A destination wedding perfectly styled for a luxury mountain mansion in Colorado

A destination wedding perfectly styled for a luxury mountain mansion in Colorado

Breckenridge, Colorado Styled Luxury Wedding

Style is such an important and personal part of any wedding. From the home, designer gowns, and jewelry, every element was curated and hand selected by myself and the incredible owners that I had the honor to work along side. At Arendelle Castle, a private estate in Breckenridge, Colorado, the luxury styled wedding was the perfect way to bring my vision of what an opulent wedding at a private mountain residence could look like. Working alongside some amazing local Colorado vendors for this styled wedding was an honor to pull together. I’ve been in the wedding industry since I was old enough to work. My very first job was styling brides and bridesmaids in my hometown wedding boutique. I didn’t know at the time that it would shape what I love doing today. 

For this Breckenridge styled shoot, I was the stylist, designer, planner, and last but not least, the photographer. I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur who has dabbled in multiple areas of the wedding industry. I’m a full time, fine-art, destination wedding photographer who loves every aspect of weddings. 


Breckenridge Colorado Wedding Photographer

Bride in Monique Lhuillier Gown

All the fine touches were taken care of by an incredible team of vendors and planners. I got to flex my creative muscles in the off season by creating the design board and visiting each person who wanted to collaborate on this styled shoot. I was honored to collaborate with Little White Dress Bridal in Denver, Colorado,  Logan Ellis with Divine Beauty Artists, and Nikole owner of DonLo Mercantile for this editorial shoot. They’ve each written some details meant for brides planning their wedding in this article.

The Monique Lhuillier “Wish” ball gown was selected because it was perfectly appropriate for the breath-taking sophisticated luxury, elegance and grandeur of the Arendelle Castle in Breckenridge.  The Monique Lhuillier “Wish” ball gown is from the designer’s Fall 2020 collection, and it is romantic, grand and elegant in its own right.  The gown features shimmering silver and white floral lace embroidery throughout, a full ball-gown skirt, a contemporary styled plunge sweetheart neckline, and a cathedral length train.  The gown completed an elevated presentation in a spectacular setting. -Cate Carpenter, Little White Dress Bridal

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Gown for a Mountain Destination Wedding in Breckenridge Colorado
Summer and Spring bouquet Colorado Wedding
Elegant Mountain Wedding in Breckenridge Colorado

Hairstyle for a Colorado bride in a strapless dress

For the  [Monique Lhulillier]  gown I believed that going all up with the hairstyle would be the best way to go. A traditional low bun hair style is perfect for this strapless gown. Soft romantic curls framing the face with rolling waves adds texture and an airiness to this updo. -Logan Ellis, Divine Beauty Artists

Monique Lhuillier Bride in Vail
Groom in Tux from Suit Shop Denver
Bride in Monique Lhuillier
Get married with luxury wedding photographer Andrea Stark Photography
Bride infant of white baby grand piano

Colorado Wedding Vendors:

Photographer, Designer and Stylist


Hair and Makeup


Private Home in Breckenridge by Celebrity Interior Designer Stephanie Styles


Contact Me

Contact Me today to inquire about my wedding photography services in Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen, or any other Destination Mountain Wedding. Available for travel.

What to Know About Having a Snowy Photography Session

What to Know About Having a Snowy Photography Session

A lot of my couples are Southern like me. Some of them have never seen snow before. I love the opportunity to document the first trip to see snow in our beautiful winter town of Breckenridge. When planning for a winter session in Breckenridge it’s good to know a few things before. Hint, there will be snow! I wanted to cover what to expect, how to stay warm, and what looks best for a snowy winter session.

First thing I want my clients to know is dress warmly! Absolutely wear that cute winter outfit, but also wear thermals underneath and a big coat. Most of my clients will shed their coats and gloves for photos, and immediately put it back on in between photos. Staying warm ensures that we get to shoot longer and you get more pictures!

Also, the location I’ll suggest will be accessible and walkable, but I’d still wear tall boots or snow boots with wool socks as you’ll be walking in the snow. I’ve been known to come to a location after a fresh snow fall and pack down the snow while wearing my snowshoes. I want to make sure you can walk to our locations without getting buried knee deep in snow.

Styling Suggestions For Winter Photo Sessions

Some of my clients like to know my styling suggestions, too. As far as styling your session, a statement coat with a beanie, scarf and gloves or a warm, oversized, snuggly sweater with tall boots and a hat is super cute. The great thing about snow is it creates a beautiful white backdrop, so even though it might seem counterintuitive, soft pastel, muted colors like soft pinks and powder blues still look great! And, remember, regardless of the setting, you can never go wrong with neutrals!

Seeing Snow For the First Time

When India emailed me, she made sure to tell me this was her first time to see snow. She just wanted to document her and her husband, Matt’s trip with a playful couples session. We had the best time with all the new fresh flakes and I just love how their images turned out!


Here’s to my couples who end their session with snow angels and a snow ball fight! If that sounds like fun to you, let’s chat!

