Your guests should say:
“That was so cool — and so THEM!”


Launch your life together with a laugh!  Justin.and Ashley’s story was a high point of their ceremony.  Photo: Beyond the Focus Photography

Launch your life together with a laugh!

Justin.and Ashley’s story was a high point of their ceremony.

Photo: Beyond the Focus Photography

Your wedding should be:

  • Joyful—celebrating a landmark of your love

  • Memorable—reflecting you as a unique couple

  • Inclusive—joining your friends & families

Do you want:

  • An occasion that’s uniquely yours – not scripted or formulaic? 

  • A ritual involving practices from diverse traditions?

  • A ceremony that is secular, or perhaps spiritual but outside mainstream religious tradition?

  • To bridge faiths or cultural traditions in a way that is respectful, yet  authentically your own?

Let's make it happen!

Contact Dan to explore the possibilities.

There's no cost or obligation.

 

Dan Henkel, officiant

We create a perfect bit of theater
at the most important moment of your life.

Vinnie trotted up with the rings when the groomsmen pretended not to have them.  How much fun can we have with YOUR wedding?  Venue: The Hawthorns Golf & Country Club, Fishers, Indiana.

Vinnie trotted up with the rings when the groomsmen pretended not to have them.

How much fun can we have with YOUR wedding?

Venue: The Hawthorns Golf & Country Club, Fishers, Indiana.

 
A unity sand ceremony can give you a keepsake. You might involve other family members in your ritual.

A unity sand ceremony can give you a keepsake. You might involve other family members in your ritual.

 
After signing your marriage certificate, Dan will register it with county officials.

After signing your marriage certificate, Dan will register it with county officials.

Your wedding is, at heart, a piece of theater. (My blog entry has more on that.)

Even a simple, completely secular ceremony should convey a sense of occasion—something special is happening! MORE

Your guests should come away saying, "That was fun and lovely—and it was totally THEM!" MORE

Let's create something special

I can share other couples' ceremonies to get your creative juices flowing. And you have your own ideas, of course. 

  • Like a certain reading? Let's use it.

  • How can we adapt these vows to make them yours?

  • Want to include rituals such as a unity candle or hand-fasting? Done!

  • Can we stay authentic to your own beliefs while respecting your families' traditions? They'll thank you.

Start with the traditions that speak to you, and take it as far as you like. 

"It's your rite!" 

How much, you ask?

My fee varies according to how much time it takes to consult, develop, rehearse and conduct your ceremony, and then file the certificate to make it official. Dan’s fee for most Indy-area weddings is $600. Travel costs are a consideration for out-of-town weddings.

You may find these resources helpful.
Let me share what I've learned!

Here's what I've learned in 20+ years of creating wedding ceremonies, boiled down to two pages of bullet points:

When we start planning your ceremony, I'll share scripts from weddings developed for other couples. You may find ideas for readings, rituals or other elements to incorporate into your own service.


Don't just tie the knot,  secure the knot!  Please consider coaching as an investment in your life together.

Don't just tie the knot, secure the knot!
Please consider coaching as an investment in your life together.

 

Premarital Coaching

I believe every couple would benefit from one or more sessions with Rachel Lamson. Premarital coaching is an opportunity to get to know one another deeply and explore hypothetical situations to avoid future marital pitfalls. Even couples with a close rapport benefit from delving into conversations they may never consider until a problem emerges.
SecureTheKnot.com

Venues
Nothing sets the tone for your wedding as much as the surroundings you choose. Here are some of my favorites among the many places I've experienced.

Photo: Summerly Photogrsaphy  Venue; The Niederhammer, Indianapolis

Photo: Summerly Photogrsaphy

Venue; The Niederhammer, Indianapolis

Courtney Sinclair Photography  Venue: Indiana Memorial Union, Bloomington, Indiana

Courtney Sinclair Photography

Venue: Indiana Memorial Union, Bloomington, Indiana

Photographers

You only get one chance for photos and videos of your wedding. Make sure you have someone with skill, experience and a style that matches your vision. 

