Categories: Blog


Gazebos and Marquees

The terms gazebos and marquees are often used interchangeably. The reality however, is that there’s a world of difference between the two types of structure.

Why does it matter?

It’s important to understand what type of structure is of interest to you before making enquiries into hire. There is likely to be a big difference in hire costs for gazebos and marquees; this is because the two structures sit at the opposite ends of the temporary structure spectrum and have very different capabilities.

What is a marquee?

A marquee is a sophisticated, large scale temporary structure of solid construction that can be used for a multitude of different private and commercial purposes; see our article ‘What is a marquee?’, here.

Wedding marquees difference between gazebos and marqueesMarquees are often used for large scale events featuring lots of guests or visitors. They are commonly used for luxury weddings and private parties, as well as for corporate events such as conferences, AGMs and exhibitions.

In addition to being used for events and due to their solid construction, marquees are often also used to provide temporary buildings such as storage and warehousing spaces, demo rooms, retail, café, bar and restaurant extensions.

Marquees are adaptable, flexible structures. They can be constructed to bespoke design, vary in size and shape, feature multiple spaces within: bar areas, chill out zones, catering areas, luxury toilets and more.

The difference between gazebos and marqueesMarquees usually include some type of flooring, whether that be simple coconut matting or raised, boarded and carpeted flooring. Marquees are usually lined inside, providing an extra layer of insultation and a luxury aesthetic too.

Depending upon the purpose of the marquee, elements such as sophisticated lighting schemes, electrics, heating systems, stages, dancefloors, bars, toilets and catering areas can be included.

There are many different types of marquee available. Quality differs from structure to structure and by supplier. There are marquee structures suitable for use all year around, and others only usable during the warmer, drier months; some marquees that are suitable for use on solid ground and others that must be situated on softer surfaces such as grass.

The difference between gazebos and marqueesAesthetics vary from structure to structure too. Traditional pole marquees are the archetypal ‘country fete’ style tent that many people picture when they think of marquees. Featuring guy ropes and tall internal poles and are attractive inside and out, offering a relaxed, rustic look and feel.

Contemporary frame tents are the most popular choice of marquee. Frame tents use a large, sturdy, aluminium or steel framework, covered with PVC, clear PVC or even glass panels. They can feature lockable PVC and glass doors too. They are ultra-adaptable due to their modular construction and are used to serve a variety of marquee hire purposes; from wedding and party venues to temporary gyms, pool covers and venues for corporate events.

What is a gazebo?

A gazebo is a lightweight temporary structure that can offer rain, breeze or sun shelter. They are generally much smaller than marquees and are built from flimsier materials, often using plastic (sometimes lightweight metal) poles in their construction.

Their cover material is likely to be a light PVC, available in a variety of colours. They can be waterproof and UV resistant.

You will often see gazebos in use as trader stands at events, markets and fetes. They are ideal for this type of usage as they ‘pop up’ and fold away quickly and easily. They are also great if you are looking for some quick, simple wet weather or sun protection for a garden party or event.

Gazebos can usually be purchased quite cost effectively from hardware stores and garden centres such as Homebase in the UK, or online via companies such as A great option if you have storage space and if you are likely to need one on a regular basis. If not, there are plenty of gazebo hire companies out there offering cost effective short term hire.

Summary: What is the difference between Gazebos and Marquees?

In short, a gazebo is a basic, cost effective cover solution, designed to provide simple cover and/or protection against light rain or bright sunshine. They are lightweight structures that can be purchased or hired cheaply and erected and taken down quickly. They are ideal for use as market stall covers – especially at country fayres and fetes, or for use as sun or rain shelters for small garden parties.

Marquees, although scalable for small events, are generally large, solid structures that require teams of experienced builders to construct. They can take two or three days to build and usually include internal linings, theming and decoration, flooring, electrics, lighting, furniture, stages, dancefloors, bars and more. They provide impressive, bespoke venues for private and corporate events.

Want to know more? Talk to us

The difference between gazebos and marquees is pretty stark. We create some incredible marquee spaces. Why not talk to us and find out just how incredible a marquee venue can be?

We offer a consultative process (meaning we listen carefully to what our customers want) and we guarantee all of our work too (see our 10 point guarantee).

Talk to our team on 01483 322070 or email