Stephanie Fish’s wedding day wasn’t exactly how she’d envisioned it. First, she and fiancé Bryan Fish had already set a date of May 27, 2018 for their nuptials. She still had a dress to pick out and details to brainstorm. And they had agreed upon Minnesota as a good middle point for their two families, a 3.5-hour drive from either of their two hometowns.
But earlier this summer, Stephanie, 27, walked down the aisle toward Bryan in Devils Lake, North Dakota, in a wedding gown she bought off a store mannequin, and officially became Mrs. Stephanie Fish. The impetus for the sudden changes? Stephanie’s mother, Susan Gefroh, who had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease about 10 years ago, and whose condition was worsening.
“I had called my sister on May 2nd to get her opinion [about wedding planning] as she had been pretty quiet about the whole thing,” Stephanie tells The Knot. “That was when she told me that she was worried that we wouldn’t be able to get my mom there. My mom already had difficulties with making small trips around town, and the thought of having to drive her 3.5 hours to an unfamiliar town in a year from now seemed impossible. She suggested we get married in Devils Lake, as that seemed to be the only way that my mom would be able to attend. I was pretty broken up about it, mainly because I never envisioned getting married in Devils Lake, nor did I think people would want to make the long trip to see us get married, but I knew she was right.”