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The best smoke bomb wedding guide!

You want the best smoke bomb wedding photo?

We love a smoke bomb wedding and wanted to put together a guide to ensure you’ll get the best results safely and easily. We’ve used smoke bombs for weddings, engagement shoot and some of our artsy stuff we do on our downtime; but we wanted to get the low-down on smoke bombs from the real experts.

Here’s our guide with some expert advice from Tim Seaton, chief smoke wizard at the best smoke bomb manufacturer Enola Gaye.

this chart by enola gaye smoke bombs shows which smoke bombs to choose for your wedding based on smoke time and smoke size

Tips for smoke bomb wedding photos.

  • Safety first – Unsurprisingly top of the list, smoke bombs aren’t crazy dangerous, but nobody wants accidents on their wedding day, be safe.
  • Check with your wedding venue – Be sure to ask if it’s ok to use smoke bombs on their land, most are cool with it but they may need to let neighbours etc know so as not to cause a panic!
  • Buy the best smoke bombs – Enola Gaye are the best. You only get one shot at this.
  • Read the instructions – They’re simple but be sure of what you’re doing.
  • Plan the place and pose – This will affect the look and success of the photo.
a couple have a portrait photograph taken after their octagon barn wedding reception. they are facing the camera and holding one orange and one cyan smoke bomb against the blue sky

Smoke bomb expert Tim Seaton’s Q&A

Tim, thanks for helping out here. Can you give us some answers to questions couples have asked us about smoke bombs at their weddings ?

Q. How long has Enola Gaye been in the smoke bomb business and how did it get started? 

A. We have been making smoke effects for over 27 years. We are based in Berkshire, England. Back in the late 1990’s Jim was running a paintball site called Hot Shots. Things were going well but it felt like something was missing. Jim realised that he could develop products that would add an extra layer of atmosphere and realism to the games. Fairly swiftly the Liberty Smoke Grenade was born.  For a long time, the paintball and airsoft industries were our biggest customers and we developed numerous smoke and bang products with them in mind. However, in recent years we’ve seen an exponential increase in customers from other industries such as the movie industry and photographers. This has resulted in more innovation and refinement of our products. 

Q. Can I use smoke bombs indoors?

A. You can’t use smoke bombs indoors. They need to be used in well-ventilated areas. Smoke bombs emit tiny particles of colour. When these particles are condensed in a confined space they will cause permanent staining to floors, ceilings, and upholstery.  

Q. Will coloured smoke stain clothing or my wedding dress? 

A. The simple answer is that it is possible but the further away the smoke is, the less likelihood of staining. If you are using them as directed, clothing shouldn’t be stained even if you come into contact with the smoke (as long as you are over 2 meters away from the device). 

a newly engaged couple celebrate with a kiss at cart gap beach in norfolk, they are both holding green smoke bombs

Q. What’s the coolest application of your smoke bombs in film/TV etc.?

A. We’re fortunate to collaborate with several artists such as Butch Locsin and Marcus Dove who produce amazing work with our products. It’s always great to see our products making their way into mainstream media like Top Gear and The Walking Dead. Ultimately this question is subjective. I just asked the people in the office, and we can’t all agree on the same thing. Tim likes seeing the Red Bull skydive team proximity flying down mountains leaving a trail of smoke behind them. Ash loves to see massive paintball events engulfed in smoke as far as the eye can see. Bob loves it when the Gumball Rally roll into a city surrounded by our smoke. 

Q. Are Smoke grenades dangerous? 

A. Smoke bombs are not dangerous if they are used correctly, and the instructions are followed.  EG smoke bombs rarely fail. If they do fail the most common cause of failure is non ignition (this is not dangerous but remember to dispose of the product safely by soaking it in water).  

