Your Cookie Table Can Be as Beautiful as It Is Delicious

A plain white tablecloth with haphazardly arranged cookies is a thing of the past.
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The importance of a cookie table at a Pittsburgh wedding cannot be understated, so why should the design be? 

“What we like to say is that we offer cookie table stylings so that it becomes part of the decor of the room,” says Trish Derry, owner and lead designer at Vintage Alley Rentals. “It’s really elevating the standard cookie table.”

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Alexis Allen, principal planner at SHE {Shayla Hawkins Events}, says tiers and matching platters for cookies are standard, and SHE has also added greenery or draping to the table. Couples also add individual elements such as cookies with monograms of their initials or cookies in the shape of their dog.

“It’s having a cohesive feel but also finding some ways to customize it,” Allen says. “Doing things in the wedding colors is a really nice touch.”

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Couples sometimes add signs noting how they chose the cookies, perhaps listing the bride and groom’s favorites, or they’ll have a sign detailing the history of the cookie table in the region.

“For a lot of people who are not from Pittsburgh, I think having that history of the cookie table and why it’s so important in Pittsburgh is a very important thing so guests get to read that history and understand why there’s 16, 18 feet of cookies at a wedding,” says Derry.

Some couples display a sign thanking each individual who contributed cookies. 

“If it’s a cousin, aunt … if they see their name on there it’s like a badge of honor,” Allen says.

Allen also notes some venues have a knack for stylish cookie tables. Venues such as The Priory and The Fluted Mushroom are locally owned, thus the importance of a cookie table is not lost on them. 

“I find that some of the more individually owned venues, they take a lot of pride in traying them up really nicely,” she says.

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Derry says the cookie table style often depends on the look of the venue. A recent wedding she coordinated at the new Stables at Hartwood Acres venue had a rustic barrel bar and styled cookie table.

“That flowed really nicely with everything else that was going on in the stables,” she says. “It depends on the venue location and the overall look of the wedding, and we’re able to create a cookie table that goes with the decor of the wedding. 

“I think one of the most beautiful cookie tables I’ve ever styled was at the Carnegie Museum and every cookie was white. Having all white cookies just aesthetically was so absolutely beautiful.”

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She notes having a wedding planner or someone from the reception venue take care of the cookie table allows the couple and their families to focus on other aspects of the day.

“There’s some stress that comes with the cookie table, and a lot of times it falls more on to the mothers or mothers of the grooms, and this way they know they don’t have to stress about going in there and setting up that cookie table,” Derry says.

“I would say there’s nothing wrong with the old-fashioned, traditional either, just putting trays out. It’s really all about personal preference.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Derry got creative with ways to offer cookies, such as gold and glass serving shelves usually used for Champagne or individually wrapping cookies and placing them on clear racks. She also crafted grab-and-go cookie boxes with pretty ribbons because it was not recommended guests pack their own to-go boxes at the end of the night.

Allen says about 50% of her clients still want to have a cookie table, and because they’re coming to her for design, dressing it up is important.

“If they’re going to have a cookie table, they don’t want it to be the weakest link in the room,” she says.

Categories: Weddings