HA! GREAT QUESTION...it is completely stupid, but common I think. The $800 for the private reception does actually include beer and wine so you could technically skip it, but we want to offer liquor to our guests for the wedding. But we are not doing a formal cocktail hour in between the ceremony and reception because it would be another $700 for the bar! So we're just telling people to meet in the lobby for a drink before dinner.
I could understand an extra set up fee or service charge to have a private bartender, but the $10 per person per hour is totally crazy. Our bar tab for the wedding will be over $2,000...I try not to think about it