Pittsburgh Magazine’s Cookie Table Contest Winner Out-Bakes the Competition
Lauren Kelly and Mike Gielarowski’s cookie table featured more than 2,000 treats.
The cookie table tradition was important for Lauren Kelly and Mike Gielarowski, who held their reception on July 9, 2022, at the Longue Vue Club in Penn Hills.
“I’m half Italian and half Middle Eastern, and on the Italian side, I feel like it’s a really big tradition for us. It’s so special just because when people find out you’re getting married, they come out of the woodwork wanting to bake cookies,” says Lauren.
Lauren says that her mom had a rule — six cookies for each guest. However, Lauren and Mike wanted to make sure their 160 guests had extras to take home. On the big day, the cookie table ended up having 2,196 cookies.
“That was like over one dozen cookies per guest,” says Lauren.
The wedding had a simple color scheme of black and white, so the friends and family members who baked kept the look of the cookies exciting but classic. Cookie varieties included chocolate chip, French macarons and Oreo cheesecake.
To match the aesthetic of Lauren and Mike’s wedding invitations, the bakers added slight hints of lavender with muffin papers individually wrapping the cookies.
“We had a pretty large sign displayed on our cookie table that actually listed everyone that baked, because we wanted to really thank them and make sure they were recognized for everything they did,” Lauren says.
Lauren Altman and Michael Herron both grew up in Pittsburgh, so naturally, their cookie table at Chatham Village in Mt. Washington on their Sept. 24, 2022, wedding day was full of nods to the city.
The son of Lauren’s friend from work designed model bridges, including the Smithfield Street Bridge, the Roberto Clemente Bridge, and the Fort Pitt Bridge, and 3-D printed the bases to decorate the table. Lauren’s brother then hand-painted the bridges and added gravel for a more authentic look.
“With the history of the Pittsburgh cookie table, we added a few other Pittsburgh-themed signs around on the cookie table,” she says.
Samantha Jamison and Drake D’Angelo had lace tablecloths, vintage glam cake stands and warm-glow faux LED candelabras to decorate their cookie table on Oct. 21, 2022, at Twelve Oaks Mansion in Mars.
Their table featured a spread of 35 types of cookies, which were mostly baked by Sammi’s grandmother, who she described as “the big baker” of the family. Her aunt also bought a custom pizzelle iron that printed their last name “D’Angelo.”
Since both sides of the family are huge dessert fans, Sammi and Drake wanted a cookie table that reflected their sweet tooth.
“It was definitely a labor of love that my mom coordinated,” Sammi says.