The number of marriages with mail order brides in the United States has increased from 6 thousand in 1999 to about 15 thousand marriages in 2010. In 2020, the number dropped because of COVID, but the fact is foreign brides still marry more and more Americans, and mail order bride services are becoming increasingly popular.

Though marrying foreign women is pretty common, men who consider the idea of finding a wife abroad have a lot of questions about the costs, legal aspects, ladies’ motivation, the history of mail order brides, etc. We’ll discuss all this in our in-depth guide.

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Who is a mail order bride? Mail order bride meaning explained

A mail order bride is a woman looking for a foreign husband and is 100% ready to start a family in the near future, no more and no less than that. According to studies, the main thing that distinguishes mail order brides from women who are just looking for a man is that they want to expand their pool of potential partners across the borders—so, as you can see, their main motivation has nothing to do with money or immigration alone.

So, there are no mail order brides for sale—the modern online dating industry, as well as its mail order bride segment, rather works for people seeking a soulmate than connecting men looking for a girl from a less developed country who’d agree to marry them and women seeking a better life.

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What are mail order brides services?

Let’s talk about the mail order bride services in a bit more detail. In most cases, these are online dating services provided by niche mail order brides websites or regular online dating sites that accept female members from top-mail order bride countries and men from western countries.

Again, it has nothing to do with any kind of financial compensation—the only thing a man pays for is his communication, i.e., messaging, video calls, phone calls, etc. They are aimed at helping singles get closer online and start authentic relationships.

The rest depends on a couple, and though some companies arrange meetings in real life, in most cases, a mail order bride and her future husband arrange independent trips to meet offline and decide whether they are ready to take the next step and finally get married.

How do mail order brides services work?

How can a man get started and meet his final goal? Here’s the scheme that works for most men looking for mail order brides:

Doing research about mail order brides from different countries. Know what you want, and you’ll get exactly what you were dreaming of. Girls from Asian countries are not like Russian women, and Latin ladies are different from ladies from Eastern European countries. Learn more about the cultures and national characteristics to find out where you can meet the right woman.

Joining a mail order bride website. Choosing a mail order bride service or a dating site is crucially important. It must have at least a few thousand women looking for marriage with a foreign man (real women, of course), good features, and a security system. It must meet all your requirements and expectations—that’s how you can have a good online dating experience and meet your mail order bride.

Communication with foreign mail order brides, and then choosing one girlfriend. A man looking for a future wife usually approaches many ladies using various features (mails, chat, video chat, call service, etc.) to find a special woman. Usually, guys who believe they’ve already found their future mail order spouses stay on a site at least for a few months to get closer and move on to the next step.

Meeting in real life and marriage. Online dating can’t last forever, and a guy and his foreign mail order bride usually schedule a real date at a certain stage and meet in person to make sure they both made the right choice. If everything goes right, a couple meets a few more times and gets married (in most cases, couples prefer to get married in the US after a mail order bride gets a K-1 visa).

History of mail brides

Everyone going to find a bride online should learn more about the mail order bride history—that’s just the easiest way to get rid of stereotypical thoughts and misconceptions. So, here is a brief overview of significant changes in the mail order bride industry that can help you understand how it started, how it evolved, and how it is going.

  • In the 1600s, the Virginia company sponsored the emigration of the very first mail order brides in history to meet the needs of male settlers who couldn’t start a family just because there were no women. Later, 800 women emigrated to the New France colony with the same goal—to marry an American settler. At that time, men and companies really could buy mail order brides—every woman received a reward for migration and marrying an American settler.
  • In the early 1900s, there were the so-called “picture brides“—women living in other countries whose introduction to men came through an exchange of pictures in the mail. The term itself originates from the Japanese phrase shashin kekkon—the “photo marriage.”
  • In the late 1900s, more and more marriage agencies entered the dating market and found foreign women (mostly in Asia) who wanted to meet and marry American men and men from other Western countries. There was a time when a man could really open a mail order brides catalog and choose someone he’d like to communicate with and then marry.
  • In the 2000s, agencies went online and transformed into dating websites with mail order brides. The government decided to regulate such a business activity and protect mail order brides coming to the US by developing the IMBRA Act.
  • In the 2010s, the industry finally evolved into the market we have now. Everyone who’s using a mail order brides service (whether a mail order bride agency or a website) is using the dating service as it is. People meet online, and if they have similar relationship goals and really match each other, get married.

So, though there was a time when men could buy a wife, now, it’s rather about finding love than making an arrangement. 

Why women become mail order brides

So, a few centuries and even a few decades ago, mail order brides were driven mostly by financial concerns and the desire for stability. But what about a modern mail order wife? What are her goals? 

