Complete Coverage: What it means on your special day

As the autumn comes to Massachusetts the wedding season has wound down, but my thoughts are still on wedding photography. With 2013 coming up, we're going to be making a lot of changes to our packages and the ways we serve all of our wedding clients (and we'll be talking about that a lot more on this very wedding photography blog).

The biggest change is moving from an hourly wedding photography model to offering complete coverage. Starting with our Blue and Black Lavel packages, we'll include complete coverage of your wedding day rather than a set time like 8 or 10 hours.

It's certainly been an interesting road that's brought us to this point. When we first began photographing weddings in Boston and throughout New England, we typically had coverage at 5 hours. It was great for fitting in budget brides that wanted beautiful photos, but there were also a lot of bumps.

First, weddings run late. Even the most punctual people with the most precise timelines will fall prey to Murphy's Law on their wedding day, and when you're working by the hour fifteen mintes here or there starts to add up. So what happens when those five hours are up and the couple still hasn't had their first dance or even cut the cake?

A few times, we solved that problem with a quick contract extension. By the second time it happened, I had printed up these little cards with a copy of our overage clause and a little space to do some math and for the bride and groom to sign. It got easier to ask, but it never got less awkward to have to interrupt the flow of the wedding day and worry about money. It actually felt mildly like racketeering, "Oh, it's a lovely Cape Cod wedding you're having. It would be a shame if you didn't have any pictures from the reception because you didn't pay me more now."

So we moved to longer packages, 8 hours at a time that fit the weddings we were shooting a lot better even if there were little delays and hiccups along the way. It's great for 90 percent of weddings out there are still a few events where things spill over to 10 hours or more because of logistics (one wedding started in Rhode Island, had the ceremony near Boston, bridal photos in Easton and the reception in Attleboro) or spectacle.

We're making this change to make the decision easier for our clients, so they don't have to worry about how their timeline fits with their wedding coverage.

But what does complete coverage mean?

Typically, complete coverage will start an hour before the bridal gown goes on to a little after the major wedding events have wrapped up. It is not staying past last call when the DJ wraps up and that last person struggling on the dance floor finally gives up. It also does not cover weddings with multiple days of events.

This is just one of the many little changes we're making to help New England brides make the right choice for their wedding photography.