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Stacy McKee on "White Wedding"...

Original Airdate: 5-5-11

The day we filmed Callie and Arizona’s wedding was an amazingly beautiful day.  Beautiful for so many reasons.

First, after a week of forecasters predicting rain rain rain-- the day was sunny. And breezy (which was fine for those of us bundled up under coats and hoodies watching from the side. Not so fine for, say, our cast members dressed in strapless gowns and floaty formal wear.) Still – things were beautiful.

We were shooting outdoors (already a bonus, since usually we’re on stage, in hospital rooms) at Descanso Gardens (if you are ever in the area, you should visit. Largest camellia forest in Southern California!) – There were roses and cherry blossom trees and lilacs everywhere – a feast for the senses.

There were a lot of reporters conducting interviews the day we filmed the ceremony, talking to Sara, Jessica, Chandra (she directed the episode!) – and even me. We were all so aglow with this beautiful setting, with these beautiful brides, with this beautiful wedding –- that it stopped me cold when the first question one of the reporters asked me was:

“So, a lesbian wedding.  Are you worried at all about making such a bold statement?”

I had absolutely no idea how to begin answering that question.  

Was I worried? Are you kidding me? NO. I wasn’t worried -- About what?  About a wedding between two characters we’ve watched fall in love over the course of several seasons? Nothing bold about that.  If anything, it’s right out of Romance Storytelling 101 – They meet, they fall in love, they hit a few road blocks, one of them almost dies – all of which makes it so much sweeter when these two characters can finally ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Not exactly re-inventing the wheel here, people.  But, I guess, to some people, it is.

 So I’ll say to you what I said to that reporter. This is not a bold statement. This is a love story. 

Callie and Arizona have been our biggest, most sweeping romance all season.  Our other couples are already married, already divorced, or all full of angst and longing and dirty sex... But Callie and Arizona? They are romance. Sweet, epic, fairy tale romance. Pure and simple.

It just makes sense that after everything they’ve been through this season – living together, breaking up, coming back together, starting a family, life and near death --  their story would culminate in a wedding. A big, beautiful wedding. 

The fact that Callie and Arizona are both women is, frankly, irrelevant.

(Although, if you’re like me and you love weddings, then the fact that they are both women is actually a bonus ‘cause  -- hello. Two stunning wedding dresses, people. TWO. WEDDING. DRESSES. Heaven.)

It goes right back to what Bailey says to Callie in the episode. These are two people willing to stand up and commit themselves to one another, forever. In good times and bad. For the rest of their lives.  THAT is the bold statement, legal or not. 

Bolder, to me, is the fact that Meredith and Derek actually make their marriage legal.

We’ve also been on a journey with Meredith this season.  She and Derek have tried and tried and tried to start a family. When Meredith broke down in the elevator a couple of episodes ago, Derek reassured her. He promised her that they would have a baby.  Somehow, someday – it would happen. 

And today, it has.  Or, at least, they hope it has.  As Derek says, he and Meredith have been trying so hard to start a family – and this baby needs one.  If making their Post-It vows legal will make it easier for them to adopt baby Zola, then they are willing to do what it takes.

(And, by the way, can we just pause for a moment to appreciate how ridiculously ADORABLE Derek looks holding that ridiculously ADORABLE baby? I mean, come on!!!

The thing I love about Meredith and Derek’s wedding, coupled with Callie and Arizona’s wedding, is that the two ceremonies could not be more different. One is all magic and romance. The other is all business and efficiency. And yet, both weddings are absolutely perfect for each of the couples. Beautiful for so many reasons.

But there’s more than just wedding-mania happening in this episode.  There’s Alex, calling Meredith out on compromising the clinical trial.  What’s great about that story is that both Alex AND Meredith are right. 

Mer did an ethically questionable thing, but for all the right reasons. We were rooting for her when she did it. She made sure Adele got the drug. She risked everything to help someone she cared about.

And Alex is right, too.  It IS illegal to mess with a clinical trial, no matter how small or insignificant the action might seem.  By altering even one variable in the trial, Meredith has invalidated it.  Which has major consequences, not just for herself, but for Derek, the hospital, even the other patients who are participating in the trial.