Of course, it would be wrong to generalize all intentions and motivations. Still, no matter if you ask Eastern European women, Asian brides, or Latin women about the things that made them look for foreign husbands, she’ll like to mention one or a few things from the list below:

  • Strong motivation to start a family in the near future. The primary reason why foreign women start looking for husbands on mail order brides websites is more than simple
  • Desire to avoid bad scenarios common in their countries. Poverty, adultery, and alcohol abuse often are mentioned as the most frequent reasons for divorce in a lot of places worldwide, including the countries of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Some women view finding a foreign husband as an opportunity to avoid common problems and have a happy marriage.
  • Seeking stability for their children. It would be wrong to claim that women don’t think about economic, social, and political stability. They want to raise children with a successful and reliable husband in a safe environment with lots of opportunities, and this desire is absolutely natural.
  • Dream of meeting another kind of man. A lot of mail order girlfriends and wives note the main reason why they started dating or married a foreigner was the intention to find a more reliable, loving, and respectful husband after a divorce or breakup.

So, though the motivation of mail order wives in different countries varies, in 90% of cases, it’s related to local social problems and personal previous relationship experience.

What are the most popular mail order brides countries?

As we’ve noted before, the first step a man looking for a legit mail order bride should take is to choose a place where he’s likely to meet the right woman. But what are the options? Here are the regions with the largest number of mail order wives:

  • Asia—The Philippines, Thailand, China, Vietnam
  • Eastern Europe—Ukraine, Belarus, Russia
  • Latin countries—Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela

Most mail order bride services provide an opportunity to meet ladies from one of these regions, so the only way to make the right choice is to learn more about European, Latin, and Asian mail order brides. 


Europe with mail order wives

When it comes to this continent, it’s all about its Eastern part — Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus are the countries with millions of beautiful ladies who are willing to find a man from the United States or the United Kingdom. What’s their secret?

Beauty, femininity, family. Millions of men adore the ladies from this European region because of their beauty — you’ve probably heard that the most beautiful girls live in Ukraine/Russia, right? Well, that’s not far from the truth. But it’s not the only reason why everyone loves them — they are also extremely feminine, sensitive, and caring, which makes them perfect girlfriends.

And of course, they do really value family — the absolute majority of them want to have a strong family and at least 1-2 children.

Latin America

Latin America with mail order wives

To understand why these women are so popular, you need to go to any Latin bride agency website and view the photos—the beauty of these ladies is nearly impossible to describe.

They are very exotic. They have fit bodies, beautiful facial features, and long hair. Most foreign brides from this region are also very emotional. The most popular mail-bride countries of this region are Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.


Asia with mail order wives

Asia is very diverse, and we don’t want to generalize things. In Vietnam, for instance, ladies are more friendly and sociable. In Thailand—they are caring. In the Philippines—loyal. In China—both modern and traditional are very good at reconciling their family life and career. Still, there’s at least one thing they all have in common: that unique, irresistible Asian beauty.

There are millions of attractive, romantic, and very smart ladies who want to date an American man just because, surprisingly, Western guys are simply considered manlier and more attractive overall. 

What are these ladies looking for in a man?

So, though people often call overseas girls for dating and marriage “ladies for sale”, it does not mean that a guy can buy a bride online. He still needs to attract her—having an American passport isn’t enough to make a modern mail order bride fall in love. If so, what can? Here are a few of the most important things overseas brides are likely to look for:

  • Respect. You should be a real gentleman—lots of these women believe that men are not good enough, so as an American man, you’ll have to be respectful and caring.
  • Reliability. Your financial situation is not too important, but it would be nice if you had a good career, of course. Foreign girls are rather seeking stability and a man they can fully rely on.
  • Strong desire to start a family. Show her you’re serious about your relationships—she’ll definitely appreciate that.
  • Manners. Forget dirty talks and never act like you can buy her—show you care about her personality and be nice. That’s even more important than all the above-mentioned things.

Age and appearance matter less than all that we listed above. Just keep information about the priorities of a foreign bride in mind when using the mail order bride service, and you’re likely to succeed much faster than men who don’t follow these simple unwritten rules.

How much are mail order wives cost?

So, what is the actual mail order bride cost? Let’s take a look at the table with some main expenditures and average service prices (we’ll explain how we estimated them in more detail below). 

ExpenditureAsiaLatin AmericaEastern Europe
Online dating (for a year)$1,000$1,000$1,000
Two 2-week trips to one of the countries in the region$6,000$5,000$6,000
K-1 visa (not including further application for a green card)$1,000$1,000$1,000

The only point that doesn’t need to be clarified is the cost of a K-1 visa (a mail order bride will need to get it to enter the US), but we definitely need to talk about the cost of online dating services and trips in more detail. 

💻 How much do men spend to find a mail order bride online?

Every foreign marriage agency has its own prices, so it’s impossible to predict how much you will spend. However, though it’s impossible to give exact costs, we can still say that you should be ready to spend at least several thousand dollars. If you choose a reputable website, you’ll have to buy credits or a premium subscription (usually up to $100 per month).

Don’t expect to spend less than $1,000 a year—on a top mail order bride site, you’ll pay a few dollars for one live chat session, and if you meet a future wife, you’ll need to spend some time on the platform to learn more about her and get closer before you start planning a real meeting.

✈️ I want to find mail order brides, so why pay for the trips?

