Presenting Our 2017 Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners Up

From incorporating regal tables to cookie rooms, these couples put their own spin on this Pittsburgh wedding tradition.

Runner Ups

Photo by Wylie Images

About 160 dozen cookies graced this chic cookie buffet. The bride and groom’s mothers made all of the cookies, baking classic varieties such as oatmeal raisin and peanut butter and more unconventional versions such as sourcream rhubarb and cherry pecan. Megan says the cookies were the centerpiece of her reception — literally. “After pricing floral centerpieces and realizing they would stretch our budget more than we were comfortable with, we decided to go much simpler,” she says. “My mom and I made three-tier cookie displays out of white china and candlesticks [and] painted the candlesticks gold to make them more elegant and match with our blush, gold and navy theme.”

Photo by Araujo Photography

Tom and Jessica decided to have an Italian-themed cookie table to go with their wedding theme of #thatsamorris. The Duquesne Club and family members provided 12 types of cookies, including pignoli, tiramisu cups, bride-and-groom cake pops and an iced cherry cookie that was special to Jessica. “[It] has been in my family for years and was my great-grandmother’s recipe,” she says. The couple wanted an antique look to their table and worked with Pittsburgh-based rental company Vintage Alley to provide a regal touch.

Photo by Contemporary Photography

Ellen’s mom Terry, David’s parents Mark and Thea and friends of the bride and groom made about 2,000 cookies — including gingerbread in the shape of their dachshund Baxter — for the couple’s 130 wedding guests. Ellen’s grandmother had baked all of the cookies for the family’s previous weddings, but when she passed away two years ago, Ellen knew that she wanted to honor her grandmother through cookies. “My mom and I went through her recipes and made sure all of her ‘famous cookies’ were represented on the table,” she says. “I can't even describe how happy it made me to have that little piece of her on my wedding day.”

Photo provided by Barbara McCalley and Elizabeth Anne Studios

Barbara McCalley, a friend of Sarah’s family, made most of the 38 varieties of cookies at Sarah and Allen’s wedding while incorporating contributions from other family members and friends such as apricot bow ties and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It took her more than four months, three freezers and 40 pounds of butter to prepare the 3,000 cookies on the table. Sarah says her cookie table was a hit thanks to Barbara’s baking prowess. “It was a monumental effort by Barbara, but it was truly appreciated and so well received by all of our guests,” she says. “We had so many people — including Allen's family — coming in from out of town, so it was fun to share the cookie table tradition with them.”

Photo provided Angela Nelson and The Brand Studio

Angela and Mike didn’t stop at one cookie table — they had a cookie room. There were 21 types of cookies, including French macaroons, lady locks, double chocolate chip pizzelles and pecan tassies. Angela’s mom, aunt and grandmother spearheaded the effort, but a few friends, her mother-in-law and her husband-to-be contributed to filling an entire room with homemade cookies. “People are still talking about it,” Angela says.

And the winner is…

Photos by Randi Voss Photography

Sara — a native Pittsburgher — says she wanted a fun cookie table to complement her colorful spring wedding. She also wanted to impress Nathan’s Southern family members, who have never seen or heard of a cookie table before.


The couple wanted to weave both of their backgrounds into their cookie table, so they featured mini hamburger cookies, cookies shaped like Heinz ketchup bottles and watermelon-shaped cookies to honor Nathan’s hometown of Pageland, S.C — which is known as the watermelon capital of the world.

Sara’s mother, friends, family, coworkers and Nathan’s mother helped make the 40 kinds of cookies, then Kaila Frantz, wedding coordinator at the University Club, turned their baked creations into an incredible display. “I hadn't even made the connection that we had mini hamburger cookies — a favorite of mine from childhood and special family request — to go with the ketchup cookies, but she trayed them together and everyone loved it,” Sara says.


Categories: Beyond the Cookie Table