Here are some pros I can recommend from experience. You'll find some of their work on this website and gallery.

 

 

 

Musicians & Audio Services

This guy is versatile! Mario Joven plans in Dukes of Django and numerous other bands.

This guy is versatile!
Mario Joven plans in Dukes of Django and numerous other bands.

My first involvement with weddings was as a musician (classical and folk guitar). I learned how live music can enhance a special occasion, and I'm happy to recommend these pros for your consideration.

 

 
Bokay2.jpg

Florists
Flowers appeal to multiple senses and are an essential part of the event. Here's my go-to vendor for all things floral.

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Planners & Coordinators
For a simple ceremony, you might get away with a well-organized friend wielding a clipboard. A wedding with numerous moving parts, though, needs a professional to help you plan and track it all -- or at least to provide day-of coordination. These folks can help us all relax and enjoy the moment.

Check back soon as we add more resources for you.
Enjoy planning your special day!

Each ceremony should be authentic, unique and memorable.  Venue: Salt Creek Resort & Golf Club, Nashville, Indiana

Each ceremony should be authentic, unique and memorable.

Venue: Salt Creek Resort & Golf Club, Nashville, Indiana

Dan Henkel is an experienced wedding officiant, host and emcee. He’s noted for a lighthearted, engaging way of making special moments memorable.

Dan is credentialed to officiate in Indiana and nationally. He enjoys co-officiating with his wife, Beth. It was their great joy to once officiate on their own anniversary.

Dan is an award-winning communicator for nonprofit organizations and a longtime advocate for equality, the environment and the arts. Indiana governors have recognized Dan as a Distinguished Hoosier and a Sagamore of the Wabash.

As a professional guitarist in his 20s, Dan enjoyed playing music for the signature events in people's lives. Now, it's his pleasure to help craft and conduct ceremonies that mark life's milestones.

Kiss, cling and bling—what a moment!  Venue: Industry, Indianapolis

Kiss, cling and bling—what a moment!

Venue: Industry, Indianapolis

I’m so grateful to the couples who have invited me be a part of their
most important day. Here are their reflections on our collaboration.

Venue: Mustard Seed Garden, Noblesville, IN

Venue: Mustard Seed Garden, Noblesville, IN

Dan was amazing. He helped us every step of the way. From making a unique ceremony just for us all the way to directing everyone at the rehearsal. He was professional and made it the best day ever!!
— Justin and Ashley
Venue: Sycamore Winery, Terre Haute, IN

Venue: Sycamore Winery, Terre Haute, IN

Dan and Beth Henkel officiated me and my wife’s wedding on June 14, 2019 and they were both amazing. Our ceremony was unconventional and they made it perfect. They truly care about the couples they are marrying and put their whole selves into the ceremony. It was amazing and perfect and I would recommend Dan and Beth to anyone who wants a meaningful and unique ceremony.
— Michele and Jocelyn
Dan was a delight! He was available on my husband’s birthday! He was very positive and jovial! And I would definitely recommend him to officiate your wedding! He even played our select song from his cellphone for us! Great experience all around!
— Andrea and William
Grinning in the gazebo after a sweet elopement ceremony. The second time’s a charm for Andrea and William!

Grinning in the gazebo after a sweet elopement ceremony. The second time’s a charm for Andrea and William!

