Joy, Love & Peace

Marketing executive Malissa Ladd and designer William Peace exchange nuptials in an intimate at-home wedding.

It was only a matter of time before the two creative souls were destined to meet. Five years after being introduced by a mutual friend, Malissa Ladd and Bill Peace stood at the altar of their sacred space and said, “We do.”

How does one blend a menagerie of friends, family and distinct styles of a renowned interior designer and an award-winning marketing executive to plan the wedding of the year? One peace at a time.

Immediately following their engagement, the question of “where” would follow the two into virtually every conversation about their special day. “We thought about a ‘runaway wedding’ out in the middle of an unsuspecting rancher’s field in Montana—our home away from home—at sunset, but decided to stay here where the people we cherish most in our daily lives could be there,” says Malissa. “It was all about sharing—our relationship, our home and our favorite people.”

Final wedding destination: Villa Petrol, a 100-year-old-gas-station-converted-home purchased by Bill in 2004. The couple’s private Atlanta residence offered a backdrop of beauty, ease, and sophistication—unmistakably the home of Peace.

Grammy-award winning Jerry Nettuno played the fiddle as the breathtaking bride cascaded down the aisle to the guiding hand of Gene Ladd, her father. “My dad developed a beautiful ceremony for us,” beams Malissa. “He is a wonderfully spiritual person, and having him perform the ceremony was extremely special to us both.”

Following the much-anticipated nuptials, family and friends from Kentucky, New York, Montana and Atlanta moved from the living room to an outdoor veranda, where an intimate dinner for 36 was held under a wisteria-covered arbor.

The menu (consisting of small entrees of regional meat and seafood served with local produce) was designed and prepared by Todd Annis, executive chef at Bold American Catering, “to provide our family and friends with a unique experience,” says Bill. “It was amazing.”

Enter 100 additional dynamic guests—artists, architects, designers, chefs, business professionals and restaurateurs—and the magical day culminated with music from The Whiskey Gentry, poolside specialty cocktails by Atlanta Concoctions, and a flawless cake by Virginia Rankin of Mert’s Cakes hand-delivered from Louisville, Kentucky.

As the last guest left and celebration now complete, the newlyweds crossed the threshold to their new life, knowing the enchanted day was but a glimpse of many to come.