Meredith was right. And Alex is right. So whose side should we be on?

Then, there’s Cristina, who continues to be frozen out by Teddy.  –Recently, in preparation for next season, we had a series of surgeons come in to the writers’ room to talk to us about their experiences.  We asked one of them, a very prominent surgeon in his field, what he would have done if his resident went over his head the way Cristina went over Teddy’s head in the musical episode. 

Without hesitating, he said: “Oh, she’d be gone. I’d have fired her on the spot.”

So, there are two things I love. One – that Teddy is not vindictive here. She is not being petty; she’s not over-reacting.  She is genuinely concerned about Cristina’s tendency towards reckless behavior – and Teddy is trying to teach Cristina something. She’s trying to teach her caution. 

But secondly, Cristina is still Cristina – she’s ridiculously smart, ridiculously talented, and very hard to teach.  Cristina has blinders on. It’s basically impossible for her to see things any way but her own. And from Cristina’s perspective, she was right.  Her repair is what ultimately saved Callie, so Teddy should just accept that, set her bruised ego aside, and quit shutting Cristina out of surgeries.

Again, two characters who – in their own ways – are both right.  Love it.

 And finally, I just have to say – there are few things I have ever enjoyed more than the Father/ Daughter dance sequence at the end of this episode. Seeing Callie’s dad come back to dance with her at her wedding.  Seeing Derek swaying back and forth with baby Zola… Maybe it’s from watching my own husband with our little girl, or maybe it’s because my dad was still alive for a dance at my own wedding…  But something about that final sequence gets me every time I watch the episode. And trust me, I’ve watched it a LOT of times by now. I just find it really, really beautiful.

For so many reasons.





This episode presented itself with a lot of promise, but felt very choppy and even incoherent at times.

All the themes and ideas were there, the wedding, the baby love adoption / the marriages, the residents competition -- but it didn't blend well or fit together well. Many, many, many holes. Don't know if it was the writing, the directing, the editing or a combination thereof.

Biggest gaps - Callie unilaterally calling off the wedding, who decided Bailey would officiate, how Did Carlos know the wedding was moved from Church to outdoors, who decided to move the wedding outdoors, how did everything get done (moving from church to outdoors in less than a day? Missing much logic lately?

Why no intimate scenes between Callie and Arizona - as in talking about to marry or not, seeing Arizona hug Callie after her Dad left - any hugs, any hand holding, any kissing. These two are a romantic couple in love yes -- so where was the love? What was with Callie's I love you, short clipped, no emotion? No kissing or snuggling while dancing?

Derek and Meredith were great as was baby Zola.

Resident bickering was great and spot on for traditional Grey's.

Guess I was hoping for more emotion, more C/A scenes vs. scenes with others, and thought at the very least Meredith would've told Cristina about getting hitched.

Just felt like a lot was missing. Had trouble piecing things together, especially as it related to the timeline.

Liked the outcome - but getting there was just "say what".

Oh well, there's always next season I guess ....


Zola and Sofia need to be best friends! (those little ones are too cute!!)

"That'd be me" - oh Mark. How I love him and Callie (best relationship on the show next to Mer/Cris, IMO); but I also liked his moment with Arizona. It's a relief having them on the same page now.

Papa Torres came back!! ::cries:: so touching and sweet and perfect. I only hope that someday Mama Torres will come around. The scene with Callie and her mom was heartbreaking (Sara Ramirez for Emmy, please. lol). But I just love when the parent's of our beloved docs come into town.

Didn't Chief and Owen allow Cristina to step in and perform her surgery on Callie when Teddy's way wasn't working? So how was that going over anyone's head? I get that Cristina can be set in her ways, and not even the best of the best are perfect, but if Cristina knows one thing it's hearts. Her being side-lined for 3+ months is crap and Cristina getting shafted in surgeries is getting pretty old. Quite frankly, Teddy can (and should) go to Germany.

Yay Chandra :)


What Meredith did regarding the clinical trial was WRONG. There is no way around that so I don't get where you writers can even try to play it like she is also right along with Alex. Simply put: Meredith- WRONG, Alex-RIGHT.