Venue: Barn at Bayhorse Inn, Greenwood, Indiana

Venue: Barn at Bayhorse Inn, Greenwood, Indiana

Wow! If you are looking for the perfect officiant, Dan is your man! I met Dan at an event years before my wedding, and his personality and charm was memorable enough to make me think of him first when it came to who was going to be our officiant. Dan made our entire wedding party and family feel at ease and was captivating during the ceremony. He was crucial in the planning and was always professional. We had a perfect wedding, and Dan played a big part in making it go smoothly. I would highly recommend his services to anyone!
— Kristen and Nathan
We liked Dan from our first meeting. He had many good examples of services to inspire us, really helped us incorporate aspects of both of our faiths, and was flexible when both of our inner academic editors took over. He had great advice, was incredibly organized on the day, and was really good interacting with family.
— Anne and Kirby
Venue: Simon Reading Room, Indianapolis central library  Photo: Brittany Erwin Photography

Venue: Simon Reading Room, Indianapolis central library

Photo: Brittany Erwin Photography

Venue: Mustard Seed Gardens, Noblesville, IN

Venue: Mustard Seed Gardens, Noblesville, IN

Dan was wonderful as our officiant! It was important to my husband and I that we find someone who married everyone! It was important to us to find someone who made sure we were comfortable and let us be a part of the ceremony writing process. We ended writing most of our ceremony with Dan’s input and frequently asking for his advice!

He insisted on meeting us for a dinner with he and his wife before we started so he had a better sense of us and what we wanted included so he was very insightful. He also offered plenty of previous ceremonies for us to have a good starting place as well different ideas.

He was warm and endearing throughout the process and had perfectly relaxed and comfortable delivery during our ceremony. I can’t say enough good things about Dan and the entire year we spent planning with him and our beautiful ceremony because of him! We were so, so very blessed and grateful to find him!
— Emily and Merritt
Words cannot express how amazing of an experience we had working with Dan leading up to and during our wedding day. He came up with solutions before problems could arise, he guided us through moments when our emotions threatened to get the best of us, and long after the ceremony ended, people were still talking about how beautiful it was. The best day of our lives was made even better because Dan was right there beside us. We don’t just consider him our officiant. We consider him part of the family
— Justin and Ashley
Venue: Gallery 42, Indianapolis  Photo: Beyond the Focus Photography

Venue: Gallery 42, Indianapolis

Photo: Beyond the Focus Photography

Love is a tug of war—and everybody wins!  Venue: Purgatory Golf Club, Noblesville, IN  Photo: Sweet Cheeks Photography

Love is a tug of war—and everybody wins!

Venue: Purgatory Golf Club, Noblesville, IN

Photo: Sweet Cheeks Photography

As a lesbian couple we were so relieved to find such a caring and helpful individual to perform our wedding. He was responsive, flexible to our schedules and very understanding for all the aspects that we wanted to include in our wedding. We were so happy we chose him and highly recommend him, you won’t regret it!
— Jessica and April
Dan did an amazing job with our wedding ceremony. We met with him prior to our wedding to discuss his approach and to learn more about each other. We then worked with him to write our vows and he provided great support and guidance. He met with us for our wedding rehearsal and spent time getting to know our family during the rehearsal and at dinner afterwards. On our wedding day Dan arrived early and was very prepared. He has a calming approach and took control of the ceremony and it was flawless. He was professional but also very warm and welcoming to all of our guests. We would highly recommend Dan and consider him a friend. If you use Dan you can be assured he will do a professional job and your wedding ceremony will be something you remember the rest of your life.
— Nick and Mimi
Venue: The Hawthorns Golf Club, Carmel, Indiana  Photo: Theresa Hartsock

Venue: The Hawthorns Golf Club, Carmel, Indiana

Photo: Theresa Hartsock

Venue: The Neidhammer, Indianapolis  Photo: Summerly Photography

Venue: The Neidhammer, Indianapolis

Photo: Summerly Photography

We had Dan officiate our wedding and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the work and the grace he put in. He made our ceremony beautiful and very personalized to us. I loved how he helped us along the way leading up to the big day as it was all new to us. I especially loved how he added a religious touch for me while still keeping it pretty simple as my husband is not religious. It was absolutely beautiful and I couldn’t be more happy. He helped my special day be even more wonderful.
— Abigail, Micheal and Sammi
Dan was so great!! He helped us in every aspect of our ceremony. He checked on us throughout the process and we had an exceptional ceremeny. Thank You, Dan, for a ceremony well done. We will never forget you!!!!
— Yvonne and David
Venue: Sunken Garden, Garfield Park, Indianapolis

