Connecticut

Do not book Connecticut Caterers / Saltwater Grille in Litchfield -- terrible service!

We were incredibly disappointed with the service we received from Connecticut Catering / Salt Water Grille for our wedding. There were some unbelievable rookie mistakes and our briefing requests weren't followed correctly. I would not book this company – they have only caused frustration and worry throughout the process. Our wedding wasn’t too complicated – 58 people with one well drink option at cocktail hour, a seated meal, and bottled beer and wine for drinks.

To start with, cocktail hour wasn’t ready after the ceremony and there wasn't a server in sight. There were no drinks and no really knew what was going on. Everyone was pretty shocked to find it unattended and basically bare. When drinks finally arrived, they weren’t made properly.. we still don’t understand how that happened. The only drink was a simple well drink (1/3 Pimms + 2/3 Sprite) we didn't understand they weren’t just mixed at the table. There were many gaps when there were no drinks available at all. There often weren't any staffers on the at the ceremony/cocktail hour site at all either. 

Then at dinner the Connecticut Caterers servers served starters before drinks. Even the bride and groom sat there, with food, without a drink. We actually had to ask one of the servers to serve alcohol to everyone. Then no one was serving wine during the meal. We had to keep asking or getting up to go to the bar. Every time we went to the bar, there was no one there. After dinner, it still felt unattended and didn't even have glasses to serve yourself! At one point someone had to open a bottle of sparkling wine on their own, spilling the entire bottle in the metal tub. What a waste. That's why we had servers. I found out later that this happened several times. My father actually said to me, "who is responsible for serving alcohol?"

A guest later told us that it took so long to get the main course out that the groom's parents hadn't even been served their main and other tables had finished theirs. Personally I found it awkward to eat when other people were waiting for so long, without even being served drinks. The late dessert was unacceptable. It took so long that our guests were confused and got up, thinking the meal was over. The bride (me) actually had to go to the kitchen to ask what was going on. Dinner started at 7 and it was now 9pm!

The catering blamed this on late guests (who still had both the first and second course plates) but when I went in the kitchen the desserts were not even plated yet. If this was genuinely the issue, they would have us what to do. We had to ask the DJ to tell people to wait for the dessert and to be frank, when they did come out, it wasn't nearly as good as at the tasting. And then the next day we actually had to stack the tables properly and rearrange the glasses in the crates properly.

All in all, there were far too many mistakes. My dad's date even asked if the company was a start-up. Another friend said “great wedding, terrible catering company”.. This was very embarrassing to us and should be to them too. We didn’t pay start-up prices, so why did we get start-up service?

This also affected other vendors and the amount of value we got from them. For example, the DJ couldn't play our full playlist, the photographer couldn't get the dancing shots and photos with guests that with we wanted, and they ate into limited (and expensive) photo booth time.

To be honest, compared to other caterers we spoke to, they were quite inflexible and unwilling to budge from the beginning. We thought it was worth it they said they were familiar with the hall, supposedly very experienced, and could take care of everything. We were wrong. I feel like I didn't get my money's worth. They didn't deliver the quality and professionalism promised.

To end it, we never received a reply to our post-wedding (and follow up) email detailing all of the mistakes. I’m still chasing them for even an explanation 13 days after sending my first note.

I would NOT book this Connecticut Caterers / Saltwater Grille for your event. The catering company is very important at any (catered) event and they were just plain… bad. You’re spending a lot of money and you don’t want to have any regrets!

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