There's a reason why clinical trials in the REAL WORLD are double-blind, meaning both the patient and the doctor don't know if the placebo or the experimental drug is being administered. There's a reason why doctors aren't supposed to treat family members or people they "care about" The emotional ties get in the way of a doctor performing their job correctly and in a level-headed way (among other things). Saying Meredith was also right to invalidate the clinical trial (ruining Alzheimer patients' chances for a cure), risk her career and Derek's, invalidate the hospital as a clinical trial center which affects all the other doctors is a JOKE. But that doesn't surprise me because the show itself is a joke these days.


this episode gave me goosebumps. tears were shed.
"Awwww moments". Mark and Arizona hugging was simply a hallmark moment. Carlos Torres coming back was by far the most moving scene. Bailey's speech to Callie was so moving and is in fact 101% true. She got married legally and ended up in a divorce. it doesnt have to be legal for as long as you commit yourself. Love knows no gender. Thank you for giving us this episode. Two thumbs up!


I do feel that Christina going over Teddy's head was wrong but I also don't feel that Christina should have to apologize to Teddy on her own, as Owen and the Chief both backed her up in the operating room. And can we just mention for a moment how completely devastating Callie's mother's reaction was to Callie and how much she grew in this episode from it?

Jamie J.

I think Alex is right on the clinical trial, but Mer has my heart in this SL. She is such a caring, forgiving and decent person. In the end, it really doesn't mater what any of us fans think. It's what the writers like yourself and Shonda Rhimes choose to do with, and to our Meredith. Now that we've grown to love baby Zola, like we felt the happiness of finding out Meredith was pregnant in the season 6 finale only to lose her unborn child and Derek nearly as well. To have Zola taken away from us too, due to Meredith's good heart and well meaning intentions or to have Derek abandon Mer much like her father Thatcher did or even her mother when it came to her childhood, would be unbearable. Please take care of Meredith in this storyline GA writers. Don't beat her down. Don't break up MerDer who have been in love since S1 over this situation. Don't let Derek abandon her after all he knows she's been through. He can be mad yes, the can work through this as well, but don't break them up or take their daughter Zola from them. Because make no mistake once you introduced Zola to MerDer (and us fans) you made her a part of MerDer, and our story now. Please don't take her or Derek away from Meredith now. I just couldn't take it. Have a heart with Meredith, MerDer and their baby Zola. I really hope you do.


Mea culpa - forgot one very important thing. If Callie and Arizona are the "romantic couple" the couple that we are repeatedly told are MFEO ala Derek and Meredith, can someone please address the following:

Their only "couple" moments were the very staged wedding ones. Arizona went through her pain about her brother alone, and Callie dealt with her mother's disappointment and doubts about the wedding alone in an episode that should have shown why these two people are coming together to be married. It made no sense. What made even less sense was that instead of being there for each other and supporting each other, we had to have Mark be the one to support Arizona and be the one to get Bailey to help Callie. What's the message? That even as they are about to get married, they can't survive without him? That he's the glue in their relationship? Not only can two women not raise a child by themselves, they have to have a man Mark in the middle to make having a child okay to the viewing audience, but they have to have a man - Mark in the middle to make their relationship work?

Where's the love story? Where's the relationship? Where's the MFEO?


I don't understand the hate for Cristina the writers seem to have.

Cristina *didn't* go over Teddy's head; she suggested another technique when it was clear that Teddy's way wasn't working. Callie would have died if it had been up to Teddy. Cristina saved her and Teddy needs to park her ego, accept that Cristina is the better surgeon, and let her do what she signed on to do, surgeries.

I think Cristina should sue Seattle Grace. They accepted her as a resident now they're failing on the commitment to teach her as they committed to do.

Meredith didn't invalidate the clinical trial. She substituted one envelope for another. If Derek has enough subjects in the trial, it won't make any difference in the overall statistical analysis.

It is unethical to mess with a clinical trial but it's not illegal. The worst that would happen to Meredith is that she would be banned from future research, the best that she'd have to take a research ethics course.


