The Secret Ingredient for a Great Wedding Is a Wooden Dance Floor

There are so many things that go into making a wedding fun; first and foremost, the people. But in my opinion, the second most important part of a fun wedding is an active dance floor. I don’t know about you, but I pretty much never feel more alive than when I’m jumping up and down and shouting along to a song that meant the world to me when I was younger, ideally surrounded by people who also mean the world to me and are shouting out the lyrics by my side.

So how do you make sure that happens at your wedding? You might be thinking: All I need is good music, whether played by a band or a DJ. And yes, it’s true that an amazing band or DJ is step one. But that part is obvious—it’s already a line item in your party budget. Step two, the part that isn’t quite as obvious, is making sure your guests can maximize their enjoyment while dancing to that great music.

After attending 10 weddings in the last 12 months — including my own — I believe that a wooden dance floor is a true differentiator.

Maybe you haven’t noticed the dance surface at a wedding or other dance party before, but they are not all created equally. Some are stone, cement, or tile. And there are a few problems with these options:

  1. Harder surfaces are harder on your feet, knees, and hips. If you’re hurting or starting to feel prematurely tired, you’re taking breaks between dance sessions. In my opinion, the best dance parties are the ones where you hardly sit down at all.
  2. Wooden floors are optimal for twisting, pivoting, hopping, shuffling, jumping — all the moves that help your guests look and feel like Fred Astaire/Michael Jackson/Beyoncé/insert your favorite dancer here. (My personal vote: Vera Ellen.) Professional dancers dance on wooden (or other soft-ish) stages. That’s no coincidence.
  3. Harder surfaces bounce more sound. So if you have an extra-loud band, you could find people keeping to the back of the dance floor to protect their ear drums. Plus, for those people who are sitting down, it’s a lot harder to carry on a fun conversation if you have to shout over the music.
  4. To compound that, if you’re taking a break from dancing because your legs are tired or your knees hurt, and then you can’t carry on a decent conversation while you take your break because the music is too loud, that doubles the non-fun time—a lose-lose for the overall quality of the party.

If you’re booking a wedding venue and you want the dance portion to be as lively as possible, make sure to check what material the dance floor is. If it’s not wooden but you love the venue anyway, see if you can bring in a surface that will be softer on people’s knees, like vinyl. Remember, this is an intergenerational party! You want people to have fun whether they’re in their 20s or their 70s.

Besides, bands and DJs are expensive. Why spend all that money on music if you and your guests can’t make the most of it?



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Sarah Begley

Sarah Begley

Director at Medium working with authors and books. Formerly a staff writer and editor at Time.