We occasionally get asked about hiring fog machines for weddings and before wasting anyone’s time we always check whether the fog is required to stay low to the floor. A standard fog machine will produce fog that expands in all directions to leave an even spread of fog throughout the room, and it then finally disperses gradually.
Whilst this is perfect for making lasers and other lighting look great, it’s generally not what is desired for wedding dance floors.
To create a temporary low lying fog there are generally two methods – each with their own advantages and drawbacks. The most widely known method is to use dry ice, which is actually frozen CO2. When dry ice is used it is being instantly heated to room temperature when released and this produces a cold vapour, and since heat rises, the cold vapour stays low to the floor until it warms up and disappears. As you can imagine, controlling this isn’t easy and requires experience.
The other way to create low lying fog is to use ice (yes, frozen water) to cool the fog from a (mostly) standard fog machine. This has the effect of releasing the fog low to the ground because the cool fog is heavier than the room temperature air. The main drawback with this method is that the fog will rise upwards as it warms up and, unlike dry ice, it doesn’t just disappear when it warms up – it remains in the air until it dissipates – exactly like a standard smoke machine.
Both methods require planning, even if you’re well practiced in your chosen method. Dry ice needs to be ordered to be delivered on the day that you are going to use it – otherwise it will “sublimate”, which in non-technical terms means it will warm up and expire (for the purposes that we are discussing here). If you plan to use the second method then you’ll need to make sure you have a few kilos of ice available to cool the smoke at the time you need it.
As you can see, there isn’t an easy way to create this effect so your best option is to hire a professional to take care of it. Unfortunately, this isn’t a service that we offer because we specialise in providing equipment that is easy to use for people who have no experience so it doesn’t fit in with the type of service that we offer. Whilst we can’t provide this service for you we welcome any questions about it and if you get in touch we’ll do our best to help you understand as much as we do.