image from NY Times
Here is an interesting article from the NY TIMES on wedding traditions - specifically Pittsburgh, PA concerning the wedding cake or lack of it.
In most weddings, the cake is the lightning rod of the reception. By reception time, the vows have been exchanged, the couple has made it through a hard day and now have a chance to settle down with friends and family.
The cutting of the cake signals the official end of the ceremony, the stress of the day, with only eating, dancing and chatting left to happen.
But, in Pittsburgh, wedding cakes have been replaced with cookie tables.
Italian cookie "cake" from Damian & Laurie's wedding 2003
Now, this is an Italian cookie "cake" that is merely cookies stacked up to resemble a cake. This is NOT what Pittsburger's do.
Pittsburger's have a tradition that dates back to the Depression Era of the US. Guests, mainly, aunts and female relatives all bring a plate of cookies to the wedding - mostly on their finest china, platters or pedestals. Tables are placed together to form long buffets of cookies. Guests at the wedding, go through the smorgasbord of cookies taking the ones that appeal to them. Purists don't even take plates, but rather a napkin and pile on the cookies.
Because there are so many cookies, the bride & groom have boxes ready for guests to take home an assortment! The biggest thing to worry about is running out of boxes!
What a great tradition! Some brides chose the cookie buffet in lieu of a cake - this option is great on particularly hot days when a cake can be ruined by the heat. But, it is also a fantastic way of including the guests in their wedding. What a lovely idea!
And judging from the photo of the cookie buffet, it is both elegant and beautiful.
Of course, I am partial to cookies and the idea of a cookie buffet sounds heavenly to me!