Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd should consider a really big wedding cake. A Web site with details about their nuptials and an invitation to RSVP for the event drew some 1,400 replies in the first 24 hours.
Not bad for a fictional couple.
The on-again, off-again “Grey’s Anatomy” duo known as “Mer-Der” are on for a May wedding, and series creator Shonda Rhimes enlisted the TV show’s staff and ABC’s marketing department to make the most of the occasion.
The online site, mirroring those set up by real-life couples, celebrates the pair played by Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey. Pal Izzie Stevens (co-star Katherine Heigl) is credited with creating and maintaining it.
The idea popped into Rhimes’ head when scenes were being filmed in which Izzie shoots photos of Meredith in her wedding dress.
“I said, ‘It should feel like a real wedding Web site,”’ said Rhimes, who knows about such things — her sister, Sandie Bailey, works for celebrity wedding and party planner Mindy Weiss.
The faux couple’s site, built within theknot.com, includes categories labeled “The Couple,” “The Proposal” and “The Dresses,” with photos and Izzie’s comments.
The Web site, which came together quickly after Rhimes proposed it and was up last Thursday night, fits in with ABC’s approach to its shows, said Michael Benson, executive vice president of marketing for ABC Entertainment.
“We love to create other experiences that relate to the show and that don’t break the fourth wall,” Benson said. Within the first day, without promotion, the page had more than 42,000 unique views.
There’s a gift registry page, but don’t rush to the mall. Visitors are invited to donate to the American Academy of Neurology Foundation, American Skin Association and Alzheimer’s Association.
The charities were selected because they have a connection to story lines that have been key to the drama, Benson said.
The Web site says the wedding date is May 14, but will the couple really say “I do,” given their — and the show’s — twists and turns?
“I’ve said this time and again — you may be surprised at the way we bring it off, but at the end of the season viewers will be very happy with where Meredith and Derek are,” said Rhimes, known for keeping her plots secret.
Then comes this tease: “I’ve seen the wedding and it’s quite beautiful,” she said.