Meet Dr. Gary Michael

Ordained Wedding Minister, Denver Colorado

You obviously want to know something about the wedding officiant whose website you’ve taken time to visit. Here you are.

The Bargain Minister has M.A.’s in English and philosophy and a Ph.D. in humanities. He is a popular professional speaker on the topics of art, authenticity and leadership (see for information about his books, programs, and professional experience that includes acting in television commercials). Wedding guests appreciate Gary’s warmth and humor – and the way he makes everyone present feel like part of the ceremony.

What many couples are surprised to learn about Gary is  that he’s a nationally known fine artist. Take a look at

Gary is also a published author and below you can learn more about his published books. All of these books are available for sale through Gary, you can contact him here if you are interested in purchasing one or all of them.

If you’d like to purchase any of Gary’s books please contact him directly.

Journey from Little Left
Written and illustrated by Gary Michael

Journey From Little Left made the Tattered Cover’s fiction best-seller list!

A best-seller at the Tattered Cover Book Store and recipient of a prestigious EVVY award given by Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

What if your home, your friends, your very life was threatened?
What if you were a prairie dog and that threat was human indifference?

When human intrusion threatens a prairie dog colony, ten of the colony’s residents join together and set out in search of safer pasture

Among the colony is:
Hieronymous — an able but reluctant leader
Esmerelda — his feisty, self-centered sister
Corot — his wise, dreamy friend
Ozymandias — a precocious youngster

On their journey they experience high adventure, struggle with both external and internal obstacles, gain insights, and come to understand the meaning of courage, friendship, teamwork, and internal strength.Is home a place . . . or is it something we carry with us?Join this inspiring band of prairie dogs as they Journey From Little Left.


“Gary Michael has created a wonderfully endearing novel that will eventually be favorably compared with Watership Down.”

–Chuck Davis, Vice President & Relocation Specialist (retired),
Prairie Dog Action & former member of the Prairie Dog Coalition

Across a Crowded Room
From First Impressions to Authentic Connections

Part I tells how to make a fantastic first impression by greeting people with gusto, remembering their names, describing your work in an interesting way, keeping a conversation going, listening actively, and gently moving from small talk to deeper things–in short, ways to be more present for other people. Making friends is easy, keeping them requires us to be authentic.

Part II is about authenticity–what it is and how to practice it in all your relationships. Gary describes authenticity’s spiritual dimension, which includes recognition of what it means to be a “self.” He shows the value of risk, gratitude, tolerance, and forgiveness in giving shape to the free and ever unfolding beings we all are.

Excerpt from Across a Crowded Room

In a perfect relationship, the need to forgive would never arise. Because no relationship is perfect, we make a conscious choice to release the perpetrator of an injustice from further judgment, to put aside our resentment and desire for retribution, and let healing begin. We neither annul nor sugarcoat the offense. Instead we recognize it as part of the ebb and flow in the life of any relationship and agree to move forward rather than dwelling on what cannot be undone. We acknowledge the reality of the injury but accept the contrition of the person who caused it as sincere and make room for another chance.

This kind of forgiveness is authentic because it takes account of the relativity of life, including the imperfection of all our relationships and moral judgments. It also acknowledges that all of us inflict injuries on others and, therefore, stand ourselves in need of pardon. Without forgiveness, love is doomed. Without love, few of us would find much to live for.


“Busy? You’ll love Gary Michael’s book because it doesn’t waste time on academic theories that have no use in the “real world.” You’ll learn fun and fascinating ways to connect with other people in professional and social settings, and how to get every introduction off to a good start so you can turn strangers into friends. Read it and reap!”

— Sam Horn, author of “Tongue Fu!” and “ConZentrate”

“Gary Michael shows how to make friends and keep them forever. Readers of this book will enjoy more confidence in opening relationships and joy in nurturing them.”

— John Haien, Professor of philosophy

“Anyone seeking to become more truly him or herself will benefit from Gary Michael’s discussion of authenticity. Through personal experience which he candidly relates, Dr. Michael has attained profound insight. He shares it with humor and lucidity.”

–Dr Judith Briles, author of “The Confidence Factor”
“The authenticity section was eye opening. So simple and so straight to the heart of the matter. And revelation like I have never seen in a first-person narrative — in characters in a novel, yes, but not from the author’s soul right onto the page. Very courageous. The chapter on intimacy showed me a clear path, in a simple way, to the realization of what I’ve always sought in a relationship.”

—Eileen Charles Hyatt, Professional Mediator, Facilitator, and Conflict Resolution Coach

Get In Bed With Your Audience And Satisfy Them EVERY Time

Gary Michael, The Talk Doc, shows how emotional connection affects the success of public presentations as surely as private communions. In Get In Bed With Your Audience And Satisfy Them EVERY Time, Michael explains how to connect with others at a soul level.

Get in Bed With Your Audience made The Tattered Cover’s Business Best Seller list and garnered acclaim from CEO’s, speech professors, authors, and professional speakers. St. Mary’s University of Minnesota uses it for all its Communication Skills classes. Get In Bed With Your Audience shows ways a speaker can bond with an audience in a way that transforms both. “Sure, it’s about technique,” Michael says–“technique in the service of soul.”

Excerpt from Get In Bed With Your Audience And Satisfy Them EVERY Time

Chapter: AUTHENTICITY: The Soul of Speaking

A good speech has three elements: substance, sizzle, and soul.

Substance is the content–your ideas and information, maybe even wisdom.

Sizzle refers to how you package the content–humor, delivery, audio/visuals, and any other technique or device you use to make your message more interesting. Even excellent content falls flat if not well presented. Most of this book describes ways to improve your packaging–how to serve some sizzle.

Soul is about you, your relation to your audience and to yourself. It’s the emotional dimension that has to do with your sincerity, vulnerability, and care. In short, your authenticity.

I believe our foremost responsibility as speakers is to share our human identity with our audiences. That means we have our own identity–and accept it. The most important way we show self-acceptance is to forgive ourselves for having the identity we do, not some other, real or imagined, we may covet. I’d love to have Arnold Schwarzenegger’s physical stature, James Earl Jones’ gorgeous voice, the impish, twinkle-eyed smile of Michael Jordon, or the sock-your-knocks-off one Sophia Loren beams at us. But I don’t. All of us only got what we got. And that’s all we need if we just go with it all–our vision, passion, and labor. One thing we all have is an unlimited capacity for authenticity, the heart and soul of effective communication.