Stoke Place hotel mistakenly identified in wedding ban blunder

30 October 2012 by
Stoke Place hotel mistakenly identified in wedding ban blunder

A Buckinghamshire hotel could potentially lose thousands of pounds worth of lucrative wedding business after a case of mistaken identity plunged them into the national headlines.

The four-star, 34-bedroom Stoke Place hotel was named erronously in an online news story on the ITV news website as the property where wedding planner Michele Connelly inadvertently sent a future bride an e-mail saying that she and her partner were not "the type of people" who would be welcome at the hotel. The e-mail had been intended for her boss.

However, it was not Stoke Place where the unfortunate incident had occurred, but the nearby five-star, 49-bedroom Stoke Park.

The story was splashed heavily across the national tabloids, which highlighted the fact that the bride, Pauline Bailey was a glamour model who worked for an adult TV channel and her fiancé, Paul Carter, had a pierced eyebrow and two earrings.

A spokesperson for Stoke Park described the incident, which happened six months ago, as "an unfortunate matter" and said that the hotel had apologised profusely to the couple. "The comment expressed in no way reflects the opinions of Stoke Park", he said. "We are an extremely welcoming and friendly hotel, inclusive of everyone and we apologised within 24 hours to the couple. For legal reasons we are unable to comment further."

Meanwhile, Stoke Place was dragged into the incident when it was named in the news story which appeared online, via the ITV site. It took three days for the story to be correctly updated. But damage has already been done with Stoke Place's wedding planner Michelle Mehmi, receiving e-mails and telephone calls blaming her for the blunder and threatening to cancel bookings.

The confusion was undobutedly heightened as the name of the wedding planner at Stoke Park and Stoke Place was respectively Michele and Michelle. To avoid an ongoing misunderstanding, Michelle Mehmi's job title has now been changed to wedding manager.

General manager of Stoke Place, Christopher Baigent, said that while the hotel had been able to placate people who had rung in, his big concern was the potential loss of business from people who had read the story when it first appeared on the ITV website.

"We took immediate action by using Twitter to try and spread the word that it was not Stoke Place that was at the centre of the story," he explained. "However, we have no idea what long-term damage might have been done to the brand."

Stoke Place, which is owned by Tej and Sarina Dhillon, generally hosts around 60 weddings a year, each costing an average of between £14,000 and £16,000,

An ITV News spokesperson said: "We accept that we made a factual error and we apologise for this. We were informed about the mistake and took immediate steps to ensure that copy was amended both on the website and in our archive. ITV News is in direct contact with those concerned."

Stoke Park wins five stars from the AA >>

Menuwatch - Stoke Park >>

The Garden Room, Stoke Poges >>

By Janet Harmer

E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

Blogs on ]( Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[E-Newsletters]([ For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking