Grand Forks couple weds on courthouse steps in Hillsboro

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Posted: Friday, April 3, 2020 6:00 am

Lindsey Latozke didn’t know she was getting married when she woke up Wednesday morning.

The Grand Forks nurse received a text – and a handful of phone calls – from fiance Matt Johnson letting her know he had finally found a place for them to get hitched.

After striking out trying to get inside the courthouses in Grand Forks and Nelson counties – and a handful of others shut down by the coronavirus – an official in Traill County agreed to officiate their wedding on the courthouse steps in Hillsboro.

“Grand Forks County wouldn’t even let me in the building,” said Johnson, a sergeant with the North Dakota Highway Patrol based in Grand Forks.

“It was a difficult process even finding a place to get a marriage certificate” due to government shutdowns caused by the coronavirus, he said.

The couple originally planned to get married later this year in Turtle River State Park west of Grand Forks but bumped up that timeline after Latozke became pregnant.

They rescheduled their wedding day for Saturday but that date got scratched due to the coronavirus, Johnson said.

So Johnson, 35, and Latozke, 33, settled on getting married Thursday this week, but a snowstorm forecast in the Red River Valley forced them to move up their nuptials a day.

Latozke was working at the hospital in Park River, N.D., when she received a handful of frantic texts and calls from Johnson notifying her of their wedding in Hillsboro.

“I texted her saying ‘please call me, it’s kind of urgent,’” Johnson said, laughing. “She thought it was an April Fool’s joke, but she took it more seriously when I called five times.”

The bride and groom had three witnesses on hand for the ceremony but couldn’t wrangle a photographer on short notice.

They’re still undecided when they’ll be able to host a reception for their friends and family due to social distancing guidelines caused by the coronavirus.

“We’ll have to wait on that for now. We’re not really sure when,” Johnson said. “It will probably be after this whole mess clears up a bit.”

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