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Home -- Blogs -- Wedding Tent: Marquee or Gazebo

Wedding Tent: Marquee or Gazebo


Executive Manager: Plays a crucial role in strategic decisions and business growth.

Updated: May 24, 2024
Published: May 22, 2024

Selecting the perfect wedding tent is an important decision to make for couples planning their special day. For the wedding tent will provide shelter and ambiance for the ceremony and reception. Two popular wedding tent options are the marquee and the gazebo. Though similar in purpose, they have distinct differences in aspects of style, setup, and suitability for various wedding needs.

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About Marquee

A marquee is a large tent, typically with a peak roof design, that provides a spacious interior area. Marquees are made using a metal or wooden frame over which a water-resistant fabric is stretched and secured. They often feature side panels that can be adjusted to be open or closed as desired. Marquees can be fully customized with lighting, flooring, furniture, and décor to match the wedding theme and aesthetic.

Marquees are available in a variety of sizes, with some that can adequately accommodate over 300 guests. The versatility and customizability make them a popular choice for both small, intimate affairs and large weddings. The interior space can be configured with seating for the ceremony, tables for dining and mingling, a dance floor, a bar, a buffet, and more.

About Gazebo

A gazebo is a freestanding outdoor pavilion, typically round, square, or octagonal in shape. It has a solid roof structure with open sides, allowing an unobstructed view from under the roof. Gazebos are constructed using wood or metal with a tiled or shingled roof. They range in size from small 10-foot diameter structures to larger 20-30 foot options.

Gazebos provide a sheltered space for small to mid-size weddings of approximately 50 or fewer guests. Their charming architecture makes them ideal for garden ceremonies and receptions. The open sides allow attendees to enjoy the surrounding scenery and weather while protected from the elements above.

Marquee vs Gazebo as Wedding Tent: Pros and Cons

When you decide between renting or buying a marquee or gazebo as the wedding tent, you should thoroughly consider the unique pros and cons of each structure.

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Advantages of Marquee

  • Lots of space to accommodate all aspects of a large wedding. A 40' x 100' marquee provides over 12,000 square feet, which can comfortably fit 300+ seated guests. There is ample room for catering stations, bars, entertainment stages, dance floors, lounge seating, photo booths, and any other wedding elements.
  • The fully enclosed tent creates an intimate yet spacious venue protected from unpredictable outdoor weather. Side walls, lighting, climate control, and flooring allow you to customize the interior environment to your taste. Control factors like temperature, ambiance, and sound.
  • Marquees can be elaborately decorated and transformed to match any wedding theme, style, or colors. Drape ceiling canopies, line walls, add chandeliers, and uplight the tent - options are limitless. Professional lighting and draping tailor the look and feel.
  • You have extensive control over lighting, sound systems, climate, and ambiance compared to outdoor gazebo venues. Install professional stage lighting, spotlights, and PA systems to take the reception to the next level.
  • A marquee is well-suited for larger, grand weddings of 150+ guests that require expansive space for guests, catering, dining, dancing, bars, entertainment stages, lounge areas, activities, photo booths, and more. It can accommodate any wedding vision.

Disadvantages of Marquee

  • More expensive to rent than gazebos, with costs ranging from $5,000 for a small one to $15,000+ for larger sizes. Extensive draping, high-end furnishings, and elaborate custom décor further increase rental costs.
  • Significant setup and teardown time is required, ranging from 8 hours for a small marquee up to several days for larger ones covering thousands of square feet. You'll need to closely coordinate with the rental company to schedule optimal timing.
  • The fully enclosed tenting does obstruct views of outdoor natural scenery, landscapes, and surroundings compared to open-sided gazebos. If panoramic views are important, consider gazebos or partial marquee walls.
Disadvantages Of Marquee

Pros of Gazebo

  • Less expensive to rent than marquees, with costs ranging from $500 for a small 8' diameter to $2,000 for larger 20' options. A budget-friendly choice for couples.
  • Quick and easy setup of a pre-constructed gazebo often takes less than an hour. The cedar wood or metal frame comes ready to erect on site with minimal parts. Teardown after the event is fast too.
  • Highlights gorgeous outdoor natural scenery as the open backdrop for ceremonies. Showcases gardens, landscapes, waterfronts, or mountain ranges surrounding the venue.
  • Intimate ambiance perfect for small wedding ceremonies of 50 seated guests or less. Fits beautifully at private homes, gardens, parks, or boutique venues.
  • Open sides suit an outdoor garden aesthetic for both the ceremony and reception. Keep attendees connected to nature and the outdoors while under cover.

Cons of Gazebo

  • Limited capacity of approximately 50-75 standing guests. Difficult to fit larger weddings comfortably inside a gazebo's space.
  • Exposed to unpredictable outdoor weather elements like rain, heat, sunlight glare, and wind. Factors beyond control can disrupt an open-air event.
  • Less control over sound, lighting, floral decorations, and overall ambiance compared to fully enclosed tents. Acoustics and lighting often need enhancement.
  • Not ideal for hosting extensive wedding reception activities like formal plated dinners, energetic dancing, live entertainment, food stations. Better suited for simple ceremonies.

The marquee is an ideal choice for larger weddings that require significant event production and a fully customizable, climate-controlled space. Gazebos better fit smaller, garden-style ceremonies wanting an open-air aesthetic immersed in natural beauty. Couples should consider their wedding scale, theme, budget, and needs when deciding between the two options.

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Final Words

Identifying your needs and preferences are enough of a priority when determining the best wedding tent for your celebration starts with. Marquees allow a higher degree of flexibility in size and setup to accommodate all aspects of the big day. Gazebos provide a charming covered space immersed in natural beauty. With their pros and cons weighed, couples can select the tent type that will shelter their ceremony and reception just the way they envisioned.

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Contact Us

Make On-Demand Space Solutions Easier, Faster

SHELTER has a great team of skilled architects ready to support your project or Event at any time.

When you’re ready to start your next business, get in touch with us now, and our architects will get back to you with a quote as soon as possible.

Business Email

      [email protected]

Phone Number

      USA: +1 713-386-9281

        CN: +86 13928858552

No.1 Huanghe Section,Songshan Road, Chao Tian Industrial Zone,Shilou Town Panyu District,Guangzhou