Wedding Smoke Bombs  Blue in Forest

Suppose you are looking for something cool, colourful and with serious festival vibes. In that case, wedding smoke bombs are almost always a consideration. Personally, we love using smoke bombs as part of our photography! They are great fun, nearly always end in laughter and are a great way of adding colour to your images, no matter the backdrop. 

Wedding Smoke Bombs blue in forest

Smoke Bomb Wedding Photography

Wedding photography trends tend to come and go rapidly, and we try to steer clear of most of them at Fitzpatrick Photography. After all, what is fashionable today can look very dated tomorrow, which is different from what we want from our wedding photos! Smoke bomb wedding photography has, however, had some serious staying power. As we are always asked lots of questions about smoke bombs, how they work and what to watch out for, we decided to put this post together. 

Smoke Bomb Wedding How To Organise

First, the boring stuff! Smoke bombs are a form of pyrotechnic or fireworks. Therefore most venues will have rules regarding how you can use them, or even if they can be used at all. 

Don’t simply rock up at your wedding venue with a bag of smoke bombs, and start letting them off! This will not go down well with your venue and will likely spoil the rest of your wedding day, so don’t! 

Public spaces, parks and woodland may all require additional permissions and, in some cases, a risk assessment to be completed before they are let off.  

If you get a NO from your wedding venue but want to have some photos with smoke bombs, don’t panic. However, if you have seen smoke bombs used in previous photos from your wedding venue, don’t simply assume they are OK to use again. We can often look at alternative options to get the images you want. So speak to your venue early.

The next step is to speak to your photographer and let us know what you would like, along with any restrictions your venue may have mentioned. Smoke looks its best when lit, so knowing when, where, and what reactions are in place early means we can have a plan ready for the day. 

As smoke bombs are classified as a pyrotechnic, be aware that you can’t fly with them!

Wedding Smoke Bombs in Delamere Forest

Smoke Bomb Wedding Safety

Once you know if you can use smoke bombs at your wedding, safety is the next thing to consider. Safety will be your responsibility (not your photographers’), so ensure you know what to look out for and how to keep everyone safe. 

Most wedding smoke grenades operate using a ring pull or wire pull method. Essentially the ring pull ignites a small charge which then causes the smoke canister to burn and produce smoke. During this initial ignition stage, it isn’t unusual for hot sparks to be ejected, which have the potential to cause fires. 

Each type of smoke bomb will come with its own instruction on safe use which you should use. However, in general, ensure they are ignited away from crowds, enclosed spaces and flammable areas or materials. Also, ensure that everyone using them is fit to do so, i.e. not too drunk.

While most photos show smoke bombs being held, be aware that they can and do get hot! The advice given by almost every smoke bomb manufacturer is NOT to hold the smoke bomb, and if you do, it is at your own risk. However, if you wish to hold onto yours, understand that they burn top to bottom, and the bottom will be the coolest. Smaller smoke bombs also generate less heat, so holding these while using larger smoke bombs as a background can be effective. 

When disposing of your smoke bombs, a metal bucket is a good choice. Also, have a bottle of water handy, as this can be poured over the smoke bombs to ensure that they are fully extinguished once you are finished. 

Your photographer may refuse to shoot your smoke bomb pictures if they feel the situation is not safe. E.g. people are too drunk, the location is unsafe, or there is no suitable equipment to dispose of them.

Smoke Bomb Wedding Weather

Despite meticulous planning, the British weather is one thing we can’t control. To get the best photos possible with your smoke bombs, you want the smoke to hang in the air. In fact, some of the best images are from when a lot of the smoke has dispersed. It is then that you get light streaking through the smoke. When the wind is too high, however, the smoke is simply blown away before any clouds have a chance to form. 

Can Wedding Smoke Bombs Stain?

Yes – Smoke bombs in any colour other than white contain dyes, which have the potential to stain clothing. 

