It’s not new news that Saratoga Springs has become one of the region’s hottest wedding destinations. While there’s a sizable list of venues where couples can get married in town, by no means does that number increase all that often. That’ll all change on Tuesday, July 30, when DeMaranville Farm and Gardens, located on Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs, joins the pack.
DeMaranville is a ten-minute drive outside of the bustle of Downtown Saratoga along Route 29. “This property is a landmark for a lot of people here,” says Mary Maranville, who co-owns the property with Kevin Dott, her partner of more than 30 years. “When we bought it, so many people told us that they always thought that it would make a great place to have events or weddings.” Ask and you shall receive. The newly renovated wedding and event space consists of a historic farmhouse; three historic, red barns (well, one’s technically a corn crib); and a large private gardens spread across six acres. Maranville has gone to great lengths to transform what was once an antique and gardening shop called Schuyler Pond into a quaint country getaway. She says that the history in the structures is a big part of the experience, too. “It’s beautiful—I have a deed that says the barn was started in 1801, and the house in 1854,” she says. “We were even told it was a dairy farm at one point.”
That really speaks to Maranville’s own past, as well as her future plans for DeMaranville. The Gansevoort native grew up on a dairy farm. “I’d really like to teach local kids about the journey milk [takes from cow to market],” she says, nodding to her plans to launch agricultural programming on the farm as well. “We’re hoping to work with King Brothers Dairy and have them bring some cows over, so we can do class field trips to the farm.”
Though DeMaranville’s business will certainly hinge on weddings and events, Maranville’s true passion is in agricultural education. She’s the CEO of Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture, a nonprofit she founded in California in 2008, with the goal of teaching kids about agriculture and modern farming practices. The nonprofit educates approximately 9000 kids a year and is growing. Over the years, Maranville’s friends and family back east encouraged her to bring the concept to the Saratoga area. “So I asked my boyfriend if he wanted to buy a barn in New York,” laughs Maranville. “I knew we could take the money that we made from the events and use it for agricultural education.”
A friend of Maranville who still lived in Saratoga recommended looking near Schuylerville, where there were a number of historic farm properties for sale. Maranville had long been an admirer of one in particular, the rustic gift-shop-in-a-barn known as Schuyler Pond, which is about midway between Schuylerville and Saratoga. She was searching for properties near there when she found that Schuyler Pond, itself, was up for sale. “At first, I couldn’t believe it,” she says. Maranville and Dott purchased the property in November of 2016 and immediately began renovations, especially on the main barn, removing an added-on second floor, putting in new custom doors and even installing an entirely new electrical system. “It was a lot,” says Maranville. “We spent over $200,000.”
Officially, DeMaranville Farm and Gardens held its first event back in the fall of 2017. However, at the time, it did not have a permanent certificate of occupancy from the City of Saratoga Springs. Maranville and Dott have spent the better part of the last two years bringing the property up to code, adding handrails and fire sprinkler systems, among other improvements. Just last month, the wedding and event space finally gained its certificate of permanent occupancy and has wasted no time in getting DeMaranville ready for the summer-fall wedding season. To this end, Maranville has teamed up with some top local talent, including Stephen “Sully” Sullivan, the President of the Olde Bryan Inn and Longfellows Hotel & Restaurant. Sullivan will act as a managing partner, helping to coordinate and plan events at DeMaranville.
DeMaranville and Longfellows’ first collaboration will be the big grand opening celebration on July 30, with a special ribbon-cutting and cocktail reception. (The event is closed to the public.) Longfellows will be catering the event with a farm-to-table menu in addition to live music and, Maranville says, maybe even a little bit of agricultural education.