Things came full circle last weekend at the World Championship Derby Complex in Eagle River, when Paige Decker and Jay Mittelstaedt pledged their vows to one another inside the Expo Center.

Decker and Mittelstaedt have quite a history with the track, and figured there was no better place to say “I Do” than at that very spot.

Decker comes from a long line of family members who have affiliations with the Derby track — both she and her father, Alan Decker, along with uncles and cousins, raced snowmobiles there, and her uncle, Chuck Decker, is the former owner of the facility. 

The couple met in 2014, the weekend before the 50th anniversary of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby. 

“I was here with my dad and his old twin-track sled, and I was testing it out on the track with him, and then Jay pulled up,” said Decker.

Mittelstaedt and Decker ended up on the track at the same time and got to chatting. The following weekend, when Decker was bartending during the event and Mittelstaedt was there to compete in the big snowmobile race, they again struck up a conversation and things took off from there. 

“We started hanging out a little bit and the rest is history,” said Mittelstaedt. 

After dating for some years and while visiting for the summer ATV/UTV races at the track in July 2018, Mittelstaedt’s friend, Zach, helped him put together a plan to propose on the track.

“We were out for a ride on our side-by-sides and Zach was leading, and he took us down there and Paige was like ‘We are not gonna go race around on the track!’ ” said Mittelstaedt. “I said ‘No, it’ll be fine for one lap,’ so we went down there and got out, and I proposed down on turn three, which is where we met, technically.”

The couple’s familiarity with the track didn’t end there, however.

“We got the wedding date narrowed down, and then we had to talk venue,” said Decker. “We knew we wanted to have it in Eagle River because that’s where we met and we have a lot of good history here,” she added. 

As the couple was spitballing venues, the idea of getting married at the track came up.

“I think we jokingly said ‘the track,’ and we kinda laughed, and then we said ‘Actually, maybe that would be a good idea,’ ” said Mittelstaedt.

The couple set the wedding date for June 8, and then contacted Decker’s uncle Chuck who owned the track at the time, to OK the date. 

“He said ‘Yeah, absolutely,’ and then ownership changed but we still stuck with the date and it worked out,” said Decker.

After a long courting with many key moments taking place in the “Snowmobile Capital of the World,” the couple is honeymooning in the warm, tropical temperatures of Saint Lucia. 

They currently reside in Reedsburg, near the Wisconsin Dells, where Decker works as a teacher and Mittelstaedt owns an ATV/UTV dealership.