We’ve seen a lot of wedding photo trends come and go over the years, but smoke bombs have had serious staying power. They are a firm favourite with couples in because of the cool, dreamy vibe they add to wedding pictures and films, and the visual interest they bring to industrial venues and venues with plenty of outdoor space. But where can you get smoke bombs, how do you use them in your wedding photos (without staining your dress!), and are they worth the hassle? Here, we’re providing answers to all of these questions, and more!
Top Tips for Using Smoke Bombs in Wedding Photos:
Before we go any further, here are two important pieces of advice on using smoke bombs at weddings:
- Speak to your wedding photographer first. Find out whether your photographer has worked with smoke bombs before, and if they have any insights or tips to offer. They may need to bring different equipment if they’re going to be photographing smoke bombs, so it’s best to chat in advance. They may also suggest a practice run to plan out the shot.
- Check with your wedding venue. Smoke bombs are considered a pyrotechnic, so you’ll need to ask permission from your venue to use them on the grounds. They may have restrictions on where you can use them, or suggestions for spaces that would suit. If smoke bombs are not permitted at your venue, your photographer might be able to suggest a location nearby where it’s safe to use them.
Are Smoke Bombs Safe for Wedding Photos?
There are a few things to consider when using smoke bombs at weddings. Before we get into our general pointers, it’s important to point out that instructions differ from product to product, so be sure to read the instructions that come with your smoke bombs thoroughly and check the warning labels before igniting them.
- The smoke from smoke bombs should never be inhaled, particularly by anyone with asthma or other respiratory issues, so it’s important that they’re used in a well-ventilated area and that the direction of the wind is monitored closely. Smoke bombs shouldn’t be ignited near crowds, animals, or busy roads.
- Certain types of smoke bombs are safe for the couple to hold (look for “cool-burning” when purchasing), while others are designed to be ignited on the ground and aren’t safe to hold.
- Smoke bombs give off sparks when ignited, so must be kept away from flammable objects, and very dry areas. It’s a good idea to have a heatproof bucket handy to store the smoke bombs in after they’ve been extinguished, as they may still be hot.
- Make sure the smoke bomb has stopped smoking completely before touching it.
- Play close attention to the instructions for disposing of your smoke bomb. As a general rule, smoke bombs should be soaked in water and wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap before disposing of in the general waste bin.
What are the Main Options for Smoke Bombs?
There are a couple of different types of smoke bombs available. Some release smoke from one end, while others release smoke from both ends. Pay close attention to the duration time when weighing up your options. Ideally it should be longer than 60 seconds to give you and your photographer enough time to get the perfect shot. In terms of colour, there are loads of options available. You might want to choose a colour from your wedding colour palette, or go for something completely different to contrast the landscape at your venue or location.
Where can I Buy Smoke Bombs?
You can buy smoke bombs on Amazon, Etsy, and direct from specialist retailers like Enola Gaye. When shopping for smoke bombs, it’s worth remembering that they can also be listed as smoke grenades, smoke cans, or smoke sticks.
How Many Smoke Bombs Will I Need?
It’s a good idea to buy four or five smoke bombs to safeguard against any faults or teething issues, and allow for a practice run, although your photographer can advise you on this if they’ve used them before. Once a smoke bomb has been ignited, there’s no going back, so it’s good to have back ups to hand.
How do you Ignite a Smoke Bomb?
Again, products vary, but most smoke bombs feature a wire pin on the side of one end, which acts as the ignition, meaning there is no need for a lighter.
Will Smoke Bombs Stain Clothing?
A legitimate concern with smoke bombs at a wedding is whether they’re going to stain the wedding dress or other outfits. We’re going to level with you – yes, smoke bombs can stain clothing. However, if kept at a distance and the smoke is blowing away from you, you should get away without any staining. The trick is to get someone else to ignite the smoke bomb away from you, and not have them too close when the pictures are being taken. In theory, you could do a test run with other clothes before your wedding day, but bear in mind that different fabrics will react differently to smoke – it may not stain an old white T-shirt, but a silk wedding dress is another matter entirely. If you really want to play it safe, consider changing into another outfit for your smoke bomb wedding pictures.
Will Smoke Bombs Work At Night?
With the right lighting, smoke bombs can look incredibly dramatic for nighttime wedding photographs. But again, this is something to discuss with your wedding photographer and venue to figure out if it’s a possibility for your big day.
What Are Some Smoke Bomb Alternatives?
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.
- Holi powders, in powder or cannon format (warning: these will definitely stain clothing, and take a while to remove from hair and skin!)
- Biodegradable confetti, in confetti or cannon format
- Fireworks (nighttime only)
- Sparklers (nighttime only)
- Streamers or ribbon wands