You talked and hyped about this wedding so much, yet it was only like 5 min. long.

That was really a disappointment for my night.

Ana M.


You are my favorite writer of Grey's. Favorite. The last episode you write was, for me, the best in the season.

That being said...what a let down. But I'll start with the good stuff, for once.

Meredith and Derek. Actually, just Derek in this moment. See the greatness that can be done by putting the man onscreen for more than 20 seconds? And with a baby?Do you understand how much better the show is, with Derek more often saying words? Seriously. Patrick Dempsey makes everything better. And have him holding a baby. Well, I'm still trying to find coherent words to describe it. I'm a pile of goo.

Which follows...tonight, reminded me why I used to love this show. When you put MerDer together and put the amazing insane chemistry that PD & EP have...it's gold. It's pure gold. Wish you remembered it more often. After all, you write M/D better than anyone else. So please, for future references. Remember this. That last scene of Derek swaying with Zola and Meredith glowing watching was...well, I still can't wipe off the stupid smile off my face.

Now to the bad stuff.

What is Meredith doing? It's not right. And the fact that she doesn't seem to realize that what she did was wrong (and I'm on Team Alex here...despite my love for Mer, he's the voice of reason here), doesn't sit well with me. It also doesn't sit well with me that Derek goes on and on about the trial and Meredith says nothing. I don't like this and I hate the rationalization and justification of it. It's not right.

As for Calzona and the rest...my FF button did it's job right. I don't care for them. I used to but it was so overdone and so overkilled and so selfish and so suffocating that if Callie or Arizona drop dead, wouldn't miss them. Ever again. Not a good job selling me the big 'love story'. They are not romance. They are the perfect example of narcissism (Callie) and doormat (Arizona). And the third wheel who's pathetic enough to think he's in the relationship.

And the rest was FF because I don't care for them either. Even the Cristina stuff was tainted by Teddy and Owen.

So after all that, I go back to the high that was Derek swaying Zola and all the M/D and Alex goodness. The rest will be forgotten, as usual.


this is a light episode for me but still packed with so much drama. first, the run for chief resident. i am so badly rooting for critina to win and really hating teddy for it. ms. shonda rhimes said that dr. burke is cristina's ulmitate teacher and that is so true. teddy wants to teach cristina caution but does she know how to listen? to sometimes hear her resident out specially cristina? teddy doesn't know all the procedures so why not try to learn & be open with ideas. so im really glad cristina is standing her ground & if im cristina i would say the same thing to teddy.
then we have april, i am loving april in this episode she's like alex in that scene with the porridge. you go april!

and finally callie & az's wedding. i like mark here, & i feel bad for him particularly the rehearsal & the dinner scene. i find the colonel is somewhat like a bully to mark. but its nice that they are communicating & learning to adjust to their situation. also, im a little bit disapponted with the vows. i expected some speech from them but never got it.
i can understand why callie is so upset. her family is so important to her and for them to not be ok with her marriage is really heartbreaking. these people are the one's whom you wanted to feel accepted and loved. luckily, dr. bailey saved the day with her soulful speech and that really hit home.
so thanks again for this episode writers. i hope the next ep would be a good one too. :D


