For this month's Spotlight Series, we sit down with Nathan Willis Wedding Films. Based in the South, this wedding cinematography studio consists of a husband and wife team - Nathan and Alee - with a passion for capturing the wedding day and telling its story in a beautiful and cinematic way. Their style, in our humble opinion, is crisp with a touch of feel-good-familiarity (here and here are samples) and their work has been rightfully recognized by many big-name wedding resources. Read on for our chat with Nathan:
By now you have probably "sat" through a lifetime's worth of best man speeches. From your experience and perspective as a wedding cinematographer, can you share with us:
Your #1 best man speech pet peeve?
I feel like the best man speeches are a delicate balance of roasting and sincerity. I think it’s important that the best man give the groom a hard time about the ridiculous things he may have done in the past, but there also needs to be a lot of love in the speech. Don’t make your best man speech a full on roast!
The key ingredients to a great toast by the best man?
As a wedding cinematographer, I’m always on the hunt for a great best man speech that I can incorporate into the final wedding film. I think finding a story that represents the true character of a groom is key. What’s your favorite thing about the groom? Is he caring? Is he selfless? Is he hilarious? Whatever it is I think finding a story that personifies that characteristic is a great thing (especially if you can somehow incorporate the bride into the story). Make sure the bride knows she’s getting a great guy! I also think it’s important to talk about how happy you are (hopefully you are) that he’s finally found someone he can spend the rest of his life with.
The best/unique/most memorable thing a best man has ever done during his speech?
It’s always so great for me when I can see a sincere love between the best man and the groom. Whenever a best man or a groom gets emotional during a speech it always makes me start crying, and I almost always use it in my final film. It's always so special to see these super tough guys get a little teary eyed during their speech when they're talking about how much their friendship with the groom means. I would by no means encourage any man to fake tears during his speech, but, man, does it always get to me!
The worst thing a best man has ever done during his speech?
As I said before, I think my least favorite best men speeches are always when the best man is more concerned about making fun of the groom than he is of letting him know how happy he is for him.
How a best man is treated after giving a good speech versus a bad one?
Whenever a best man nails a speech there is always an incredible amount of emotion and excitement in the room. People are wiping away tears while also cheering and clapping. Whenever the speech falls flat it always leaves the audience feeling a awkward, unsure as to whether they should clap or not.
What advice you'd share with soon-to-be and future best men?
Be the groom’s best friend on the day of the wedding. Get him a drink if he seems nervous, give him a good pep talk before the ceremony, let him know that you are so happy for him. Also, nail that best man speech!
A big thanks to Nathan of Nathan Willis Wedding Films for taking the time to talk best man speech with us and for sharing his experiences. For more information on Nathan and his company, visit www.nathanwillisweddingfilms.com.