Stella Zinman was one of Ted Mosby's most promising love interests in How I Met Your Mother. The character, played by Sarah Chalke, primarily appeared in the show's third and fourth season. Here's what happened to Stella after she left Ted at the altar.
Ted first met Stella in the season 3 episode, "Ten Sessions." Stella was Ted's dermatologist tasked with removing his infamous lower-back butterfly tattoo. Ted struck up a relationship with her shortly after but he worried that Stella was taking things too slowly; Stella had a daughter, Lucy, from a previous relationship so she had rules about dating. It took the two a bit of time to understand each other's approach to life, but by the end of the season, Ted proposed and Stella accepted.
Ted's friends worried that he was moving too quick with Stella and that he didn't know enough about his soon-to-be wife. After a planned intervention, they realized how much she meant to him. Stella planned to take over her sister's cancelled wedding but a few arguments arose before the ceremony. Stella then ended up leaving Ted at the altar and got back together with her ex, Tony, the father of Lucy. Later in How I Met Your Mother season 4, Ted ran into Stella and Tony and they were eventually able to clear the air. By the end of the season, Stella and Lucy moved to California with Tony to begin the next chapter of their lives, while Ted used Tony's contacts to get his job as an architecture professor.
Stella's move with her family paid off according to the events of How I Met Your Mother season 5. Ted had already moved on from Stella but he was reminded about the relationship after a movie called The Wedding Bride was released in theaters. The movie was written by Tony and it was undisputably based on Ted's romance with Stella. Even though it painted Ted in a bad light, the movie was a monumental hit and became the fifth highest-grossing movies of all-time. The success of Tony's film certainly affected Stella's life in a positive way as it must have opened up more doors for their future.
Stella reappeared one last time in How I Met Your Mother season 9. Prior to attending Robin and Barney's wedding, Ted went on a mission to find the former's missing locket. He contacted a number of his ex-girlfriends who may have gotten a hold of it, including Stella. By this point, Stella was still living in Los Angeles and was presumably happily married to Tony. Stella worried that Ted's interest in the locket meant that he was going to ruin Robin and Barney's wedding.
Despite the drama that Stella caused in Ted's life by leaving him for another man, she always deeply cared about his well-being. At times, that meant she had to be brutally honest, which was the case with her concern involving Robin. Stella will be remembered as nearly becoming the "one" in Ted's eyes but it wasn't meant to be. They both had their own separate paths to explore in How I Met Your Mother.