In Pittsburgh, cookie tables are a longstanding tradition at weddings. Residents are unsure of the tradition's origins, but they honor it with fervor nonetheless. Servers pack buffet tables with endless piles of small cookies, and the cookie table is ravaged the moment guests enter the venue. Whether you are a Pennsylvanian or a cookie lover somewhere else in the country, you can incorporate a refined, tailored version of the delectable tradition in your wedding.
Drape the table in the same covering used for other tables in the venue.
Lay table runners or embellished place mats on the table, if desired. Make the table resemble the other tables at the reception as much as possible.
Place one or two large decorative items that are not composed of cookies on the back edge of the table to act as a backdrop. Floral arrangements are a fitting choice.
Select cookies that fit within the wedding color palette, if possible. Choose cookie varieties that do not all look the same. Work with at least five varieties of cookies if you are decorating a small table. 10 varieties that are arranged artfully should cover a standard banquet table, but you can always use more.
Group the cookies by type so each variety creates a striking visual impression.
Arrange the cookies on serving trays and stands that vary in size and height but have similar colors. For example, use silver trays and stands exclusively, or select enameled trays in your wedding colors. Add a decorative feature to the stands and trays to unify the presentation further. For example, add small, calligraphic cards to each piece that labels the cookie variety.
Arrange the cookie trays and stands on the table. Intermix the different serving pieces. Keep tall objects, like cake stands or towers, toward the back or outer sides of the table. Keep lower serving pieces in front and center on the table.
Place plates and napkins on one side of the table or on a neighboring table.
Place small decorative objects like individual flowers or small framed photos of the couple throughout the table, between the cookie arrangements.
Avoid cookies that are temperature sensitive so guests do not have to handle melted, messy cookies.