About a month into our regular Friday outings with the cookie cart someone stopped by and asked whether we could provide cookies for her wedding in November, where she planned to have a dessert table with cupcakes and cookies. What a wonderful idea!
I love the idea of having a table (or three tables, in this case) with many different, smaller treats for guests -- a perfect way to add a variety of flavors and textures and to cater to a wide range of tastes. Having a separate table for cookies in addition to the cake is a tradition that started in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where family members usually bake a bountiful array of special cookies and family favorites. The guests get to graze on the treats at the wedding, and often take some home as well as wedding favors. For a couple of perspectives on this tradition, take a look at the following stories: "Cookies--the New Cake", "What's a Wedding Without Cookies?", "Home Cooking: The Family Dessert Buffet".
On our way back from setting up the cookie platters at the Stanford Faculty Club on Saturday, Mindi and I talked about the cookie table, and realized that this could also be a great, budget-conscious way to offer guests dessert at a wedding. A smaller cake or no cake at all plus an array of cupcakes, cookies and other treats would in most cases still cost less than a large, traditional wedding cake for the same number of guests. And, of course, having family members or friends contribute some of the cookie varieties could decrease the cost even further.