What’s the Difference Between a Pavilion and a Marquee?


When it comes to outdoor events, two terms that often come up are “pavilion” and “marquee.” These structures provide shelter and are commonly used for various occasions. However, many people are not entirely clear about the differences between the two. In this blog post, we will explore and compare pavilions and marquees to help you understand their unique features, uses, and characteristics.

Pavilion: A Timeless Retreat

A pavilion typically refers to a permanent or semi-permanent structure, often found in parks, gardens, and recreational areas. It is a freestanding architectural element designed for relaxation, entertainment, and gathering purposes. Pavilions are characterized by their open sides and solid roofs, which are supported by columns or posts.

One of the key features of a pavilion is its aesthetic appeal. They are designed to blend harmoniously with their surroundings and enhance the beauty of the environment. Pavilions can be constructed using various materials such as wood, stone, or metal, and they often showcase intricate detailing and craftsmanship. Their solid construction provides durability, allowing them to withstand the test of time.

Pavilions serve multiple functions and can be used for various activities. They are perfect for hosting picnics, outdoor parties, weddings, and even as a peaceful retreat for reading or contemplation. The open sides of pavilions allow for easy airflow and provide a sense of connection with nature while offering shelter from sun, rain, or mild weather conditions.

Marquee: Versatility in Event Shelter

In contrast to pavilions, marquees are temporary structures that are specifically designed for events and functions. They are versatile and offer a flexible solution for both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Marquees are typically made of a sturdy framework of metal or PVC poles, supporting a tensioned fabric roof and walls.

The defining characteristic of a marquee is its portability and ease of assembly. Marquees can be quickly erected and dismantled, making them ideal for events that require a temporary shelter solution. The fabric used in marquees is often water-resistant, providing protection against rain showers. Additionally, the walls of marquees can be transparent or opaque, allowing customization and adaptation based on weather conditions and event requirements.

Marquees come in various sizes and shapes, providing the flexibility to accommodate different event capacities. From intimate garden parties to large corporate functions, marquees can be tailored to suit the specific needs of the occasion. They offer a blank canvas for event planners to decorate and transform the space according to their vision, making them a popular choice for weddings, exhibitions, trade shows, and festivals.

Key Differences

While both pavilions and marquees offer shelter and are used for gatherings, there are several key differences between the two:

Design and Construction

Pavilions are permanent or semi-permanent structures with solid roofs and open sides, showcasing intricate craftsmanship. Marquees, on the other hand, are temporary structures with fabric roofs and walls, supported by a metal or PVC framework.

Purpose and Use

Pavilions are designed as permanent fixtures for relaxation and entertainment, blending with the natural environment. Marquees are versatile, temporary structures that can be quickly assembled and dismantled, serving as event venues for various occasions.


Pavilions are built to withstand long-term exposure to the elements, while marquees are designed for temporary use and are not as durable.


Pavilions focus on architectural beauty and often feature ornate designs. Marquees provide a customizable space that can be decorated to suit the specific event theme.


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