Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Former NFL quarterback Matt Leinart married television actress Josie Loren in a beautiful black-tie ceremony Saturday afternoon at the Basilica of St. Lawrence in downtown Asheville.

As the May sky alternately filled with bright sunshine and heavy rainclouds, busloads of guests dressed to the nines were deposited at the front door of the historic basilica. The wedding party pulled up in an old trolley car, and the lovely bride disembarked from an antique car as curious tourists stopped to snap cell phone pics.

Under the basilica’s spectacular Guastavino dome, the couple shared their vows. Father Manny Alvarez, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Hialeah, Fla., presided.

Image link: @rebecammilian

The wedding guests headed over to the Crest Center & Pavilion for a big reception and party. During one special moment, Nick Lachey (formerly of the boyband 98 Degrees) sang to the happy couple.

Asheville-based Wedding Connections handled the wedding planning duties.

Leinart played football at the University of Southern California, where he put together a legendary career. He’s a three-time All-American. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2004 as a junior, as well as numerous other awards. His teams won two national titles and played a game for the ages against Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Leinart went on to a career as mostly a back-up quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last year. He now works now as a college football analyst for Fox Sports.

Loren, who is from Cuban descent, grew up in Miami and studied at UCLA, got her television acting start on the Hannah Montana show, working alongside Miley Cyrus. She went on to land a starring role in the ABC Family series Make It or Break It, where she played a gymnast trying to make it to the Olympics. (Loren had extensive gymnastics training a former all-star cheerleader.) Loren also worked as a series regular on the final season of the CBS crime drama The Mentalist.

Before the big wedding day, a group of guests went on a whitewater rafting adventure, enjoyed cocktails at the Grove Park Inn and hit the town for some sing-alongs at the Off the Wagon Dueling Piano Bar in downtown Asheville. The rehearsal dinner was held at Taylor Ranch in Fletcher.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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