What Is A Wedding Cookie Table? Exactly What It Sounds Like!

In Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, the quality of a wedding is determined by its cookies. The traditional wedding cookie table is the star of the show, and it offers just what it promises; a huge table of various homemade cookies. Often led by parents of the engaged, family members and friends from both sides contribute to the array of confections and do so free of charge. While baking is how they show love to the couple, it also gives them a chance to strengthen the bond of the joined family.

The shared tradition dates back to common wedding practices in the Great Depression. Most families could not afford wedding cakes, so instead they put their baking skills to good use. At a time when many European immigrants were making their way to the United States, cookie recipes from numerous ethnicities, religions, and culinary traditions combined to form a diverse table of sweet treats that represented the bakers' various cultures. In modern cookie tables, the cookie choices are meant to evoke nostalgic reactions from the wedding party and signify the blend of different lived experiences.

Popular wedding cookies

From Irish shortbreads to Italian pizzelles, cookie tables have hosted a menagerie of cultural staples. Popular selections include whoopie pies, biscotti, thumbprints, peanut butter blossoms, haystacks, pecan tassies, lady locks (clothespin cookies), and buckeyes. Of course, there are the famed Italian wedding cookies, which are a light concoction made from almond flour, butter, and powdered sugar. But the cookie flavors are not the only concern. Presentation is almost as important as how the cookies taste. Fun shapes, garnishes, and plenty of sprinkles and icing make the table an interesting conversation piece to hang around. 

In fact, wedding cookie tables have captured so much attention that the unique and cost-friendly concept is quickly spreading across the country. Many young couples have expressed their belief that wedding cakes are over. Instead, they're being replaced by creative dessert bar alternatives like the cookie table. Not only are these options more efficient for reception grazing, but they're great for allowing guests to snag leftovers. With so many choices, it's guaranteed that everyone will find a favorite to save for later. 

Whether guests indulge in sacred family recipes or experiments from scratch, they'll partake in something more than just wedding desserts. The confections represent hard work, dedication, and love. They're tiny pieces of what makes a successful partnership, and the hope is that the marriage will last as many years as the number of cookies on the table.