When did wedding receptions stop being true receptions with hors d'oeuvres, light refreshment and perhaps wine, and start being formal, full course sit down dinners? For $15,000-50,000 or more couples are expected to provide a full course cocktail hour, free alcohol, a sitdown multiple-choice dinner and entertainment. In exchange for the money you spend on each guest you will, in return get, perhaps, a set of towels, a blender or a toaster. You will never recoup a fraction of what you spent . You will also get complaints about the lack of choices at cocktail hour, the type of alcohol served, the lack of choices at dinner for vegetarians, or the meat was too done or the meat wasn't done enough, the seating area and the entertainment. How did we get to the point where we basically have to bribe our family and friends with free alcohol, free food and free entertainment to have them share the most intimate moment of our life? Think how far that money would go towards your home, your retirement or a college fund for your kids and you wouldn't have to put up with the complaining. With the money you saved you could buy your own towels, blender and toaster. Of course in the end it's the couple's choice but I would like to hear how we got to this point and why we feel we need to spend these exorbitant funds to bribe our friends and family to join us on our wedding day. I have officiated many weddings and have seen that special moment between the couple lost in the drama of the criticisms and complaints about the reception.