I was almost sure that I never read this one because I didn't remember Mrs. Barrett getting married. When I read about Carol having Mickey Mouse pictures in her bathroom though, I knew that I read it at least once.
Carol and Jack are getting married on the same day as Mrs. Barrett and Mr. Dewitt. Claudia, Mary Anne, and Kristy are heading to California, while everyone else stays in Connecticut. Dawn decides to compile everyone's stories into one book to remember the events.
Dawn is a bridesmaid and she thinks Mary Anne is too, so she buys her a dress. She worries about failing her midterms and getting stuck in California, but she passes with the help of Carol. She also worries about Carol as a step-mom, but she eventually accepts it. The We Love Kids Club throws her a going away party, and she gets excited about heading back “home” to Connecticut.
Stacey is a bridesmaid in Mrs. Barrett's wedding. She helps them partially move into their new home, or at least takes care of the kids while they work on the house. Since she's oh-so-mature, she also gets along great with the older women in the wedding.
Jessi takes over the role of Santa at the department store where Stacey's mom works. She worries that people won't want to see a little black girl dressed as Santa, but everyone loves her. She has so much fun that she agrees to do it again next year. Sadly Jessi, there never will be a next year.
Logan gets one random chapter where he helps Mr. DeWitt move an old piano into their new house. He complains that no one plays it, but Franklin wants it because someone left it in his old house. At the end of the book, he learns that he has to help his parents move the piano into their house because they bought it after a teacher said Hunter was a musical prodigy.
Shannon gets one chapter too. She sits with Mallory for all of the kids during the ceremony. Ryan starts throwing a massive hissy fit, so she has to take him out of the wedding and into the basement. She misses the whole wedding.
Mallory and Ben decide to take the kids caroling. Claudia calls because Mrs. Barrett needs a second sitter for the wedding and it's the same day. Ben wants her to cancel, they have a fight, and stop talking. She later calls him and they make up after deciding to just pick another day to go caroling.
Mary Anne flips out when she learns that she's a bridesmaid. She literally cries at the idea of standing in front of people. She and Dawn fight over it, and then Jack and Carol announce that only Jeff and Dawn are in the wedding. They have yet another fight, but they make up before the wedding.
Kristy does a lot of sighing and whining about the California club. They hold a meeting while she's there, and Sunny tells her that she's throwing Dawn a going away party before they leave. She sticks around to help them plan every detail.
Suzi gets a few chapters because she's worried that Santa Claus won't find her in their new house. She writes him a letter, but then she decides that he won't have time to read it before Christmas. She finally comes up with an idea to leave a trail of chocolate chip cookies from her old house to their new house.
Claudia gets hired to help out with the wedding. She takes notes to the caterer and florist, and she does everyone's hair and makeup before the wedding. Jack pays her exactly half the cost of a plane ticket so she can afford to make the trip.
Jeff is worried that Mrs. Bruen will lose her job because Carol is neat, but they actually give her more hours. He also thinks that Carol's stuff won't match their house. The night of the wedding, the movers call to say that someone stole the truck, but Carol is cool with it.
*Jeff says that even he is too old for the Mickey Mouse pictures. I have a Hello Kitty bathmat, trash can, and shower curtain in my bathroom, so he would totally hate it.
*Why would these girls even fly to California for the wedding? They met Jack once and barely spent any time with him. Plus, why would Mary Anne and Dawn think she would be a bridesmaid? Mary Anne doesn't get along very well with Jack, as evidenced by the later super special.
*Mary Anne puts on the wrong dress on the wedding day and thinks that it's swimming on her (she thinks she shrunk). That doesn't really make sense though. Dawn just bought two dresses in their sizes, it's not like they had the dresses altered or anything.
*I love that Carol gets a small wedding on the beach and wears a dark flowered dress despite it being her first wedding. Mrs. Barrett, who has three kids and marries a man with three kids, has a HUGE church wedding and wears a traditional white dress.
*This is yet another book where one of the sitters (Mallory) makes a huge pot of hot chocolate while sitting and invites the whole neighborhood over.
*The WLKC tells Dawn that she can wear her bridesmaid dress to a lot of places. I beg to differ. My sister-in-law picked out a similar dress for me for their wedding (except in teal!), and it's been in my closet since the night of the wedding.
*Carol and Jack are kind of asses. They make Claudia do stuff like take an entire new order to the caterer less than one week before the wedding. Mr. Kishi is also annoyed because he tells her that a plane ticket is too expensive and then worries that Jack will think he can't afford it.
*Would you put a thirteen-year-old girl in charge of picking out your wedding flowers? Yeah, me either.
*I'm not sure Carol and Jack should get married. Dawn points out that they had a big fight and broke up not too long ago. When they get back together, they decide to just get married without taking any time to work on their problems. Plus, they have a big fight a week before the wedding over what to do with her furniture. Isn't that something they should have discussed before? My boyfriend and I talked about that before we moved in together.
*They give Dawn a ticket to come back to California whenever she wants, which is a little dangerous given that she already ran away from home once.
*Claudia is responsible for taking the wedding photos. That sounds dangerous, especially since she decides to take photos from “interesting angles” like the point of view of the dinner.
*I really hate how Kristy acts like she is the supreme leader of all clubs. She says that their group is “kind of” a baby-sitting club and acts like they can't do anything without her.
*Dawn bitches that the cake at her party had too much sugar in it: the cake that little Sophie made. If you don't like it, don't eat it...bitch.
*Dawn says that a ninth grader flirted with one of her friends while they all stood around trying not to look dorky. That's funny given that in the California Diaries books, they are all cool enough to hang out with older kids all of the time.
*Stacey says that she is a like a member of the Barrett family, but I always pictured that as Dawn's role.
*Mary Anne is ready to leave for the airport at 4:15 and Richard tells her to settle down because her flight doesn't leave until 7. Wouldn't he want to leave early? They have to pick up Claudia and Kristy, drive to the airport, find a parking spot, etc. That seems like cutting it close to me.