Did the royal family pay $150,000 for perfect wedding weather? (Probably not)
For some big budget weddings, overcast skies and threats of rain may no longer be a concern. London-based luxury travel company Oliver's Travels is offering a service that can "100% guarantee fair weather and clear skies for your wedding day" at a cost of over $150,000.
In order to ensure clear skies, the company would deploy a team of meteorologists and pilots to perform a scientific technique called cloud seeding. According to the company's website, this weather-modification technique was developed by U.S. chemist Vincent Schaefer in the 1940s.
Silver iodide crystals dispersed into rain clouds cause them to disappear as the internal water droplets freeze, expand, and fall to the ground. The burst occurs over a period of 24 hours, but the process takes the company three weeks to accomplish in total.
The cloud seeding technique was used to prevent rain during the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Sites like Telegraph and Daily Mail speculate that the same technique was done for Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011 as well.
A storm seemed to be mounting prior to the royal wedding, but Buckingham Palace said 'no plans' to hire either cloud seeders and told the Daily Mail that nature will be let to run its own course.
Though the company claims that cloud seeding does not significantly impact the environment in a negative way, there are debates among the scientific community about "unintended consequences" that may occur as a result.
Cloud seeding can also take a dangerous turn. According to Reuters, in 2008 when Russians dropped a 55-lb sack of cement on a suburban house when trying to stop rain for the holidays.
This service is currently being offered for weddings in France but may be expanded to England and Italy if successful.
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