A wedding, an anniversary and a tale of two cakes

Jun 24, 2021 | 14 comments

Last week, Tech Guy and I marked our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Over the years, we’d often thought about what our Silver anniversary would be like, a quarter-century milestone that then seemed very far away.

Yet, of all the scenarios we considered, we never imagined a twenty-fifth anniversary under Covid-lockdown with restaurants closed to in-person dining, and socializing with others beyond our household restricted outside and banned indoors.

Even before our anniversary day dawned cool and rainy, we’d decided that our celebration, like so many other things over the past sixteen months, would be put on hold. However, Tech Guy still planned a lovely surprise.

He knows I like chocolate cake.

He also remembers that on what was otherwise a wonderful wedding day, our cake got squashed in transit from the bakery to the reception venue so had to be strategically placed to conceal damage to each layer and a visible tilt to one side.

In addition, the vibrant frosting didn’t match the more subdued shades we’d chosen to coordinate with our wedding colours.

Over the years, that cake became a funny memory of our special day. We always said, though, that for our twenty-fifth anniversary we’d have a party with a new version of the cake we’d wanted all those years ago.

Owing to Covid, a party was out.

English Rose is finishing her last year of high school (online) so didn’t have time to make us a cake. Although I like to bake, I have a repetitive strain injury (RSI) in my elbow/forearm so am currently banned from baking and various other things.

Undeterred, Tech Guy ordered a small cake from our local grocery’s in-store bakery.

He requested a chocolate cake with white icing. He also asked for small pastel pink and lilac flowers with pale green leaves and the rest of the frosting in white.

And while we got some of those things, our anniversary cake had eerie similarities to the one twenty-five years before.

Owing to a problem with the cake’s layers, it tilted to one side just as our wedding cake did.

The frosting also bore minimal relation to the requested colours, including green piping around the base that English Rose likened to mushy peas, often eaten with British fish and chips.

However, as we plan a delayed Silver anniversary celebration, including a little trip this autumn, we’re also looking further ahead.

We hope that there are still Pearl, Ruby and Golden anniversaries to come—and many more chances for cake in between, including (post-pandemic) made by the friend who crafted the gorgeous cake for the party to celebrate my first book, The Cottage at Firefly Lake.

And despite all that has been hard and gone wrong in the past twenty-five years, beginning and ending with cake, other things have gone right and we’ve made our way through difficulties as a team.

Although it wasn’t the Silver anniversary we once imagined, Tech Guy and I marked it together. For that, and so much more, I’m grateful.


  1. Lydia

    Happy anniversary! I adored your cake stories. I hope your Silver anniversary cake was delicious.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Lydia. I’m glad you enjoyed the “cake stories.” Our anniversary cake was very tasty too. I appreciate you reading my blog and leaving a comment.

  2. Deb

    Oh Jen – so sorry about the cake BUT I would look at it as a good omen. You got through the first 25 despite the crazy cake catastrophe, so now you will get through the next 25 years for the same reason. You obviously have some little gremlins or sprites or whatever with a warped sense of humor keeping an eye over your marriage. So far, it looks like they did a great job.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Deb. Your comment and the idea of “little gremlins or sprites with a warped sense of humor” made me smile! Tech Guy and I have made it through the first twenty-five years so yes, a “good omen” indeed.

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog post.

  3. Anne Kinch

    Belated happy 25th Anniversary, “Jen”. I have fond memories of your beautiful wedding & reception which inspired ideas for Russ’& my wedding five years later. Although our own country home and garden wasn’t quite as elegant as the setting of your celebration it was still simple and pretty with similar, vintage overtones. Kudos to “Tech Guy” for supplying a cake for your big day, even if it didn’t quite match the requested decorations. Congratulations and best wishes for many more happy anniversaries to come.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for your anniversary wishes, Anne. I’m sorry we weren’t able to attend your wedding but, as you know, we were in England then. I didn’t realize that our wedding helped inspire some of the ‘vintage overtones’ at your special day. I’m honoured!

  4. Deb

    Happy 25th Anniversary, Jen and TG! Hopefully, the cake was still yummy! It gives you a fun tale to tell. Here’s to many more wonderful, happy, and healthy years together! Best Wishes always…

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for your good wishes, Deb. Yes, and despite its appearance, the cake was still yummy! I appreciate you reading and commenting on my post.

  5. Rosey Lee

    Happy anniversary! I think God has a sense of humor, so I take it as a good sign that your 25th anniversary cake was an unplanned homage to your wedding cake. And this could be really funny in a book too! I wishing you and Tech Guy many more years of sweet treats and happy times together.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for your anniversary wishes, Rosey. I also appreciate that you put a God-like (and funny!) spin on our cake ‘misadventures!’ I’d never thought of it being something that could happen in a book too. Thanks for the writing prompt too! 🙂

  6. Nancy Coiner

    Very funny! My mom told me about a couple who had the top section frozen for their anniversary & then discovered it was just cardboard with icing… Fortunately, that did not describe the marriage!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog, Nancy. The story your mom told you is very funny too! How surprised the couple must have been to discover that frozen cardboard later on. 🙂

  7. Heidi Vanstone

    Happy Silver anniversary! Your cake story reminds me that it’s also very important to keep a sense of humour alive and well in a marriage. And, believe it or not, my parents kept my grandparents’ 50th anniversary cake topper in their freezer for 30 years -yikes! Needless to say, it was NOT eaten…

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for your anniversary wishes, Heidi. A sense of humour is indeed crucial for a marriage! Freezing anniversary cake toppers must have been a “thing.” When I cleared out my late mother’s home, I found several of them…which weren’t eaten either! 🙂


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