Venue: Sunken Garden, Garfield Park, Indianapolis

Venue: Valle Vista, Greenwood, Indiana  Photo: The Pros

Venue: Valle Vista, Greenwood, Indiana

Photo: The Pros

Choosing Dan as our officiant was one of the best decisions we made during our wedding planning journey. He was genuinely interested in getting to know us as a couple and creating the ceremony we envisioned. We specifically requested a secular ceremony that included readings, our love story, and a few different rituals. Dan accommodated all of our requests with no issue and wove them into a beautiful, cohesive ceremony that was uniquely ours. He presented us with a first draft well in advance, responded very quickly to all of our messages, and continued to work with us on drafts until we had our perfect script. Dan was also a big help in leading our rehearsal and made sure that there were no questions left unanswered by the end. His performance on our wedding day was great and we heard from several of our guests that he’d left an impression on them. For the reasons above and more, we would definitely recommend Dan to any couple looking for an officiant in the Indianapolis area or beyond.
— Krystal and Ben
Our original Officiant dropped the ball literally weeks before my wedding! Frantically, I was researching more officiants that would hopefully be available to officiate my wedding. THANK THE HEAVENS I picked Dan Henkel. Right away he was ready to take on the task, had the date available and dove right into his duties. He was always available for questions and got back to me right away. He continuously checked in on me before the wedding and covered his bases. I could not have been more pleased with how the ceremony went. Dan did not skip a beat, was loud enough, clear enough, didn’t stumble and was completely on que. Not only that but he is a very kind man as well. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a GREAT, above par officiant.
— Emily and Matt
Venue: Dye’s Walk Country Club  Photo: Sweet Cheeks Photography

Venue: Dye’s Walk Country Club

Photo: Sweet Cheeks Photography

Venue: Plum Creek Golf Club

Venue: Plum Creek Golf Club

Dan would be the perfect officiant for any ceremony! From the beginning, Dan was very warm, welcoming, and responsive. He took his time getting to know me and my husband and our wishes for the ceremony. Dan also offered unbiased insight towards our ceremony. Our friends and family loved Dan’s energy on our wedding day! We could recommend him to anyone.
— Katrina and Kam
It’s been 10 years Since Dan and his wife performed our ceremony on their wedding anniversary and I’m thankful that they were part of our day. We really got to know them and they us, and I enjoyed their company. I didn’t grow up religious, so I struggled with how to have a meaningful ceremony without falling back to what I’d seen/heard at religious weddings. Dan and Beth really helped us figure out what was right for us. It was clear that they did the ceremonies primarily because it was something they really enjoyed. My marriage is hetero, but I’m confident that Dan and Beth are warm and welcoming to LGBTQ couples as well.
— Anna and Chris
Anna_Chris1.jpg
Photo: Rebecca Tabor  Venue: Salt Creek Golf Retreat, Nashville, Indiana

Photo: Rebecca Tabor

Venue: Salt Creek Golf Retreat, Nashville, Indiana

Dan was an amazing officiant. He is open to all relationships and worked with us to create a ceremony that we will remember forever. He was also fun and made us laugh during rehearsal. He was very professional and was the perfect officiant. We would highly recommend his services for any couple looking to get married. He also helped us to make a script that was exactly what we wanted.
— Bradley and Trey
As soon as I met Dan, I got a sense of his genuine love for what he does and his sincere desire to perform a ceremony that would make us happy. In order to do that, he spent a good amount of time getting to know us and asking important questions about our beliefs, our wishes, our families, etc. We didn’t want the traditional cookie-cutter vows that everyone practically knows by heart, but we were also clueless on how to write our own vows. And quite intimidated by the thought of doing so! But Dan sent us many samples of vows and ceremonies that we were able to review. That allowed us to pick verses from the different samples in order to create our own unique version, without having to actually come up with the wording on our own. He also went above and beyond by researching my groom’s heritage (Latvian) to find some ideas for traditional customs that we could incorporate into our ceremony. I HIGHLY recommend Dan; he is helpful, funny, personable, and cares deeply about making this a great experience for everyone!
— Kerry and Chris
Photo: Janet Payne  Venue: The Sanctuary on Penn, Indianapolis