Awesome blog! Thank you! It doesn’t feel like writing is just a job for you. I can appreciate that because Grey’s is my show. Number one. Period.
First thing, babies Zola and Sofia are all kinds of adorable. Derek looks so good as a dad!
Second, this epi was written so well that it made me wonder what happened this season. I mean, it started out great and then after ‘Disarm’ it slowed down to a lull. The only interesting thing for me was the Callie story line. But then came the music event and since then the writing has been so good. But it feels like things are being rushed before the finale when these storylines could have been started earlier and developed properly.
Third, just because you mentioned it, there hasn’t been much sex lately, dirty or otherwise. Grey’s used to be way sexier. Just sayin’…
Fourth, you say that the fact that they are women is irrelevant, yet, we do see a difference in the way that their relationship is portrayed. I wonder what is it exactly that makes them MFEO? We don’t see any meaningful dialogue unless they are fighting, and they are not affectionate with each other which completely kills the illusion. Every other couple shares touches, kisses, looks, Callie and Arizona, not so much. They sit on opposite ends of the couch for crying out loud! The wedding day came and we got a 2 second kiss covered by hands, hair and a veil. The sweet moment in the bedroom should have ended up in a kiss but it ended up in giggles.
Please forgive my audacity, but for S8, may I suggest more character integration? It always feels like MerDer rule a different universe where Callie and Arizona don’t belong. I mean, they didn’t even make it to the wedding! I get what you were going for, but still, considering that Mer is like the gatekeeper, her presence would have done a lot to legitimize Callie and Arizona as characters. And Teddy is just flailing attached only to Owen and to a lesser degree Arizona.
Also, for S8, can we find out what happened with Callie’s cartilage research? And Arizona’s wheelie sneaks? And Bailey’s tweeting and fistula study?
Ok, I do understand you have no control over a lot of things so I will say that as far as the writing goes, you are absolutely one of the best at writing these characters and you did an excellent job. And can I say that I love, LOVE what you


Fabulous episode - I especially liked how you filmed the two wedding at the same time switching back and forth was amazing and touching. Arizonia breaking down with Mark made me cry. Der with that baby was so cute as was Zola. Der sounded so loving when he said her name and Mers eyes sparkled. Fabulous episode-thank you for the great writing, acting and Chandras directing. Greys rocks!!


In a way I'm sad the MerDer shared their "wedding day" with Callie/Arizona. but wedding as you say were so different and true to character.
As for Christina she should get over herself, she may be, someday, a great surgeon, but with that she should also take the consequences. You asked a surgeon what he would have done, her would have fired her right there and then, I shudder to think what would have happened if she wasn't successful, who would have been blamed? Teddy is right Cristina thinks of herself as a world class surgeon, but she really has not got it.
Derek and baby Zola, I thought that swaying scene was simply terific, hope all goes well with the adoption, but I still would like them to have their own baby.
Horray for Mr. Torres for comming back to dance with his daughter.
I quess Derek and Mark will be exchanging baby stories.
Another episode well directed by Chanda.


Stacy, your blog is more romantic than the episode itself was! Callie and Arizona are a magical fairytale, really?!?

I used to love this couple, but they barely even act like lovers, and at most they get one scene every two episodes WITHOUT MARK. Are you kidding me? Even Mer and Cris aren't that co-dependent. Even at their wedding, he's everywhere.

This is a magical threeway fairytale, let's not kid ourselves. It's like Callie and Arizona are incapable of doing anything or even being there for each other like any normal married couple, if Mark isn't inserted in the picture at every turn. Why couldn't you have them turn to EACH OTHER for comfort, and not Mark or Bailey?

Too much was going on in this episode for you to do any one story justice. You sprinted through a whole lot of story without much depth for any one of them. I hope Meredith and Derek get their baby, but somehow I doubt it. Because unlike Callie, Meredith has to suffer big time, and she can never get everything she wants.

So you all keep patting yourselves on the back for your lesbian wedding. It all looks like lip service to me. Please show me a couple that actually knows how to communicate with each other, and I'll trade that for any fancy wedding any day.

Lastly, THANK YOU for that brilliantly moving scene of Arizona talking about her brother. Jessica Capshaw is amazing, and that scene was the highlight of the episode for me. It made me cry like a baby.


Will you stop letting Cristina get the same treatment from her teachers for once?


I like Callie, I really do but I hate, hate the fact that She got married to Arizona. I still think Mark and Callie are much better suited to each other.

Teddy and Owen are getting on my last nerve. Teddy was an idiot and Owen was totally useless as a husband.

Is it wrong that I adore April and Stark? :) Please give it more!

MerDer bored me as usual. I don't really care about them.


You are awesome, this episode was awesome, this show is awesome, and Grey's Anatomy has a forever fan in me! Thank you for your amazing writing, and WHEREVER it takes us, I am along for the ride!


Jessica capshaw is an amazing actress.
You got lucky with her so use her properly with some meaty story lines please!


