweet Designs: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Cookie Table Contest Winner

photos by loren de marco photography


Lauren Posteraro comes from an Italian family, so the cookie table at her wedding was of the utmost importance.

“My mom has been planning my cookie table forever,” she says with a laugh.

Her mother-in-law and sisters upped the ante by creating an elaborate cookie table for Lauren’s wedding shower — the bride wasn’t sure she would be able to top it at her wedding on Aug. 18, 2018.


But after she and Ben Capo wed at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, she had nothing to worry about — the cookie table at their reception at the Pittsburgh Field Club was wow-worthy.

Lauren had a vision of large gold hoops covered in greenery sitting behind the tables as well as swings holding cookies hanging from the ceiling, and her wedding planner, Madeline Kelly of Madeline Kelly Events, made it all come together. Kelly built the swings, adding votives, greenery, blush roses and rose gold uplighting.

To complement the cookies, the couple offered a cappuccino bar from La Prima Espresso in the Strip District, where Lauren’s family would stop after attending Mass at St. Stanislaus.


Lauren’s sister created a spreadsheet of who was making what cookie for the table, and the grand total was 235 dozen cookies, including buckeyes, Italian peach blossoms, pizzelles, lady locks, and Lauren’s favorite: gaulettes.

“It was definitely a group effort of a lot of people,” Lauren says.

Runners Up

Photo by Studio Bash Photography 

Megan Rihn says she got her family members started on baking and freezing cookies months in advance for her wedding on July 7. “Growing up, we were always told it’s not a real cookie table unless all the cookies are homemade,” she says.

The table’s design, which looks like a cookie wave, came together with the help of the staff at the Fox Chapel Golf Club, Megan says, and along with the colors of the cookies, made the display a show-stopper for the guests. “No one cared about our cake; they spent the whole time talking about the cookies,” she jokes.

The cookie wave became so legendary that word followed the couple on their honeymoon. On their last day in Mexico while lounging in the pool, Megan and her husband Garrett Smith chatted up a couple from Pittsburgh who was raving about a cookie table they had seen on Facebook. Sure enough, it was the Smiths’. “Then later we got on the plane and they were like ‘There’s the cookie people!’” she says.


Erin Boyle says when she and husband Robert Reddinger were married on June 9, the wedding coordinator at the Rivers Casino loaned her a sparkly tablecloth, the candles were the same as the ones in her centerpieces, and she took an overall relaxed approach to the planning. Family and friends made 20 types of cookies for the display, she says, and she delegated the coordination to her mother. “I was like, you know what, these are going to taste good, I don’t need to stress over it.” She left the design to the casino staff and was pleased with the result.

“They just displayed everything in that romantic vibe feel, and when I walked in I was just like, ‘Wow.’ I didn’t have to do anything extra.”  

photo by Nina Italiano

The cookie table at Sarah Thomas and A.J. Owen’s wedding on June 9 included doughnuts and hand-painted signs reading “All you need is love and cookies.” Sarah says it was a collaboration based on a “wild dream” she had about how it would come to life, with the hundreds of cookies baked by family and friends. Also, there were doughnuts. “I grew up going to the Outer Banks with my family, that’s where I fell in love with Duck Donuts,” she says. “As soon as I heard they opened a shop in Pittsburgh I knew I had to have them at our wedding.” And a last-minute Etsy impulse buy of diamond inserts gave the doughnut towers a little extra sparkle.

Sarah says the Simmons family at Bramblewood handled the cookie table assembly the day of the wedding. “A lot of our guests weren’t from Pittsburgh, so this was their first cookie table experience. I’m still getting compliments on it!”

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