Wedding cookie table history

Daybreak

(WYTV) – It’s not a wedding without a cookie table…at least in this area, and by this area, we mean northeastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and parts of northern West Virginia.
The cookie table is one of the distinctive wedding traditions of Youngstown….but there’s ongoing dispute with Pittsburgh as to which city started this tradition.

Historians believe the cookie table was born during the Depression in the ’30s with European immigrants, that from the John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, no less.
A wedding cake could be expensive, but family and friends of the bride and groom could always bake cookies: kolachi, pizzelles, peanut butter blossoms with Hershey kisses and, of course, Ohio’s favorite, the buckeye.
And today, they come with snack bags for guests to fill and take home.

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society has an annual Cookie Table and Cocktails night with a cookie contest.
You can find a book of essays on Youngstown history titled Car Bombs to Cookie Tables.
Around 15 years ago, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s Arms Family Museum had a display of wedding paraphernalia and photos included the classic cookie table.

Cookie tables now cross ethnic lines and religious lines.
Italian, German, Irish, Slovak, and other Eastern European weddings in this area all have a cookie table now; actually, more like three or four tables. But say the words “wedding cookie table” in many areas of the country and you’ll still get a blank stare.

The world record for the largest cookie table was set on August 11, 2019 in Monongahela, Pennsylvania with 88,425 cookies.

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