As previously mentioned, sparks aren’t uncommon to be ejected from the top during the ignition stage. Obviously, these sparks can burn as well as damage clothing. In addition, shortly after the ignition, the smoke bomb typically emits a dense cloud of smoke as the smoke canister ignites. During this phase, and at close range, the risk of staining is most significant. 

Once the smoke bomb has settled into a continuous release, the risk subsides but should not be considered zero. However, the further away you are from the source, the less the risk, so a cloud from a smoke bomb 2 – 3 feet away should not stain. 

What Wedding Smoke Bombs Should I Use?

They are not the cheapest, but Enola Gaye Wire Pull Smoke Grenades are probably the world’s most trusted smoke bomb brand. Not only do they burn cool, which is essential if you want to hold them, but they are non-toxic, and their body is fully biodegradable. They are also CE Certified. 

Enola Gaye offers a range of smoke bombs, and the choice can often seem confusing. For almost every type of shoot, however, the WP40 is perfect, so just choose how many and what colour.

Larger versions create too much smoke, and smaller ones burn too quickly. As a result, the WP40 sits in the perfect goldilocks area for the ideal amount of smoke and duration. 

How do you Ignite a Smoke Bomb?

How you ignite the smoke bomb will vary from manufacture to manufacture, but wire or ring pulls are the most common. All Enola Gaye WP40 smoke bombs are ring pull which acts as the ignition, meaning there is no need for a lighter.

How Long Does The Smoke Last 

EG25 25 Seconds 
TP4060 Seconds 
WP40 90 Seconds 
EG18 90 Seconds
EG18X50 Seconds 

How Many Smoke Bombs Will I Need?

It is .a good idea to do a couple of practice runs with your smoke bombs before your wedding day. While your photographer has likely used them before (always ask), setting a couple off will give you a better idea of what to expect. 

For a single wedding day photo, it’s a good idea to buy at least four or five smoke bombs. This safeguards against any faults and allows you to test the wind, lighting, etc., before shooting the photo. 

For group photos, plan something manageable! Smoke is unpredictable, so large groups can quickly become obscured by clouds of billowing smoke. However, smaller groups, such as the bridesmaids and groomsmen, can work well. 

For additional photos, look to bring twice as many smoke bombs as you think you will need. Of course, you should already know how the wind and light are behaving, but this allows you to have some fun and get creative. 

Nailing Your Photos With Wedding Smoke Bombs 

Now we have all the logistics out of the way. So how do you nail your photos with your wedding smoke bombs?

1. Don’t look at the smoke or look scared by it 

2. Decide if you want to hold them or have them in the background 

3. Pick a dark and sheltered background

4. Have fun. It is a smoke bomb; what’s not to smile about 

5. Ensure you have more than enough 

Wedding Smoke Bombs Orange in Delamere Forest

Golden Hour Portraits With Wedding Smoke Bombs 

We love golden hour portraits! The last hour before sunset, when the sun is low in the sky, creates the perfect light to capture stunning photos. It can also be the ideal time for your wedding smoke bombs! With the light lower in the sky, it bursts through the smoke filling your photos with the atmosphere. Few things are more romantic! 

Backdrops 

If you don’t want to hold your smoke bombs, then using them as a creative backdrop can be just as impressive! Choose a sheltered location to keep the smoke in one area, pop the pin and let them work their magic. You can choose a coloured smoke bomb to contrast the natural surroundings or enhance it with complementing colours. 

What Are Some Alternatives To Wedding Smoke Bombs?

If you’ve made it this far and you’re still not sure about using smoke bombs in your wedding, there are a few other ways to get wedding photos with a similarly festive feel.

  • Biodegradable confetti, in confetti or cannon format
  • Fireworks (nighttime only)
  • Sparklers (nighttime only)
  • Bubbles
  • Streamers or ribbon wands
Bev + Mark


To help with your wedding planning we have put together a comprehensive 32 step guide taking you every step of the way from picking your venue, to last minute details. Wedding planning, shouldn’t be stressful, and we would love to join you on your journey from saying “Yes” to “I Do”

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