A quinceanera is a very special coming-of-age ceremony native to Latin America. Understanding the many different parts of the quinceanera can help you appreciate this unique tradition. Read on to learn a little bit more about the traditions you’ll likely see if you attend a quinceanera celebration.  


  • Mass. Most quinceanera celebrations begin with a Catholic mass. However, if the girl’s family is of another religion, the ceremony will take place at their house of worship. During the mass, the birthday girl will enter the church with a procession of 14 damas (young ladies) and 14 chambelanes (young men). Each of these pairs represents a year in the birthday girl’s life. After the young lady of honor enters, she will participate in mass and say a blessing.
  • The first dance and waltz. After mass concludes, the procession and guests will file out to attend a reception. To kick off the reception, the birthday girl will have her first dance with her father. This dance is meant to symbolize the special connection that the birthday girl and her father share, even as she enters adulthood. From there, the birthday girl, her damas, and her chambelanes perform a coordinated waltz. Some girls consider the waltz requirement to be too traditional and mix up their dance with modern music and dance moves.  After the waltz concludes, guests enjoy dancing, food, games, and fun. Many families in the Philadelphia, PA area also book a digital photo booth rental from A+ Photo Booths for guests to enjoy.  
  • The changing of the shoes. The changing of the shoes is a crucial quinceanera tradition. During the ceremony, the birthday girl’s parents will remove her shoes and replace them with a pair of high heels. These heels are the first “adult” shoes the girl owns and symbolize her maturity and responsibilities as a woman.


Are you planning a quinceanera for a special young woman in your life? A+ Photo Booths is here to help! Our quinceanera, Sweet Sixteen, and wedding reception photo booths in Philadelphia, PA add a magical touch to any event. Give us a call today at 866-3980-8178 to learn more or get started!