Gazebo Vs Marquee – What’s The Difference?

If you’ve ever been to a wedding or outdoor event, you’ve probably noticed the little structures set up for guests to take shelter from the sun or rain. But what exactly are those structures called? Gazebos and marquees are both popular choices for event planners. But, what’s the difference between a gazebo and a marquee? Is it possible to make a gazebo vs marquee comparison?

It might come as a surprise that the answer to this question is not as straightforward as you would think.

gazebo vs marquee - differences.webp
Gazebo Vs Marquee – The Difference

Regardless of where you live in the world, the term “gazebo” refers to the same sort of structure. A gazebo, in the English language, is an outdoor structure (sometimes public/commercial) with a solid roof. The term “marquee” has a variety of meanings depending on your location.

Let’s take a look at the differences between a gazebo and a marquee in a bit more depth. Shell we?

What Is a Marquee?

In US English, a marquee is most commonly associated with the entrance to a theatre, hotel, or other structure, it is a canopy that extends over the walkway.

A marquee is an overhanging roof above the entryway to a property that is brightly lit during special occasions. It is also used as signage to announce future events at the venue.

The UK English speakers have traditionally used “marquee” in association with temporary structures (for example, a large tent) erected for outdoor parties, weddings, or other special occasions.

The term has now spread into US usage where it refers to this style of structure but only if it is being used for an outdoor event such as a party or wedding.

Marquee (US English)
difference between a gazebo and a marquee
Marquee (UK English)

What Is a Gazebo?

A gazebo is an outdoor structure, usually open on all sides, with a solid roof.

Since anyone can build their gazebo, there is no canonical design. They are most commonly associated with gardens or backyard patios where they are used for relaxation or to entertain guests.

Unlike the unique designs that marquees have for each unique event, you could use any of these ideas for your garden gazebo structure.

In other parts of the world, however, this definition doesn’t necessarily hold true. For instance, in Australia and New Zealand gazebos have solid roofs and walls whereas in South Africa they always have an open structure.

Whatever your location in the world there is one thing that links all gazebos worldwide: no matter what a gazebo looks like it has to be used for relaxing outside.

Gazebos represent one of the more permanent structures found in gardens where they serve as focal points and places where families congregate to relax outdoors together.

Gazebo Vs Marquee – The Purpose Of The Structure

Gazebos are usually built using wood and other materials that resist rot and rust. They are very popular with garden owners who want an attractive place for their families to relax outdoors.

They can be used as part of gaming activities, family dinners, or they can simply provide shade during hot sunny days. For your BBQ companions’ gathering, you may have a grill gazebo.

A marquee is a large tent that may be utilized for a variety of personal and commercial objectives. Even the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a large tent used for social functions”.

A marquee can be used as a party hall or as a pool cover. It can be the perfect venue for a wedding reception, an exhibition space, or even as a dance floor.


In summary, the terms gazebo and marquee have been used to describe different structures depending on where you live. In US English a marquee is a canopy that overhangs a walkway.

A US English speaker would use “marquee” for a temporary structure such as a tent that they use for weddings or parties.

The UK English speakers would have traditionally used “marquee” to refer to any sort of outdoor structure that they might make with boards and tarps.

They now also use it to refer to it as an outdoor event space, most typically one with a solid roof but without walls.

So, there you have it! The next time you’re at an outdoor event, you’ll know whether you’re taking shelter in a gazebo or marquee. And if you’re planning an event of your own, now you’ll know which type of structure is best suited for your needs.

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Gazebo Vs Pagoda differences

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