MARENISCO TOWNSHIP, MI – A couple of snowmobiling enthusiasts took their passion for the sport – and each other – to the next level this week when they rode sleds to an Upper Peninsula mountaintop to tie the knot.
Bride Brittany Memmel surprised the groom, McKabe Memmel, by wearing a wedding dress. It was about 10 degrees outside when she changed into it about two miles from the ceremony location – the closest they could get a vehicle. She wore her snow pants underneath and coat overtop to keep warm.
“It was my dream dress,” Brittany Memmel said. “It fit like a glove and was everything I wanted it to be.”
She arranged to wear the wedding gown about two weeks before the ceremony and – having recently given birth to their fourth child – didn’t have a chance to try it on before the wedding. She kept it secret by telling her then-fiancé that the large box contained his birthday gift.
The couple joked for years about getting married on snowmobiles on a Tuesday. They finally did it on what’s become known as “Twosday,” Feb. 22, 2022 – a rare palindrome date.
They first found the location while off-roading two summers ago, but they couldn’t get to the top of the hill. They dropped a GPS pin so they could visit on snowmobiles. When they reached the top during winter 2021 and found themselves looking out over the wilderness all the way to Lake Superior, they knew it was the place they wanted to get married.
While the date and location have been in mind for awhile, Brittany Memmel describes the celebration as an elopement.
“We’ve always been fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of people,” she said.
The Memmels were accompanied by about a dozen of their snowmobiling buddies, including one who got ordained for the occasion. None of their family members attended. There was no photographer or flowers and no bridal party. They had one celebratory drink on the mountaintop before heading home for a taco bar dinner.
“It was fun. That’s all we wanted,” Brittany Memmel said. “I didn’t want it to be anything more than it needed to be.”
The couple is from southern Wisconsin and moved to Marenisco in the U.P. during May 2021 to better enjoy the snowmobiling season. McKabe Memmel is known to snowmobile every weekend, clocking about 4,000 miles every season. He also owns The Spinning Wrench, LLC, a snowmobile repair shop.
“The very first night we met, he told me, ‘I’ll always snowmobile every weekend, it doesn’t matter if I’m married or have kids,,’” Brittany Memmel said. “It’s a huge part of our life. We uprooted two businesses and four kids to move here for it. It has been a fun adventure.”