Photo: Janet Payne

Venue: The Sanctuary on Penn, Indianapolis

Heather_Robbie3.jpg
Dan was wonderful! He took the time to get to know my husband and I, along with my two daughters, to create the perfect experience at our wedding. Whether you are into a religious, spiritual, or non-religious feeling for your ceremony, Dan is your guy! We can not recommend him enough.
— Heather and Robbie
We would highly recommend Dan. He was very intuitive and created a beautiful ceremony that felt authentic to us while also respecting the various beliefs of our guests. He was also very flexible despite our busy schedules and responded quickly to emails. He offers a selection of his previous ceremonies, which was extraordinarily helpful with planning our own. He is kind, genuine, and was a delightful presence to have on our wedding day.
— Susan and Robby
George Street Photo & Video Venue: Ritz Charles, Carmel, Indiana

George Street Photo & Video
Venue: Ritz Charles, Carmel, Indiana

Courtney Sinclair Photography  Venue: Butler Winery, Bloomington, Indiana

Courtney Sinclair Photography

Venue: Butler Winery, Bloomington, Indiana

Dan Henkel was an obvious choice from the very beginning. Since our families come from very diverse backgrounds, we were concerned about having a ceremony that felt alienating to some our guests. However, Dan did a wonderful job of crafting a beautiful and inclusive ceremony that catered to so many different cultures, lifestyles, and nationalities. Throughout the planning process, we also wanted to be very intentional about having an officiant who shared similar values on marriage equality. We were so grateful to stand alongside such an incredible ally who is doing great things in our state. In addition, planning the ceremony was truly effortless. Dan was incredibly quick to respond and provided us with many previous ceremonies to work off of. He incorporated sections we liked from other ceremonies while integrating original elements that we requested. We would highly recommend Dan Henkel to any couples looking for a genuine, caring officiant.
— Niki and Grecia
Dan was wonderful to work with, and we cannot recommend him enough. We feel so incredibly lucky to have had him officiate our wedding! Planning was easy and straightforward, and Dan brought a lovely, thoughtful presence to our ceremony.
— Lisa and Cynthia
Courtney Sinclair Photography  Venue: Indiana Memorial Union, Bloomington, Indiana

Courtney Sinclair Photography

Venue: Indiana Memorial Union, Bloomington, Indiana

Venue: Balmoral Golf Club, Fishers, Indiana

Venue: Balmoral Golf Club, Fishers, Indiana

Dan is absolutely wonderful and my husband and I HIGHLY recommend him to officiate your wedding. From the first time we talked with him it was clear his goal was to make sure we were happy and comfortable. He took the time to get to know us and know our story. He also made it a point to tailor everything to exactly what we wanted for the ceremony. He was always easy to get hold of and made sure we were able to meet before the wedding. With everything to worry about on your wedding day, Dan made sure the ceremony was not one of them.
— Tara and Waylon
Dan officiated our wedding with joy, respect and a good sense of presence and direction. His perpetual smile made everything a joy! I was able to write, with his suggestions, our own service and then he performed it beautifully! We had a wonderful service filled with joy, laughter and solemnity to create the perfect wedding ceremony. Would we recommend Dan to perform your special day? Absolutely!!
— Kathy and Don
"If the ring fits, you must commit!"  Venue: Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis

"If the ring fits, you must commit!"
Venue: Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis

Jennifer Van Elk Photography  Venue: Highland Country Club, Indianapolis

Jennifer Van Elk Photography
Venue: Highland Country Club, Indianapolis

We were very happy to have Dan officiate our wedding. We wanted a nondenominational, laidback ceremony. Dan’s experience and relaxed presence made this possible. Our ceremony felt like us. We would recommend anyone to work with Dan on their special day.