First of all in what time or year or day would Teddy think that Owen would give her 20 reasons not to put HIS wife back on her service.. I really don't know what she was thinking when she asked Owen that.

Second of all, dear writers, as per your saying you've brought a prestigious surgeon and asked what would he do if his resident went over his head like Cristina did, he says she'd definitely be fired. But you say that Meredith is right, because she did what she did for the right reasons. What Alex did is not even mentioned. In what world - dear writers - would Meredith be right?? In what hospital from US and not only would Mer and Alex get away with what they did?? Meredith has compromised a clinical trial, compromising not only Derek's name but also the hospital's name and every doctor in that hospital. Alex extorted a patient for money - for a good cause indeed - but still extortion.
In real world Meredith and Alex would have been kicked out of program, not Cristina. She would mostly get an admonition - like don't let this happen again. She had the back up of 2 attendings, one of them being Chief of Surgery. I guess the writers forgot to mention that to the respective surgeon.
Cristina who is in the least wrong in this situation is punished, but both Mer and Alex get away with what they did, at least for now. Because most probably Mer's action will have consequences. I don't know about Alex.

I have not a problem with Teddy trying to teach Cristina a lesson - she can be reckless sometimes and she has to realize that - I have a huge problem with the way she is doing it. Or more exactly not doing it, because right now she's not teaching Cristina any lesson, she's just not talking to Cristina and not letting her on her service. That IS VINDICTIVE (no matter what writers say). It's been 3 months. Shutting Cristina down it's not working. I really don't understand how Teddy wants Cristina to learn if she is simply not talking to her..
I liked Owen attitude in this trying to mediate the conflict between these two..He gave Teddy some hints of how to handle Cristina - funny thing that on her turn she doesn't listen to what other people might suggest, in this case Cristina's husband who knows her the best..

That being said I didn't like too much the way they wrote Cristina episode. Her going back into that frustrated "scalpel hungry animal" mode and again with a teacher who won't teach her, for various reasons. Recycled much?

Where is all the growing that she's been having in the first part of the season?? Cristina is so much more than "scalpel hungry animal". I hope you don't resume her to that, and the eternal career vs. love that she's already dealt with last season. She has grown so much since she's met Owen, I hope we'll continue to see that.


Absolutely not! maybe that's the way the characters were meant to be written, but it came out wrong. Meredith was absolutely wrong in changing the vial, wich is why (AGAIN) you shouldn't have invented that crap about doctors knowing who got the drug and who got the placebo (AGAIN) it subconsciously changes the way they behave with the patient!!! So, no matter how much you insist with it, I am absolutely not buying, or caring about that storyline, it went waaaay to far into fiction, when it's supposed to be reality. And, as for Christina and Teddy, we already saw that on House, he fixed a patient, but Cuddy and Wilson didn't tell him because he believed everything he did was ok, and they tought they needed to teach him a lesson, the result? he was unsure about how to proceed with patients until he learned the truth, and if it hadn't been that quickly, lives would have been lost. Besides, in Teddy's case, she came up with the excuse that it's for Christina's sake, but in reality, it's because it hurts her that Christina i better than her. AND I don't even like Christina!!! but this is waaay to obvious, so, please, send her off to Germany, and let us rest from her awfully pathetic attempt of character!


Great episode, but now I have a question:

I loved the dress that Sandra Oh wore to Callie/Arizona's wedding. Where one earth can I get it?


The episode was great. I have an issue with the clinical trial story line though. Aren't clinical trials supposed to be double blind? Meaning that the only people who know who's getting the drug and who's getting the placebo are the statisticians who look at the data? That wouldn't make it impossible for Meredith to have switched out the syringes, but the doctors shouldn't know which one Adele would be getting.


MerDer scenes were more than amazing! They are magic. Finally after 2 seasons they are legally married, like every MerDer fan wanted since S5!!! MerDer with baby Zola is the cutest thing ever. I want them to adopt her and Mer will be pregnant too. I still want to see pregnant Mer :)

I am scared about Mer/MD and the whole clinical trial. But I believe in MerDer for better and for worse!

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