Shannon Snyder's roommate was going through a break-up, so to cheer her up, Shannon took her out to a local hot spot and suggested a little wager: the first one to talk to a guy before rounding the restaurant's U-shaped bar would win twenty dollars. Seated at the bar were George Argyros and a friend, and Shannon wasted little time in striking up a conversation with them, suggesting that they participate in a "calf muscle contest," which she would judge. While she never did collect on the bet, Shannon and George "have continued to joke and flirt ever since."
When it came time to propose, George surprised his bride-to-be by giving her what seemed to be a watch. Instead, the box contained a note that read, "Will you marry me?" Through tears of joy, Shannon immediately answered, "yes!" completely unaware that a ring was hiding beneath. When George finally prompted her to lift the note, an astonishing nine-carat diamond was revealed.
Equipped with a clear idea of how they wanted their wedding at the Bacara Resort & Spa to look, Shannon and George enlisted the guidance of coordinator Alex Alexander to bring their glamorous black, white, and red celebration to life. "Our theme was bold and strong and fun -- like our personalities," says the bride. And that theme was carried through every last detail of their day, starting with the black and white striped hat boxes full of gifts -- including red martini glasses -- that their guests received when they checked into the hotel.
The 130 friends and family members gathered on the resort's oceanfront lawn to witness Shannon and George exchange vows beneath a crisp, white, cabana-like structure trimmed with roses in dramatic shades of red. The bride surprised both George and the officiant by asking that three different wedding bands be blessed for her groom. "George is an avid watch collector, so I purchased the same ring in gold, silver, and titanium to ensure that he would have matching jewelry for his different watches," she says.
The tables at the cocktail hour were decorated with playful gift boxes packed with red carnations and tied with black and white polka dot ribbon. Nearby, a black tree hung with red votive candles and roses arched over the escort cards that directed guests to their seats for the al fresco dinner. The dining courtyard was lined with square and long tables dressed in black and white-patterned linens layered over red silk. The centerpieces featured the event's signature saturated palette of red roses that were arranged in glossy black urns on some tables, and interspersed with black branches on others. Every napkin was trimmed with a crystal, which mirrored the black and clear chandeliers hanging overhead. The most unforgettable moment for the bride was seeing this area decorated for the first time and "taking a moment to soak in all the beauty with my husband."
After dinner, the gathering retreated to the hotel's rotunda room where the couple took to a black and white-checkered dance floor for their first spin as husband and wife. On the terrace just outside the room was a lounge area designed with George's debonair style in mind. "It was very James Bond," recalls the bride. "White leather furniture, a martini bar, cigars -- all very sleek and sophisticated." There was even an ornate throne set up for the man of honor, as well as a groom's cake depicting George as a king.
The couple's non-traditional wedding cake boasted a black and white harlequin pattern with three thick tiers separated by layers of red roses. Shannon changed from her wedding gown into a short party frock for the cake cutting and to better engage in the long night of dancing she knew lay ahead.
What she did not expect, however, was the lavish honeymoon George had organized as a surprise for his bride. It included ten days sailing among the islands of the Bahamas, followed by a week at their home in Deer Valley, Utah, and finally a trip back to Turks and Caicos for even more fun in the Caribbean sun.