Rocky Mountain Bride Feature – Bachelorette Weekend in Breckenridge

Rocky Mountain Bride Feature – Bachelorette Weekend in Breckenridge

I was featured on Rocky Mountain Bride’s Instagram! This was very exciting for me because Rocky Mountain Bride is a very big deal in the wedding publication industry in my area. They publish gorgeous weddings from the Rocky Mountain region, from Colorado to Canada.

It was awesome getting to take these 10 girls up to one of my favorite spots to capture them during Abbi’s bachelorette weekend. This was such a fun shoot! When planning locations, anything wintery was a go, so I took them up to one of my favorite places in Breckenridge to capture a snowy, wooded landscape. I knew they were going to be wearing faux furs, but I didn’t know how amazing they would be until I saw them in this environment! Even in the frigid temps, no one complained and we had the best time! 

Their entire bachelorette weekend was all flawlessly planned by Jetset Bachelorette (formerly Blush and Bashful bachelorette) which booked the girls an awesome victorian home right off Main Street Breckenridge, a personal chef, in home private yoga session with my favorite local yoga studio, Meta Yoga, and tubing at Copper Mountain. If you know someone who is looking for an all inclusive planning for a momentous occasion like a bachelorette weekend, reach out to Jetset Bachelorette. She plans fabulous bachelorettes around the country.



A few more of my favorite images from this shoot:

Contact Me For Your Bachelorette Party

If you are planning your bachelorette party in Breckenridge and want some fabulous pictures with all your best gals, let me know! I could do these fun sessions all day long!

Guatemala Mission Trip Recap + Time Lapse Video of Project

Guatemala Mission Trip Recap + Time Lapse Video of Project

Guatemala Timelapse by Andrea Parnell from Andrea Parnell on Vimeo.

This was one of the best things I did in 2014. Besides selling my house in Arkansas and moving to Colorado, this mission trip to Guatemala is right up there. Our purpose of going to Guatemala for a week was to help build a house for a family through ODIM Guatemala, which is an organization that promotes health and education in the area. The house this family had to begin with had cardboard walls and poor ventilation for their wood cooking stove. Andrea and Israel are the couple we built the home for. They have a new baby and it was imperative to build them a new home with sound walls and good ventilation.

The old house, which was already removed by the time we got there in early November. We built the new house on the same site as the old one, while the couple lived with her parents just up the hill.

ODIM Guatemala Old Home

All the blocks to build the house (watch in the video), had to be carried down a crazy steep and long hill to get to the work site. Our team carried down half of  them and Andrea’s father-in-law carried the rest down that night. He could carry up to eight bricks on his back with a head strap wrapped around his head and the bottom of the brick on his back somehow balancing the. I could only carry two (the first time) and then went down to one brick, because I wore myself out.
Guatemala Worksite in San Pablo Guatemala The alley way down to the work site always seemed to have somebody greeting us as we walked down. This time was these little girls playing in a tuc tuc which soon followed one of my favorite pictures I took on the trip of one of the little girls hanging out of the vehicle. 

Guatemala Worksite in San Pablo Guatemala

Tyson and I made some little friends that lived in San Pablo and would come down to the work site every day. I’ll be honest, I had more fun playing with the kids than laying blocks and mortar. But I didn’t feel bad when we would take a little break from building the house to throw them a frisbee and hang out with them. I believe the hat Tyson is wearing didn’t make it back to the States with us. A little boy name Joselius (in red) is the proud new owner.

Guatemala Worksite in San Pablo Guatemala



Our team from Father Dyer United Methodist Church in Breckenridge was there for week one of construction. They planned to finish it with one other American team and then the foremen would finish up the house in week three. During the five workdays we were there, we started by carrying down cement blocks to the work site and sifting sand for mortar. We laid the cement blocks and mixed mortar for the two exterior walls. Bending and assembling rebar to reinforce the walls was important because they are susceptible to earthquakes. On the last day we did start the bathroom interior walls. We didn’t get to see the finished house in person, but Joel, our coordinator, sent me pictures of the finished house.

Before and After ODIM House

I wanted to capture the progress everyday of the project so I used my GoPro on the time-lapse mode. You can see in the video that we got most of the exterior walls finished before we had to leave it to the next team to come in. Andrea and Israel received the keys the first week of December and now get to have a wedding party in their brand new home. It’s so amazing to me the progress that can happen in such a short time, but have an everlasting effect on people. I hope they are blessed by this house for a long time to come. I’m just thankful to be apart of it and be able to give back in some way.

Remarkable Morning Watching a Guatemala Sunrise at La Cruz in San Juan, Guatemala

Remarkable Morning Watching a Guatemala Sunrise at La Cruz in San Juan, Guatemala

Guatemalan Sunrise Timelapse INTRO from Andrea Parnell on Vimeo.