Before we start answering the question, you should ask are mail order spouses illegal or not, and if not, what is so important about the legality of MOBs. Actually, online wives aren’t, but as we noted before, a girl will need to get a K-1 visa, and it’s possible only if you meet in real life. On top of that, you can find a future wife online, but marrying a stranger is not the best idea.

So, most guys prefer to go to a girl’s country at least twice, and we have already provided the approximate cost of trips to different regions in the table above. However, it’s essential to consider that the cost largely depends on the country—for example, if you go to the Philippines, you’ll hardly spend more than $2,000 on a trip, considering that tickets will cost $1,000.

But if you go to China or especially South Korea (which is much more expensive), you can spend twice as much in the best-case scenario. So, to find out the actual cost, choose the country and find the prices for each in the guides on our website.

By the way, some mail order bride services even offer romance tours—but it’s a very expensive service, of course. You’ll have to spend $3,000-$10,000 to go on a tour for 1-2 weeks without any guarantee of success, so maybe an independent trip will be a better option.

So, how much do mail order brides cost? As you can see, it mostly depends on the decisions you make, from the choice of country to your dating strategy. 

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How to find a foreign bride?

Everyone can find legitimate mail order brides online—there are a few simple steps to follow to succeed.

  1. Choose between multiple websites. There are lots of international dating sites, but not all of them are trustworthy. Moreover, not all of them can connect you with ladies from a particular country. For example, if you’re looking for Russian brides, you need to find at least 3 best mail order bride sites that have more singles from this very country and then learn more about their features to choose the best of the existing options.
  2. Creating a profile. Make it as detailed as possible—it improves your chances of meeting the right woman faster and for a lower price. Some men ignore this step, get less attention from ladies seeking severe relationships (they just think if a guy doesn’t have a photo and doesn’t write anything about himself, he’s not that motivated), and spend more time looking for a perfect match.
  3. Upgrading to premium. People say there are free mail order brides, and basically, that’s true. However, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan or buy some credits to be able to use special features and communicate with ladies.
  4. Using search and matching services. On most good niche mail order bride websites, members can look for the best matches by applying various filters and getting intelligent games. Such features can help narrow the search and meet your future wife much faster.
  5. Starting a long-distance relationship. If it seems you’ve already met a remarkable woman, get to know her better and enjoy the online romance (there are some special services like gift delivery, video chat, etc., that make communication more fun and a bit more romantic), but don’t delay your date in real life for too long.

People keep asking one question over and over again. Are mail order brides real? Yes, they are. You only need to know how to find them. 

Success stories

happy couple with asian wife
David, 50

I joined one of the mail order bride sites without any serious expectations. To be honest, that seemed to be my last resort after my last relationship that turned out to be a complete disaster. Again. I’m happy I was curious and desperate enough to give it a try—I met my future wife, she’s from Thailand, and I just couldn’t even imagine how caring and loving a woman can be. People warned me about cultural differences and said she was too hot for me. Well, we’ve been married for more than 7 years, the happiest 7 years of my life.

happy couple with latina wife
George, 41

I met a girl from Colombia recently, and I think it will finally become my first successful relationship case. She’s incredibly smart and beautiful, and we spend all evenings chatting. No awkward pauses, no stupid conversations about things that don’t matter—I really believe I found the right woman. I saw her only in video chat, but we’ve already scheduled a date, and I’m going to Colombia next month. Great country to visit, and I hope it’s also a great country to propose to a woman! I think I won’t hesitate, I just need to see her, make sure she’s the one, and well, why wait?


Mail order brides are a great option for those looking for a foreign bride. They can be a great way to meet someone new. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before choosing this route.

First, be sure to research the mail order bride industry thoroughly. There are a lot of scams out there, and you don’t want to get stuck with a Bride who isn’t compatible with you. Second, make sure that you are comfortable with the process. Mail order brides can take a while to get to you, so be patient.

With the right research and preparation, you can find a bride who is compatible with you and your lifestyle. If you are willing to take the time to find the right person, a mail order bride can be the perfect match for you.


Why you should try

Because you are looking for real mail order bride sites we have the best of them here. Our experts do their best to find and test websites that will never disappoint you.

Taking into account the fact that they are real professionals who spend hours testing and reviewing each of them, we believe that 100% of the legit bride sites you’ll find here are worth your attention. We don’t add bad and scam websites, and we are very good at sorting the good from the bad—these are the two main reasons why you should work with us.

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  • Professionalism. Our team knows how to do the job—all our experts know everything about international dating and about dating services.
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Why us?

We at know everything about international dating. Our experts are professional and honest, every website we offer has a huge bride catalog, and thousands of real ladies, and thousands of men from the United States have already used them and found love abroad.

Now, it’s easier than ever before—so you don’t have to waste your time anymore. Choose the site, sign up, and find a gorgeous foreign lady!

Erika Hartman
Erika is a life coach. She graduated college with a degree in education. Erika helped more than 500+ people gain more confidence and prepared them with lifelong skills. Most recently, she became a certified professional life coach in early 2022.
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