Q. Are there any laws we’d be breaking if we used smoke bombs on our wedding day?  

A. The use of smoke bombs may be subject to local regulations or laws, which can vary depending on your location. In some areas, their use may be restricted or prohibited altogether, especially in public spaces or crowded areas. Although it is legal to use smoke bombs on private property, some venues may have their own policies regarding their use. Before incorporating smoke bombs into your wedding photography, it’s important to check with your venue to ensure that you are not breaking any of their regulations. You may also want to consult with a professional photographer who has experience working with smoke bombs to ensure that you are using them safely and effectively. 

A couple kiss in the dunes at a norfolk beach as the lady holds a black smoke bomb in the air

Q. Does a longer burn time mean a greater volume of smoke per second or the same volume for a longer time?  

A. This is a good question. A longer burn time doesn’t necessarily mean a greater volume of smoke or the same volume for more time. It all depends on which product you are using. The EG25 produces the least amount of smoke but burns for longer than a Twin Vent 2 (which puts out the same amount of smoke as a WP40). An EG18X puts out roughly the same amount of smoke as an EG18 but does it in around half the time. Hopefully the image below will clarify everything a bit. 

Q. What’s the best thing about working at EG? 

A. Jim has always promoted a good work/life balance. We don’t sit here at 4:40 in the afternoon watching the clock waiting for 5:00 and home time. If we are on top of our work and want to go home, then we do. The working hours are flexible and fit around our families and hobbies and interests outside of work. Happy staff who enjoy what they do tend to take care of themselves, motivate themselves, and take pride in their work. There’s a sense of trust and freedom here which makes us want to do our best and give as much as we can. 

Q. Do you have any funny stories about the EG brand/business? 

A. EG is a relaxed fun place to work, there are all sorts of funny stories but most of them end with the sentence “you really had to be there”. One story that springs to mind though is the time our Head of IT, who was notorious for turning up (very) late, was pranked by our Photographer, Ash. Ash took to Photoshop and added a clocking in machine next to the front door. He posted it to our company WhatsApp chat. Everyone was in on the joke apart from the Head of IT who lost his mind! He said he was going to quit if we needed to start clocking in and out due to the lack of trust it represented. It took him days to recover from the trauma. 

Again, our thanks to Tim Seaton and the folks at Enola Gaye. We’ve been using EG smoke bombs for more than a decade and always had great results. Here’s the link to their store.

Our thoughts on how to get smoke bomb photos ‘just right’.

If you’ve followed the tips above and read Tim’s advice you’re already on track for success. Here are a few extra pointers to consider.

example of an artsy shot as a lady stands facing up with eyes closed and a red smoke bomb swirls around her
  • Buy plenty of smoke bombs – This gives more chances of the perfect shot, they aren’t madly expensive anyway. We’d suggest for a two person shot to buy two grenades each minimum. If you’re planning on a bigger number of folks (bridal party for instance) have one each and a couple of spares too.
  • Pick a sheltered place if it’s windy – The smoke will blow away in seconds in a stiff breeze. Some shelter will help keep the smoke in one place for the photo.
  • Dark backgrounds FTW – All that lovely colour will stand out best against a darker background. A wall, barn door or hedges work well.
  • Decide if you want to hold the smoke or have it behind you on the floor – Outstretched arms if cool but having a crazy colourful backdrop is cool too!
  • Clean up your mess – Dispose of your empty smoke bombs responsibly. We can’t bear leaving litter anywhere.
Couple have a wedding portrait in a field in norfolk the groom is holding an orange smoke bomb as they kiss

If you’re planning on having a smoke bomb wedding or generally planning your wedding go check out our planning tips and expert guides here. We’d love to hear all about it, so do get in touch.


    Neil Plumb

    Neil Plumb is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Norfolk. With a decade of experience, he is known for his exceptional talent in capturing heartfelt moments and genuine emotions. Neil's vibrant personality, infectious energy, and remarkable organisational skills ensure flawless execution and entertaining experiences for couples and guests alike. His unique blend of creativity and charisma makes him the perfect choice for capturing unforgettable memories filled with laughter and joy.