Forget the Open Bar, Try a Popcorn Bar at Your Wedding

We asked real Pittsburgh couples why they chose popcorn for their special day.

Although we’re all familiar with the Pittsburgh cookie table, it may come as a surprise that there’s a new fad trending at Pittsburgh weddings: the popcorn bar. Whether you’re looking for an edible centerpiece or a family-friendly snack, a popcorn bar will be something memorable for you and your guests on your special day.

Photos by Leeann Marie Wedding Photographers


“Popping” the Question 

When Megan Deviney and Steven Aeschbach began planning their wedding for July 16, Megan took to Pinterest to DIY her own decorations and eventually came across the idea for a popcorn bar.

“Most of our wedding guests were coming in from out of town, so I liked the idea that they could take popcorn with them for a late night snack once they got back to their hotels,” Megan says.

The popcorn bar also fit well with the rustic theme that the couple planned for their reception at the Barn at Fallingwater. However, the 9 a.m. wedding ceremony followed by brunch posed a slight problem because the popcorn would have to be made or picked up the day before the wedding, running the risk that it would go stale.


Luckily, with a little more research, Megan found that popcorn can last a long time if stored in the right conditions, and especially if it’s coated in chocolate and caramel. So Megan picked out six of her favorite Pittsburgh Popcorn flavors — including Peanut Butter Cup, Cinnamon Toast, and Chocolate Caramel — and got ready for the big day.

Despite Megan’s worries, the popcorn bar was definitely a crowd-pleaser. “The guests seemed to love the popcorn bar and it was one of the easier DIY projects I worked on,” she says.

The popcorn bar even became a decoration itself when Megan created a cute chalkboard sign (another Pinterest idea) for the table that said: “Once upon a time we met and found love so true that he popped the question and today we said ‘I do.’”



Photos by studio bash


The Right Combination of Salty and Sweet

Although Chris Mueller and Alexandra Knerr have a lot in common, Alex doesn’t share Chris’ sweet tooth. This is why, when it came time to plan their wedding for May 28, the couple decided to have a popcorn bar in addition to a cookie table — the popcorn being Alex’s savory version of the sugary cookie table.

The popcorn bar was also a great snack for hungry wedding guests to munch on throughout the night. “I had the Westin [the couple’s reception site] put it out before guests arrived, so it was available throughout the whole reception,” Alex says. “That way guests were able to get a little snack whenever they wanted rather than have to wait for them to bring out dinner or the cookies. I know whenever I am at a wedding or event I always like to snack on things.”


As the couple predicted, the popcorn bar was a huge hit. “We got several compliments after the wedding about how much people were enjoying it — there were guests up there throughout the whole evening,” says Alex. The couple also prepared to-go bags so their guests could take some popcorn for the road.

The best part about the popcorn bar was that it was easy, fun and inexpensive. Alex and Chris got bulk bags of their favorite Pittsburgh Popcorn flavors — Deep Dish Pizza, Wisconsin Cheddar, Jalapeno Popper, Buffalo Ranch, Pittsburgh Cookie Table, and Dill Pickle — to share with their friends and family on their special day. The couple also had a cute sign on the popcorn bar that said, “Life can be salty but love is sweet,” which Alex made herself after finding the idea on Pinterest. “I loved that it said salty because that was what I was going for, a "savory/salty" option in addition to the sweet cookie table,” she says.



photos by Araujo Photography


A Taste of Pittsburgh 

Although there may not always be room for a popcorn bar at the venue or in the budget, many Pittsburgh couples still find a way to incorporate the salty treat into their special day.

Neither Aly Shattls nor Sean Malarkey are originally from Pittsburgh, so when they decided to have their wedding here on June 4 they wanted to make sure that their friends and family felt at home in their new city.

“When we were planning our wedding it was most important to both of us that our guests felt as special as we did for the entirety of the weekend,” Aly says.


The couple chose to make Pittsburgh-themed welcome bags for their guests, complete with brochures, maps, a list of the couple’s favorite restaurants, various Pittsburgh-themed snacks, and a bag of Pittsburgh Popcorn Company popcorn.

According to Aly, the welcome bags were a hit for the guests and the couple alike. “As silly as it may seem, our welcome bags were one of my favorite parts of the weekend and our guests loved them as well,” she says.

Looking for other out-of-the-ordinary food bars? Check out our feature here. 

Categories: Beyond the Cookie Table