Philadelphia Quinceanera Celebration

May 10, 2014

Quinceañera Prep

The day's forecast, less than desirable. Rain was in the forecast in addition to heat and humidity. Yet, a gloomy start wasn't going to put a damper on Mikayla's big, special day. At stake were months of planning and preparation, therefore the weather wasn't going to hinder the quinceañera. Quinceañera dress, heels and tiara.Quinceañera dress, heels and tiara.The dress, heels and tiara Mikayla wore for her 15th birthday as La Quinceañera.

The Quinceañera Tradition

A little background about the Quinceañera tradition. It celebrates the young girl (la Quinceañera), and recognizes her journey from childhood to maturity into young womanhood.

Before any festivities begin the quinceañera starts at the Catholic church. The young woman celebrating her quince attends and participates in a special Mass. During the mass she reaffirms her dedication to God and receives a blessing from the priest.

Afterwards, the Quinceañera reception gets underway. Typically involving some combination of photographs, limousine arrivals, choreographed dance sequences, lavish spreads of food & desserts, and an official presentation of the quince girl to receptions attendees. A Quinceañera is very similar to a wedding. It includes a preparation, first look, ceremony, pre-reception and reception phase along with a first dance with parents.

Quinceañera First Look

Mikayla walked down stairs to give her family a first look, revealing her beautiful dress and impeccable make-up. Her father Steve reached out to helped Mikayla down the steps, he was overcome with emotions. His precious little girl was entering womanhood as a beautiful young lady. Father's first lookFather's first lookMikayla's father, Steve sees his little girl in her dress for the first time.

Quinceañera Ceremony

The skies opened up expelling a strong, forceful rain as Mikayla arrived at the Catholic church. Hence forcing the ladies in attendance with hours of hair and makeup to scurry for cover  into the church.

Special prayer to The Virgin MarySpecial prayer to The Virgin MaryMikayla reciting a special prayer after offering a flower bouquet to the alter of The Virgin Mary.


The rain subsided after the ceremony and gave way to a beautiful sunny afternoon. As a result, it gave us an opportunity to shoot some photograph's at a few Philadelphia's landmarks. Our first destination was the very busy JFK Plaza (aka Love Park) in Center City where hundreds of tourists were attempting the same, snap some photos in front of the fountain.

Creative Portraits in Center City PhiladelphiaCreative Portraits in Center City PhiladelphiaMikayla with parents Rebecca Ruiz and Steve Chavarria posing for photographs at Philadelphia's JFK Plaza also known as Love Park.

Our next destination, The Swann Memorial Fountain (also known as the Fountain of the Three Rivers) located in the center of Logan Circle at Philadelphia's Logan Square. With the ceremony over, Mikayla seemed more relaxed and content. Furthermore you couldn't tell that the day was a hot, muggy and almost rained out mess. All due to Mikayla looking amazing in her beautiful dress. Probably due to the rain subsiding and her big reception was next on the agenda. Seems like the rain clouds feared her wrath just enough to allow these moments to be captured. Pool Side PortraitPool Side PortraitThe tarnished fountains and pool of water provided a great back drop for Mikayla as they provided a unique contrast to the colors of her dress.

Mikayla began the reception with a dance with each of her parents, Rebecca and Steve. First dance with ParentsFirst dance with ParentsMikayla beginning the reception with a dance with each of her parents.

The party continued for hours into the night. Family and friends enjoyed the festivities, dancing the night away in the Michael G. Lutz room at the Philadelphia FOP Lodge #5.


Hair and makeup provided by Alexis Gonzalez, follow her on Instagram.

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