Many people have made the uncomfortable mistake of clicking “Reply All” on a snarky personal e-mail or typing the wrong address into the recipient field, but an English hotel made an especially offensive misstep when a staff member sent an e-mail explaining the rejection of two potential patrons to the customers themselves. A wedding planner at a luxury hotel accidentally sent an e-mail insulting a couple who wanted to get married there, the BBC reports.
In the message to her manager, the wedding planner at Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire described the couple, Pauline Bailey and Paul Carty, as “not the type of people” that the hotel “would want” to get married on its grounds. Then, she CC’d Bailey on the e-mail.
“I know this probably doesn’t sound very nice, but I am trying to put this wedding off as I don’t think they are the type of people that we would want to have at Stoke Park,” the wedding planner, Michele Connelly, wrote in the e-mail, according to the BBC.
Bailey, 27, told ITV Daybreak that she was shocked when she received the e-mail after her visit to the hotel, especially because Connelly “seemed lovely” in person.
“It was devastating,” Bailey said to ITV Daybreak. “At the time it was pretty crushing, really.”
Bailey, a drug and alcohol counselor, said she and her groom-to-be had visited 15 other venues but had their hearts set on marrying at Stoke Park. She had even gushed to her relatives about the would-be wedding location. When the couple did not hear from the hotel ten days after their visit, Bailey contacted Connelly, who said she had been away on holiday. Connelly sent the stinging e-mail the following morning, the BBC notes.
For his part, 51-year-old Carty said he does not know why the hotel refused them. Bailey speculates that the rejection may stem from Carty’s eyebrow and ear piercings.
“I don’t class a few piercings being too much,” Carty, a Ministry of Defence engineer, told ITV Daybreak. “I don’t think I am too undesirable but I don’t make that decision.”
The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday that Bailey has worked as a part-time model on an adult TV channel called “Red Light Central” for the last five years. However, it is unlikely that the wedding planner knew this information beforehand. Bailey, who holds a degree in medical law, described herself as “respectable, middle-class and well-educated.”
A spokesman for the five-star hotel told the BBC that the e-mail had been sent in April and the hotel had apologized to the couple “profusely…within 24 hours of this e-mail being sent.”
“The opinions expressed were in no way a reflection of the opinions of Stoke Park,” the spokesman said. “We are an extremely welcoming and friendly hotel and we are inclusive of everyone. Everyone is welcome.”
Despite the apology and the hotel’s offer to host their wedding, Bailey and Carty have decided to marry elsewhere next June.
Christopher Scroggs, the head of litigation for a discrimination claim pursued by the couple that is now on hold, told the BBC that the couple approached the press because “the response they received from the hotel was extremely unsatisfactory.”