How to Create an Outdoor Wedding Dance Floor

By Kyle Schurman Created: April, 2021 - Modified: January, 2024

For those who love the simple and charming idea of having a wedding and reception in the backyard, in a park or on the beach, trying to figure out how to make an outdoor wedding dance floor may be the only thing that’s holding the event back. Creating a plan to set up the flooring for the dance after the wedding can involve a few different designs.

Those hosting the wedding could try to rent outdoor wedding flooring for the reception and dance, but this isn’t always the best alternative. It can be hard to find the right size and quality of floors for rent on the exact date and time for the wedding. If the event will happen in the busiest wedding season in the summer, finding rentals can be nearly impossible.

Purchasing the materials required for outdoor wedding flooring may represent the better idea, as the hosts can pick the perfect size to handle all of the people being invited.

With a rental, there may be a limit of 20x40 feet or less, which can be extremely cramped and small for an event with dozens of guests. With a purchased outdoor wedding flooring option, any size is available.

The rental floor also may have more than one decal to promote the rental company stuck to it, which may detract from the overall look of the decor the designer is trying to achieve.

If the wedding and reception will be underneath a tent, this may affect the length and width of the flooring layout. With a rental, the precise dimensions may not be adjustable, leaving a portion of the flooring outside the tent’s coverage. With a purchase, where the installer controls the precise width and length of the layout, fitting the floor under the tent is not a concern.

As an additional benefit of making a purchase, the flooring will always be available for any type of event in the future. Having temporary portable backyard flooring for events such as graduations, anniversary parties, birthdays, and neighborhood get-togethers, as well as for weddings, will be extremely beneficial over the long run.

How Do You Start With Laying Out an Outdoor Wedding Dance Floor?

Before choosing the style of dance floor you want to have available at the wedding, it’s important to consider ideas for the base material. A sturdy base allows the outdoor wedding dance floor to go over almost any type of ground, including grass, dirt, sand, or gravel, creating a firm area that’s safe for dancing.

Using firm tiles as a base layer will create a floor that’s appropriate for almost any kind of dancing at the reception. It will protect the wedding party and guests from coming into contact with any dirt or mud in the area as well, importantly keeping the wedding dress clean and looking like new.

Next, think about the size of the space to use for the outdoor wedding flooring for the dance. As a general guide, assume that about one-third of all of the guests at the reception will be dancing at any one time. (If the average age of the guests is younger than typical, assume closer to 40% of guests will be dancing at one time.)

Assume that each guest will need about 5 square feet of space to dance. Using these calculations should help those hosting the event to determine the ideal space to create for the dance floor.

What Are Some DIY Options for Creating a Base Layer for Outdoor Floors?

To save time and money when putting on a wedding in the backyard, having a flooring that’s easy to assemble and disassemble without the need to hire a professional is important.

White Matrax Light Duty Pedestrian Composite MatsOne popular option is the Matrax Light Duty Pedestrian Composite Mats product. These tiles consist of an extremely firm polyethylene plastic, which allows the dance floor to provide the necessary support for people walking and dancing across it.

Each tile uses a series of connector pins to tie into the adjacent tile, which makes the layout of these pieces a DIY-possible project. Installers will not need to add any adhesive to the tiles to create a secure connection.

An individual tile covers 13.5 square feet, measuring 3.89 by 3.89 feet, which speeds up the layout process. This is important when setting up for an event like a large wedding, where it always seems like the setup time is never quite long enough to do everything perfectly. The less time spent doing the outdoor wedding flooring build, the more time for the hosts to focus on other aspects of the event setup.

For those events where a dance floor is not necessary, these tiles can go directly over the grass, creating a sitting area for the ceremony or for tables. The tiles have small drainage holes that extend through the entire 1.5-inch thickness of the material, allowing any rain to drain away, rather than pooling on the surface.

The water drainage holes do not affect the integrity of the base layer. They will not affect the ability to lay a dance floor over the top of the tiles either.

