Fit for a Fete

Fit for a Fete

Why one couple chose TOPO’s Great Room for their wedding reception

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Kathleen Jasinskas and Charlie Hyland moved to Chapel Hill from New York City in the spring of 2014 and started looking for a venue for their October 2015 wedding before they touched down in Tar Heel country. They knew they wanted to get married at University Presbyterian Church, where they both sing in the choir, and wanted a walkable venue for the reception. After inquiring at several places along Franklin Street, the couple landed on Top of the Hill for their all-inclusive package (from linens and tables to catering and more) and the above-and-beyond staff – specifically Danielle Olcott, director of events for the Great Room. Kathleen shared her experience over lunch at Mediterranean Deli.

Photo by Allison Meder
Photo by Allison Meder

Why did you choose Top of the Hill? They just do everything for you. Cost-wise, it wasn’t that much more than using venues where you have to do everything yourself. So it seemed like, for the money, it would just be better to have someone else take care of everything. They did stuff for us that we didn’t even expect them to do. They helped us find a bartender for our rehearsal dinner, which wasn’t at Top of the Hill. Danielle put our centerpieces together herself. She was just a rock star. And all of that was included in their fee.

What was your favorite feature of the venue? I just thought the convertible layout of the space was really cool. That big room, they can turn it into anything you want. We set it up for a kind of cocktail hour with bar stools, but they can set it up for long family-style dinners or a traditional seated dinner. And then they can rotate everything. When the kids started getting antsy at the end of the night, Danielle turned our buffet room into a movie room for the kids and put “Frozen” on. She didn’t ask – she just said, “Hey, there’s a movie on for the kids if you want to let the parents know.” It was awesome.

What makes Top of the Hill rave-worthy? For us, the big thing was that we always thought we were Danielle’s first priority, even when our wedding was more than a year away. She was so on top of it, so proactive and never let a minute go by without sending an email. She was so good at everything. We were aware that she was planning like 50 other weddings at the same time as ours, but she never treated us like we were anything other than her very first concern, which was incredible.

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Assistant Editor Laura Zolman Kirk is a Kentuckian turned Chapel Hillian and totally in love with this special slice of North Carolina.