— Ben and Zoe
We were so thankful to have both Dan and Beth at our wedding. Dan took the time to make sure our ceremony was exactly how we envisioned and he had ideas every step of the way to help guide us. Where Dan really shined is the day of the wedding where he kept everyone calm and organized. Dan and Beth are such an amazing resource for ceremony planning. Their passion and excitement was genuine and touching.
— Emma and Alex
Venue: Grove Haus, Indianapolis  Photo: Riley Paulsen

Venue: Grove Haus, Indianapolis

Photo: Riley Paulsen

Photo: www.whitesharkphoto.com

Photo: www.whitesharkphoto.com

Out of all of the stressful choices we made leading up to our big day, working with Dan and Beth was one of the easiest and best decisions we could have made. We can honestly say, they tailored our ceremony to us in such a beautiful way, that not only was the ceremony perfect for us—it completely transformed the hearts of those in attendance who were still on the fence about same-sex marriage. Thank you, Dan and Beth!!
— Julia and Allison
Dan’s professionalism combined with his warm nature and humor were exactly what we wanted for our wedding service. More than 10 years later, our friends still comment on how beautiful and fun our wedding service was.
— Brook and Corey
Venue: Sarkine Park, Avon, Indiana

Venue: Sarkine Park, Avon, Indiana

Venue: The Propylaeum, Indianapolis  Photo: Ryan Breeden

Venue: The Propylaeum, Indianapolis

Photo: Ryan Breeden

From the moment my husband and I met Dan and his wife, Beth, we knew Dan was the perfect fit for us. He listened and considered everything we had to say about our wishes and dreams for our wedding ceremony. He shared ideas, gave suggestions, and allowed us to be creative.
During the wedding day, Dan was part of the groom’s and groomsmen’s support system as we anxiously waited for the ceremony to begin. He spoke with eloquence and made everyone feel comfortable and excited to be in this moment. Unless you are used to performing in front of an audience, the thought of sharing your love and commitment to someone in front of so many people can seem daunting, but Dan created a smooth ebb and flow that allowed us to be fully enraptured in our moment.
— Jacquie and Tom
 
Dan Henkel performed our special wedding service. He worked closely with us on everything from wording to music to timing. He cares about making your service special for you. I highly recommend Dan.
— Alice and Bruce
Advocating equality -- celebrating progress.  Venue: Indiana LGBT Wedding Expo

Advocating equality -- celebrating progress.
Venue: Indiana LGBT Wedding Expo

When marriage equality was affirmed, Indiana rejoiced. The celebration continues as couples profess their love – now legally recognized – before friends and family. As an equality activist, PFLAG dad and longtime wedding officiant, I’m here for you.

My first ceremony as an officiant (1995) had two brides. The next had two grooms. Over the years, it's been my privilege – sometimes co-officiating with my wife, Beth – to help loving same-sex and mixed-sex couples unite. To me, each union is unique and personal, and each holds the universal hope for a rich life together.

I'm a member of the Indy Rainbow Chamber and proud to support Indianapolis PFLAG, Indiana Equality, Indianapolis Pride, Indiana Youth Group, Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign.

Let’s discuss the possibilities.

Whether or not I have a role in starting your life together, please accept my congratulations and best wishes.

I am based in central Indiana and happy to travel for your ceremony.

My fee varies according to how much time it takes to consult, develop, rehearse and conduct your ceremony. The fee for most Indy-area weddings is about $500. Travel costs are a consideration for out-of-town weddings.

Dan Henkel, officiant

To begin planning or just ask questions, please start by sending an email or a message on Facebook (@DanHenkelOfficiant).

I'll get back with you quickly. (There's no obligation, of course.)

Dan and Beth created their own wedding ceremony in 1981 and enjoy serving as co-officiants.

Dan and Beth created their own wedding ceremony in 1981 and enjoy serving as co-officiants.