• 12/06/2021

What Is a Cookie Table? Learn the History Behind This Delicious Wedding Tradition

What Is a Cookie Table? Learn the History Behind This Delicious Wedding Tradition

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There are so many wedding traditions for brides and their families. Some might seem more appealing than others. While you can always borrow something blue and keep your dress a secret until your walk down the aisle, you may prefer newer traditions that cater to your taste buds. Check out why so many brides plan a cookie table for their reception and the meaning it will add to your big day.

What Is a Cookie Table?

A cookie table is precisely what it sounds like, but it has a long history that many brides haven’t heard about before. Unless you’re from Pennsylvania or Ohio, you’ve likely never heard about the stories behind the dessert arrangements.

Back in the 20th century, people migrated to the Rust Belt to find new opportunities for their families. When couples got married, they were often too poor to afford an elaborate celebration. Instead of traditions with expensive white silk and grand venues, they showed off their heritage by baking family cookie recipes.

The tradition still continues in the region, but modern brides get their cookies catered by a professional bakery. If you want to make your wedding extra special, baking with family recipes is the perfect way to incorporate a tradition that celebrates the loved ones who came before you.

Why Are Cookie Tables Great for Weddings?

There are a few reasons why cookie tables are a major win for brides and their guests. You might find them appealing enough to add a dessert table to your reception.

Chocolate chip cookies sit on a table next to a cup of coffee.

They’re Easily Customizable

The most challenging part of making your reception menu is picking the right foods. You might love the idea of mac and cheese with pulled pork, but what if your guests are lactose intolerant or vegetarians? Cookie tables allow for numerous types of cookies, which can all come with labels that identify allergens or major ingredients like wheat.

Bake those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies you love and whip up a batch of vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free alternatives so everyone can enjoy a tasty treat.

They Work Indoors and Outdoors

Some desserts are better for indoor venues. If your wedding cake and other iced desserts sit outside on a table during your summertime reception, the icing will slide off onto the table in the heat. Cookies can sit at room temperature indoors or outdoors without losing their carefully crafted and delicious quality.

They Can Get Done Early

Cookies store well for a few days or up to a week, so brides on a budget can make their cookies at home before their big day. Make a few batches while prepping your wedding from home and you’ll have less to worry about right before your walk down the aisle.

What Are Cookie Table Inspirational Ideas?

Finding a little inspiration will help you decide if a cookie table is suitable for your wedding. Browse big-batch recipes that are guaranteed to please your guests, like:

  • Salted double-chocolate cookies
  • Cinnamon sugar cookie squares
  • Brown sugar crinkle cookies

Consider setting up the table for your guests to enjoy at your after-party, during cocktail hour or before your ceremony. You can also check out table arrangements that utilize shelving or rounded displays to make your cookie table picture perfect. 

What Are Other Important Pros and Cons?

There are plenty of other things to think about when you’re browsing cookie table possibilities. Here are a few of the pros and cons every bride should weigh while keeping their venue, wedding size and budget in mind.

Pro: You’ll Save Money

Professional bakeries charge hundreds of dollars for wedding cakes. The price continues to rise if you want additional tiers or other desserts like cupcakes. Baking cookies at home will save a significant amount of money that you could put towards something else, like your veil or venue.

Con: Cookie Catering Is Expensive

If you don’t live near family or have a large kitchen, you’ll have to find a catering service for your cookies. The cost can add up if you have an extensive guest list, so keep that in mind while forming your budget.

Pro: Leftovers Make Great Gift Bags

Brides often have a portion of their budget dedicated to thank-you bags for guests to take home after the ceremony. It’s an additional cost you can mitigate with a cookie table. Set up small take-away boxes or bags at the table and a sign that explains how guests can take home as many as they’d like when it’s time to leave.

Consider Setting Up a Cookie Table

What is a cookie table? It’s a family tradition that can double as a wedding budget hack. It’s perfect for brides who want to make inherited recipes for their reception, skip expensive catering bills or create a dessert menu that includes everyone. Think about the many recipe options to determine if it’s right for your big day.

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