DIY Weddings

dancing outdoors: options & opinions

I'm having a casual, outdoor, DIY wedding in June 2016. Dancing will not be the focal point of my reception as there will be lawn games, a dessert bar, and inflatables there. However, I still want to do my first dance, father/daughter dance, and bust an occasional move or two. My dilemma is my dancing space. I do not have money to invest in renting a dance floor. This will be a dry and casual event, so there will likely not be drunk people or high heels involved. What are the opinions on dancing on the grass or even, dare I say, a carpet? What are everyone's thoughts and experiences on these options? 

Re: dancing outdoors: options & opinions

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm having a casual, outdoor, DIY wedding in June 2016. Dancing will not be the focal point of my reception as there will be lawn games, a dessert bar, and inflatables there. However, I still want to do my first dance, father/daughter dance, and bust an occasional move or two. My dilemma is my dancing space. I do not have money to invest in renting a dance floor. This will be a dry and casual event, so there will likely not be drunk people or high heels involved. What are the opinions on dancing on the grass or even, dare I say, a carpet? What are everyone's thoughts and experiences on these options? 
    I think it is fine for a first dance or maybe a spotlight dance, however, what is your plan if it rains? I don't think I understand the carpet outside and that sounds like a slip hazard. 

    That being said, I think it would be worth hiring an actual dance floor. Dancing on grass is recipes for sprained ankles. Plus a dance floor is likely to signal that dancing is encouraged. Are you having a DJ? They may have deals with suppliers for this. 

    I bet you could also DIY this with plywood and a vinyl cover fairly easily if you or your fi are good with construction. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I attended a backyard wedding. They didn't install a dance floor and just used the grass. It was mostly fine, however, a lot of women wore heels. It would have been nice to have a heads up. 

    You need a backup plan in case it rains. 

  • If you can't afford to rent a dance floor while renting the inflatables, you can't afford any of the options either... I'm more concerned that you have an "in case of thunderstorms" backup plan and the restroom options available than where people will dance or do those lawn games.  While I'm NAF of outdoor events in general, the reality is that all of these rentals cost money and often you can have a casual gathering at the local KofC, Lion's, or Elk's Lodge for less. 

    We just purchased plywood for some garage repairs, a dance floor is going to be cheaper to rent than it will be to purchase anything substantial in its place.  ...  Carpet isn't really a good alternative because what's under it.  There'll be moisture coming up from the ground in most parts of the country and if it rains it'll still be a muddy mess.  A good rental company will also take care of the delivery/setup for you and make sure it's level and a proper surface for being on the ground with moisture. 

    What about using your garage for the dance portion? 

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  • Personally I'd put dance floor above inflatables but maybe that's just me. Also I think it's kind of rude to have a first dance and parent dances if you aren't going to have any other dancing. Those kind of open the way to dancing so as a guest I'd be wanting to dance after. 

    Also I agree with PP what is your plan B in case of rain? Lawn games aren't much fun in the rain so having a place to dance would be more versatile with weather. I think carpet is a bad idea, it won't get rid of bumps but rather cause more and it will most likely be ruined after. 
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  • I'd like to address a few things:
    I'm going to be 20 years old at my wedding,
    The majority of our resources are being donated (photography, building, decorations)
    We are having a tent and there is a nice building in case it rains,
    Someone will be there to play music,
    There is a basketball court at the site with a concrete floor,
    AND it will be included in my invitations not to wear heels.
  • It's good you have a plan B in case of rain. I would probably just have the dance area on the grass. Carpet can bunch/wrinkle and cause a tripping hazard. Not worth it.

    Also, your invites shouldn't dictate anything about what people should/shouldn't wear. You can include information on your insert and/or your website that tells people "the ceremony and the reception will be on grass." That's enough info for people to "get it" without you breaking any etiquette rules.

    You could also order some bulk flip flops in various sizes. Most people won't use them so you don't need one per person, but a few might be appreciated.
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