On our last morning in San Juan, Guatemala, Tyson and I decided to get up at 5 AM and hike up to the cross overlooking San Juan. From San Juan it looked like a great vista point to take in all the scenery we had immersed ourselves in all week. The only catch was that you had to get up super early, walk through town in the dark to find the trailhead, and then pay a guy waiting at the entrance to the park 20 quetzals (or Q’s, Guatemala’s currency).

This did NOT go off without a hitch. First of all, I forgot my money back in the room. Then after going back for the money and walking around in the dark for about 15 minutes, we couldn’t find the trailhead. Finally we find the trail head and the guy that you’re supposed to pay 20 Q’s to hike. But of course that wasn’t enough, he wanted 30 Q’s from us. The hike to the cross was supposed to be 20 Q’s and the hike to the very top was 30 Q’s. I don’t know if I just had tourist stamped on my forehead or if my Spanish was just that bad, but he would not let us go until we paid 30.  Thankfully he took 26 Q’s from Tyson, which was all he had, and my 30 Q’s. I had added 10 Q’s to my pocket so we could get a tuc tuc on the way back. That wasn’t going to be a possibility at this point.

Now I thought there’s no way we are going to make it to the cross in time for the sunrise. The hike was short but not that easy with all the steps you had to take. Finally we made it up there. I felt defeated and tired because I thought all our set backs had made us miss it. It was pretty light out already, but 20 minutes in to watching the town of San Juan wake up, the sun popped up over the mountains and clouds. It was really a sight to behold.

Remarkable Morning Watching a Guatemala Sunrise

Remarkable Morning Watching a Guatemala Sunrise

Remarkable Morning Watching a Guatemala Sunrise

Remarkable Morning Watching a Guatemala Sunrise

Remarkable Morning Watching a Guatemala Sunrise

Remarkable Morning Watching a Guatemala Sunrise

Remarkable Morning Watching a Guatemala Sunrise

I’m so thankful that we made it in time to witness the sunrise on our last day there. It was such a great moment to witness all of God’s beauty and reflect on the wonderful week we had there.

Make sure to watch the time-lapse video Tyson and I captured while we were there. He shot his on the iPhone 6 and I shot mine on the GoPro 3 Black. I blended both time lapses together for hopefully something you’ll enjoy!

[vimeo 112636202 w=500 h=283]

Portraits of People in San Juan and San Pablo Guatemala

Portraits of People in San Juan and San Pablo Guatemala

There was one thing I was a little nervous about before visiting Guatemala again. And that was taking pictures of the people. I knew I was going to bring my DSLR camera with me, but that’s not inconspicuous or anything. The first time I visited, 12 years ago, I didn’t have my big camera but a disposable camera. I will never forget people telling me to not take pictures of the Guatemalans because they believed taking a picture of them stole their soul.

So 15-year-old me was taking pictures on my disposable camera of this little park outside of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. I didn’t notice the man sitting on the bench at first, but he grabbed my attention when he quickly covered his eyes and stood up like he had been frightened by something. He was probably terrified of me stealing his soul with my little disposable camera. I felt so bad I muttered an apology in Spanish to him and stopped taking pictures.

This time around, I asked some people who had been there recently about this belief. They said some in the smaller villages still believe that you’ll steal their soul with a single picture, but most do not. They just said make sure you ask their permission first. I was so happy to find that when I asked for a photo, not only did they say yes, but most gave me the most heart warming and genuine smile.

This is Joselias. He’s the little boy who was my shadow all week at the work site. I had more fun playing with him than laying blocks and mortar. Jose is 11-years-old and had his first communion while we were there. Here he is smiling for a photo for me in front of a coffee tree.Portraits of Guatemalan People

This man works at the coffee co-op we toured in San Juan, Guatemala. He rakes the coffee fruit and picks out all the sticks and leaves before they take the seeds, or the coffee beans out. Portraits of Guatemalan People

Now this is what I’m talking about when I say they give you such a heart warming and genuine smile! This little girl was playing with her sister in a tuc tuc on the side of the street. When I asked her for a photo, she gave me the most beautiful smile! This has got to be my most favorite picture from the trip.

Portraits of Guatemalan People

This was our tour guide at the coffee co-op. I learned a lot while I was there, like they don’t roast their own beans here. It’s too expensive so they sell and ship unroasted coffee beans in order to save money. Also, the coffee is 100% organic but the American organic seal is really expensive so they use the German organic seal on their coffee.

Portraits of Guatemalan People

This little boy was fishing with his family on the dock in San Juan. All they were using was a spool of fishing line, a hook, and worms. For someone who has spent entirely too much money on new fly fishing gear, watching them catch fish with no rod was an eye opener. I did get to watch him pull in a small fish, which was intended for their dinner.

Portraits of Guatemalan People

These lovely ladies were sorting coffee beans at the coffee co-op. When I asked them for a photo, they smiled and said yes, but not before they straightened up and the sweet lady in front uncrossed her legs.

Portraits of Guatemalan People

As we head into a week  where we celebrate as a nation all that we are thankful for, I can’t help but think of these beautiful people. I can hope that they remain happy, healthy, and thankful too.