• 11/20/2023

How to Have a Cookie Table at Your Wedding

A three-tiered tray of cookies.

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Having a cookie table at your wedding is a fun way to spice up dessert. It’s a great alternative to multi-tiered cakes and plates of pastries for brides on a budget. You can have any cookies you want, and serve them with your unique style. Sounds like something you want to do? This guide explains everything you need to know about having a cookie table at your wedding.  

1. Learn About the Tradition

Cookies have been a beloved dessert for centuries. The wedding cookie table dates back to the 18th century,when families migrated to Rustic belt for opportunties that would help them take care of their families. Couples who got married at that time needed to find alternatives to expensive and elaborate wedding, so they swapped wedding traditions with home-made cookies baked using family recipes. 

Today, cookies still have a budget-friendly appeal to modern brides. They also allow for more customization so everyone on your guest list can have a treat they love. 

2. Check Your Guest List

Even if you plan an elopement ceremony, you likely still have a guest list. Check how many invitations you mailed and how many people will probably RSVP. Estimate about four to ten cookies per person. People love cookies! So It’s wise to make more than you think you will need. This will also allow people to take one or two home if they choose, and can prove an excellent wedding treat to thank them for celebrating with you. The sum will provide a baking baseline. You can always add more cookies later if your guest list expands.

3. Make a Flavor List

The great thing about a cookie table is that you can include enough flavors to please everyone. Serve traditional chocolate chip cookies alongside macaroons or biscottis. You can even cater to vegan and plant-based guests by setting up a tray of cookies free from animal products or processed ingredients. They will appreciate your efforts to include them. It’s much easier to customize a cookie table because you have more than one dessert option. 

4. Estimate Your Cookie Count

Schedule a reminder closer to your wedding to update your cookie count. Guests may decline their invitations or request an extra plus-one. You’ll need the extra time to add more to your order or to reduce the final amount. 

5. Get Cookie Quotes

Even if you plan to order only one type of cookie and know how many you’ll need, bakeries price them differently. Consider making an order from a vendor closer to your venue. Remember to include delivery fees into each quote. It’s always better to know all of your options before committing to a caterer.

6. Or, Bake Them Yourself

If you’re having a smaller ceremony and  you have any free time a few days before your wedding, it might be worth your while to bake the cookies at home with your family.  It’s an excellent way for you to skip another catering bill and host a bonding experience for your closest loved ones right before their ceremony. Depending on how much time you have, you could even make the baking event a second bachelorette party.

7. Daydream About Table Designs

There are so many ways to set up a cookie table. Make it special and aesthetically pleasing to match your beautiful ceremony and reception. From tiered racks and glass containers to your very own wedding milk bar, here are some cookie table ideas to consider: or tilted trays with matching colors. Some ideas you might want to consider: 

Milk and Cookies Bar

Milk and cookies are a treat everyone loves, no matter how old they are. Make a twist on the traditional cookie table by adding milk to the mix. Include different flavors and milk-alternatives like oat milk and almond milk for everyone to enjoy. You could put the milk in shot glasses and place one cookie ontop of each for individual servings, or have the cookies on tiered trays and shot glasses with milk on one side. 

Tiered Trays 

Your cookie table will look stunning in photos with this idea. Get tiered trays made of glass or porcelain and have different cookie flavors on each layer. For more visual variety, you could use a big tray in the middle, with smaller ones surrounding it. 

If you have a rustic-themed wedding and want something that matches your decor, check etsy or wedding shops for tiered trays made of wood or serving stands that look like ladders or stairs. You can alternate the cookies with decor items like oil lamps or flower arrangements. 

Layered Cookie Table 

Use different kinds of serving bowls and trays to display the cookies. You might put the chocolate chip cookies in a crystal bowl and the macaroons on an elevated tray. Alternate between bowls,plates, glass cylinders, trays and glass vases for a cookie wonderland. 

The display should match your wedding theme and add a bit of fun to your reception area. Keep it on theme with decorative items or monogrammed napkins. 

8. Provide To-Go Bags

It’s customary for married couples to provide small wedding favors to thank guests for celebrating with them. They might pick up their bags on their way out of the reception or find them at their hotel door on check-out day. It’s a nice gesture for anyone who traveled out of town or took a day off work. If you’re struggling to think of the perfect gift, look no further than your cookie table.

Lay small plastic bags by the dessert displays with a sign that tells guests to take a few home with them. They’ll love having a snack for the road, especially if they have kids.

Enjoy a Cookie Table at Your Wedding

A cookie table at your wedding reception might just be the star of the show – after the bride of course. Guests can pick their favorite flavors and even take them home as a wedding favor. Cookies are easy to order or bake before your wedding. Figure out which options are best for your budget and schedule to determine if this tradition is right for your big day.

Updated in November 2023

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