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Merlot on the Water Venue Review- Fantastic Hole-In-The-Wall Venue

Here is a review of Merlot on the Water as your wedding venue.

Please bear in mind that when I’m reviewing I’m not critiquing the couples in the photos!  I’m also not reviewing the service of the venue either.  This is purely focused on the location, the look, lighting, and options you have while onsite.

Hopefully this helps you pick out the perfect spot for your wedding!

If you are still searching for your perfect venue be sure to bookmark our List of Wedding Venues in CT!

venue spotlight


Matt and Cassandra
Miranda and Paul
during a styled shoot


68 Griffin Rd, Terryville, CT 06786, United States

phone number

+1 860-583-8670

venue type




Overall Rating 86%
Variety 70%
The Look 80%
Unique Factor 70%
Lighting 90%
Indoors 45%
Bonus - Hole-In-The-Wall 90%

The Review


Variety 70%

For the size of the place there’s actually a decent amount of variety that you’ll get in your photos.  To put it into perspective, during this shoot we had 4 photographers utilizing the entire outdoor space, and we didn’t even utilize the grass field which is perfect for the wedding party photos.

So for your portraits you will get a good amount of variety!

The Look

The Look 80%

So the overall look of the place is pretty good, the garden is well kept, they have a gorgeous fountain in the center, and while it’s a bit tight you can get some fantastic photos near the water.

So I have no complaints when it comes to the overall look.

Unique Factor

Unique Factor 70%

So this place isn’t super unique, but I didn’t dock it a ton of points because it is a more affordable venue where you can get photos near a body of water.  So because of that it receives a solid C in this category.


Lighting 90%

So the lighting here is actually VERY nice.  The sunsets over the water which is PERFECT for photos.  

The only reason why it doesn’t receive a perfect 10, is because the sun sets a bit off to the side, so photographers will have to hunt for it a little bit if they want it in a shot.  But besides that it lights the entire yard perfectly.


Indoors 45%

So the inside isn’t the selling factor of this venue, but to be honest many are not.  I’d go as far as to say that 60% of venues are not trying to sell you on an indoor wedding at all.  So it’s no surprise if a venue doesn’t get a high score in this category.

But I will give credit to Merlot because they have a couple cool spots to shoot photos at, in particular the 2 bars.

Bonus - Hole-In-The-Wall

Bonus - Hole-In-The-Wall 90%

So the bonus for this venue is that it’s a hole in the wall spot.  You would not know what this place has to offer if you was to drive by it.  And I love it for that factor!

You’d kind of have to come here to understand what I mean, but when I first was on-site I figured it would be an OK wedding venue, but then I walked inside and was kind of blown away by how much they packed in this place.

Final Thoughts

Overall Rating 86%

So if your focus is on having great photos but don’t have the budget for a super high-end location, then I HIGHLY recommend Merlot on the Water.

You can get photos near the water, there’s plenty of variety for photos.  The ground is very well kept.  Plus I didn’t mention this, and I try to avoid this effecting my reviews….but the people that run the place are GREAT to work with.  You’ll definitely have fun with them!

I Hope This Helps!

Thanks for checking this out!  This was written by Gary Pope who is the lead photographer and owner of Love Long and Prosper Photography.

If you’d like for us to shoot your wedding reach out to us!

hey there!

I’m Gary Pope, the lead photographer of Love Long and Prosper.  I’m your typical super-geeky dude turned photography enthusiast who just loves capturing quirky couples!