Portable Outdoor TileWith the Matrax tiles, each unit weighs about 30 pounds, which may make it beneficial to have two or more people available to help install the large squares. For a set of tiles that are smaller and that weigh less, consider the Portable Outdoor Tile product.

Each of these tiles measures 1 by 1 foot and weighs less than 1 pound. The Made-in-America tiles measure only 3/4 inches in thickness, which further simplifies the installation process for one person. Each tile connects to the others through an interlocking tab and slot system on the edges.

These tiles will fit over almost any kind of outdoor surface, including sand, gravel, and grass, while providing a firm base for an outdoor wedding dance floor.

The durable no-break polypropylene plastic can stand up to all kinds of foot traffic, while maintaining its integrity. Even if the surface underneath the tile installation has slight undulations. When used as a base for an outdoor dance floor, these tiles should be installed over a surface that is already pretty flat as the hinging seams will adjust some to fit the subsurface. Once the installer connects these tiles, they will give users a firm surface on which a portable dance floor can be installed.

With drainage holes that extend through the entire thickness of the tile, there are no concerns about rain water pooling on the surface of the tiles.

What Floors Work Well for Outdoor Wedding Flooring Dance Surfaces Without a Tent?

EZ Portable Dance FloorOnce the base layer is ready to go, installers can place a dance floor surface over the top. If the outdoor wedding dance floor layout will occur in an area exposed to sunlight and weather, the EZ Portable Dance Floor product is an excellent choice.

The UV resistant vinyl top layer sits on a waterproof plastic base. The vinyl layer has a faux wood grain look, which is ideal for a natural looking dance floor. Color stain options include:

  • Cherry
  • Maple
  • Dark oak
  • Light oak
  • Walnut

The plastic base carries the interlocking edge, which ensures the 1 by 1 foot tiles will remain tightly connected, even when placed under the stress of multiple people walking and dancing on them.

The vinyl layer can handle any kind of shoes that people attending the wedding will be wearing, including high heels. The manufacturer offers a 5-year limited warranty on these tiles.

When disassembling the tiles, we recommend leaving 3 by 3 foot sections connected, rather than disassembling each individual tile, if storage space is available for the larger sections. During the next installation, the assembly process will go far faster with the 3x3 sections already assembled.

These Made-in-America tiles contain both water and UV protection, which allows their use in areas exposed to the weather. However, do not leave these tiles in place for an extended period of time where they will receive constant weather exposure as they are not designed for long term outdoor use. Disassemble and place these tiles into storage soon after the event finishes.

What Floors Are Best for a Dance Floor Underneath a Tent?

Installers certainly could use the EZ tiles mentioned earlier in areas where a tent will provide weather protection for the dance flooring for the wedding reception, but tents also open the door to other options as well.

Portable Dance Floor Wood Grain 3x3 FootWith a tent available, installers also can choose the Portable Dance Floor Wood Grain 3x3 Foot product. (For those installers who need to cover a larger space, the Portable Dance Floor Wood Grain 3x4 Foot product is also available.) Neither of these products has a waterproof or UV resistant design, which necessitates the use of a tent or another type of weather protection.

These products represent commercial quality dance floor surfaces that can stand up to almost anything. The individual panels connect to each other using a cam lock design that ensures they will stay tightly in place for the entire event. Installers only need one type of tool to assemble the tiles, meaning it can be a DIY job for the majority of people.

The vinyl layer sits atop a sturdy plywood core layer, yielding a highly durable flooring for the wedding reception. As the installer assembles the individual panels, they will go together without any noticeable seams, which is an important benefit for the look of the flooring.

As the perfect finishing touch, the customer can select a ramped border edge to place around the perimeter of the layout. These silver trim border pieces sit at an 11-degree angle upon installation, which reduces the possibility of a tripping hazard for those entering or exiting the dance floor at the reception.

The faux wood grain color options for these panels include:

  • American plank
  • Dark oak
  • Dark walnut
  • Elegant oak
  • Tropical beech

Customers also may be able to select an all-white or all-black color in the panels for a unique look in the dance flooring at the wedding.