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Pennsylvania-Pittsburgh

Cookie Table & PGH welcome bag item

hello! I am a North Carolina bride but my FI is from Pittsburgh and his entire family lives up there. We are going to incorporate Pa in our table names, food (perogies and kielbasa) and have a cookie table. I have never been to. A wedding with a cookie table and I was wondering what people put the cookies in and how it is set up. Also, if I were to put it in the program would I include something like "guests are encouraged to take cookies home"? My FFIL has told us that he takes lots of cookies from weddings :)

Also, we would like to include something in our welcome bags that is pittsburghish. We have probably have 100 welcome bags (we are having a huge wedding), so we were looking for something smallish. Do you guys have any ideas? The only restriction is no Pens stuff ;)

Thanks for any help! If you have any other ideas of things I can incorporate, I would really appreciate it. This is really important to FI family.

Re: Cookie Table & PGH welcome bag item

  • Rachiella3Rachiella3 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We had considered using Eat N Park cookies. You can special order to match your wedding colors.

  • MrsDydekMrsDydek member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Is the cookie table only a Pittsburgh thing? I never knew that, but then I've barely ever been outside of Pittsburgh. Around here setting up the cookie table is almost always included in, or added in the caterering package. Typically there is a table devoted to the cookies, they are almost always homemade, and they are just on normal trays. I would suggest using DollarTree trays. I've never noticed any mention of the cookie talbe in the program or anything, usually there isn't even a sign. So if you want people to see it, I would just put up a sign that says "please help yourself" or something.
  • Bubs711Bubs711 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Some venues will provide you with take-out boxes for your cookies - some will ask that you bring your own.  Trust me - the Pgh people will know what to do with them!  As for traying them, same thing - sometimes the venue will do it for you, or you can get nice cheap trays at the dollar or party store.
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  • edited December 2011
    I'm a Pittsburgh bride getting married to a guy from NJ.  Fortunately, we're getting married in western PA, so people will know what to do with the cookie table.  However, since you're a nebie, let me explain:
    1. Moms from the neighborhood bake something like 100 dozen cookies.  (Each lady picks a couple types of cookies and bakes several dozen of that cookie.)  If you don't have a neighborhood full of Pittsburgh moms, then look into having the caterer make them or help you find a supplier.  The cookies are very typical homemade cookes: Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodles, various Italian cookies, Peanut Butter, etc.
    2. You go on a website like oriental trading or some kind of paper product website and buy like 100 lilttle paper take out boxes or pretty colored bags.  (Note: These should cost like $.20 per bag.  Don't go crazy.) You also make a sign that says, "Please take home some treats from our Pittsburgh Cookie Table" so your out of town guests know the deal.
    2. One Mom from the 'hood designates herself the "cookie table coordinator" (I made up that title).  But her mom and your mom (or in this case, the groom's mom) help to make sure all the homemade cookies, take out bags or boxes and trays arrive at the wedding location the night before.  (You can buy disposable trays if your caterer won't supply them.)
    3. The caterer sets the cookies up the day of the wedding and covers the cookies with napkins or something so they're not sitting out uncovered all day.  The caterer should also have little plates out for people to nosh during dancing time. 
    4. The caterer uncovers the cookies just before dinner.  Throughout dinner and dancing, people pick a the cookies. 
    5.  At the end of the night, your caterer should help pack left over cookies into the boxes or bags, and give them to people before they leave.

    There you have it!
  • edited December 2011
    Oh! And PGh welcome bag items could be Snyders of Hanover chips.  You can but tons of little bags at Sam's club for like $20.
  • mktuitemktuite member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Some pittsburgh welcome bag item ideas: There are two popcorn companies: Pittsburgh Popcorn Company and Popcorn 'n That that you can order individual bags from.  Also what about miniture Ketchup bottles? 

    My FI is not from Pittsburgh so his family doesn't understand the cookie table either I have found a cool poem/story that talks about the cookie table.  We are going to put it in a frame on the table to try to explain the tradition. Hope it helps.

     

    You can have a designer wedding gown and tuxedo or hand-me-downs. You can have an “A-copy” guest list or just the closest of kissing kin. You can receive your guests at the fanciest restaurant or at a potluck at the firehall. But you aren’t truly a Pittsburgher unless you have The Cookie Table.

     The Cookie Table is as much a part of Pittsburgh as the Pirates and the Steelers and the Penguins. We may bleed black and gold, but at any event worth writing home about, we have cookies.

    And most of these cookies are homemade by the mother of the bride, sisters, aunts, cousins and grandmothers. Sometimes both sides of the extended family get involved. Friends are also called into the fray. Happy to do it, in fact. The Cookie Table is, indeed, the gift of love.

    Nobody knows the exact origin of the tradition, which has been exported to other parts of Pennsylvania, other states, too. It may be Italian or Slovak or Polish or Croatian or Greek. The Scandinavians may get involved, and the Indians, too. The Irish do cookies and the Germans do too. If we’ve left anybody out (like the English), add them to the cookie equation.

    Remember, in Pittsburgh, people don’t wonder, “How was the wedding?” They ask, “Were the cookies good?” 

  • edited December 2011
    This article helped my family understand the tradition better: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/dining/16cookies.html
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  • edited December 2011
    People love the cookie table.  I'm from Pittsburgh but DH is not and we had a lot of guests from out of town.  Everyone raved about the cookie table.  I ended up makin 20 dozen cookies myself, but I love to bake.  Then I had relatives make about 10 dozen a piece.  Just put them on cheap trays and set them on a table.  Have little bags or boxes to take them home.  This is a HUGE Pittsburgh tradition and your FI will appreciate it!  (and everyne from Pittsburgh will expect it)
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks so much for your help!
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