Mail Order Brides: Portrait, Costs & Ways to Find a Foreign Wife in 2024

Ellen Withrow
Mail Order Bride-US
21 min read4 days ago

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Some say that mail order brides are a relic of the past. It’s not exactly true — people won’t give up on the idea of finding a partner in another country, but the mail order bride industry has changed a lot. In this guide, I’m going to discuss those changes and make a psychological portrait of a modern foreign wife.

  • ❤️ Success rate: ~75
  • 🌎 Best countries to meet mail order wives: Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Ukraine, Mexico, Brazil
  • 💳 Average cost of mail order bride: $6,000
  • 👩 Average age of foreign brides for marriage: 25
  • 📱 Best site to find a mail order bride: SofiaDate
  • 💔 Average divorce rate: ~25

Best Mail Order Bride Sites in 2024*

I’ve made a list of top mail order bride sites. Take a look at all the best options, and if some seem interesting, learn more about the platform.

  1. SofiaDate — best for dating European singles & best overall
  2. SakuraDate — best for dating Asian singles
  3. La Date — best for dating Latin Singles
  4. TheLuckyDate — best for social media users
  5. LatiDate — best for initiating first contacts

“At the moment, SofiaDate can be considered the number one mail order bride platform. It works best for men looking for Eastern European women but has members from other regions, too. There are special features like audio and video messaging, the policies are transparent, and all new members get bonus credits to test the website for free.”

What Is a Mail Order Bride?

A modern mail order bride is a foreign woman who’s looking for a foreign husband. She doesn’t receive and isn’t interested in any kind of financial compensation — her main goal is to find a partner and start a family, and her motivation to do it abroad is usually explained by multiple psychological, social, cultural, and economic reasons that usually make her believe she has a better chance for a happy marriage with someone from another cultural environment.

Are Mail Order Brides Real

Yes, mail order brides are real. Though modern mail order brides are different from mail order wives of the past, in particular, because they don’t receive any financial compensation and don’t get married just to immigrate, there are a lot of women who are intentionally looking for foreign men through mail order brides services and on mail order bride websites.

How Do Mail Order Brides Work

A woman chooses a mail order bride service and provides detailed information about herself, as well as shares photos and videos. Then he gets access to a platform that works pretty much like a regular dating site. A man does the same thing, and they meet online. The rest depends on them, but all mail order brides and potential grooms build authentic romantic relationships and meet offline (usually in a bride’s country) before they decide to get married.

Is It Legal to Mail Order a Bride?

There’s no way to place a “bride order” on mail order bride websites. There’s no way to pay a fixed sum of money and get a mail order bride. Men can only meet foreign women who want to settle down and start a family on international dating sites, date them, and if everything goes well, get married. Mail order marriages are just regular marriages between foreigners, and the only difference is that they meet through mail order bride services designed specifically to connect marriage-minded international singles.

How to Find a Mail Order Bride: Best Way to Meet Foreign Brides

Recent studies have shown that modern couples are more likely to meet online than through personal contacts and connections. It’s easy to explain, especially when it comes to middle-aged people who didn’t meet a partner at college, work, or through friends or broke up with this partner. Also, modern people tend to use more rational and technological approaches in everything, including the search for a perfect match.

However, singles looking for local partners are in a different situation compared to singles looking for foreign matches. The local dating scenario is simple — you meet someone attractive based on your main criteria, chat a bit to make sure you didn’t go wrong with your choice, and then meet in real life. Things are way more complex when it comes to international dating. It’s not just about the difficulty of building an emotional connection online but also about multiple other criteria, from safety to the availability of advanced communication features.

That’s why niche mail order bride sites work best for most users who are really motivated to start a family with someone special in the near future — they have the right user bases, provide advanced communication services, set strict moderation and verification rules, and create a favorable environment for singles overall.

“The international online dating market is very diverse. Mail order brides services and sites fall under multiple categories, but the most important criterion is the location. Usually, top mail order brides websites connect men with women from Asia, Latin America, or Eastern Europe, and I’ve selected the top 3 most promising platforms from each category:

SofiaDate — best for finding a Slavic mail order bride

SakuraDate — best for meeting Filipina mail order brides, Thai brides, and women from other Asian countries

LatiDate — best for finding love in Latin America

All these sites have good user bases, special features like audio and video messaging, detailed profiles, and some bonuses for newcomers, so if you’d like to find real mail order brides and don’t know where to start, choose the region and the website and test the service that can connect you with women who meet your criteria and expectations.”

Alternative Ways to Find a Mail Order Bride

Though mail order bride services work best for singles motivated to find a foreign partner, there are alternative solutions, too. Just like mail order bride websites, they have both pros and cons, and the question is in which case the pros will outweigh the cons for you personally.

🩷 Mainstream dating sites

Most mainstream apps like Tinder have members worldwide. Though most users are looking for local matches, there’s still a chance to find a foreign partner, too.

Pros & cons of mainstream dating sites:

➕ Messaging is usually free

➕ Huge user bases

➕ Good interface and usability

➖ Hard to find a user interested in a cross-cultural relationship

➖ Worse moderation compared to niche website

📱 Social media & networking sites

Instagram and Facebook have more users than any dating sites, and some can use this advantage to find a perfect foreign match.

Pros & cons of social media & networking sites:

➕ Completely free to use

➕ Opportunity to learn a lot about a user

➕ Search & chat are available

➖ Not so easy to find a single person interested in a relationship

➖ Success largely depends on luck

✈️ Independent trips

One can also just go to another country and stay there for a few months or even immigrate and meet local singles in real life.

Pros & cons of independent trips:

➕ Good opportunity to know the culture

➕ Direct communication with locals

➖ Too expensive and risky for most men

➖ No guarantee to find a wife

👩‍❤️‍👨 Meeting foreign women in your home country

Some men prefer to meet women who’ve already immigrated on their own, and this option also has both pros and cons.

Pros & cons of searching for a bride in a home country:

➕ Completely free way to find a wife

➕ No cultural assimilation

➕ No long-distance relationship stage

➖ Small “target group”

Everything depends on luck

As you can see, there are enough options to choose from. You only need to set priorities and make a choice based on your own expectations about the experience.

How to Get a Mail Order Bride?

Every person develops their own strategy and makes their own choices. However, the algorithm for getting a mail order bride still exists, and it includes the following steps.

1. Choose the right mail order brides service or international dating site

“Choose the region first — most mail order bride sites have specific target audiences. For example, Sofia Date can connect you with Russian mail order brides or Ukrainian women, LatiDate is for Latin women, SakuraDate works for Asian singles, etc. But don’t make a user base your one and only criteria. Consider pricing policy, profile quality, and availability of the best communication features, too.”

2. Test the platform before making the first purchase

“Sites like SofiaDate offer free credits and have multiple free features that let you see mail order brides and talk to them before you spend real money. Use this opportunity to find out if the site will really work well for you.”

3. Learn how to use search filters and matchmaking services

“Let’s say you join one of the international dating sites like LatiDate. Plenty of profiles of gorgeous women will be the first thing you’ll see, but contacting random mail order brides will be too expensive. Optimize your own strategy using search & matchmaking features. On top international dating sites, they’re usually free.”

4. Make your first connections on the site

“Communicate, communicate, and communicate. If you choose potential partners carefully, you’re likely to find that special person much sooner.”

5. Use more advanced features to start a relationship

“Once you realize that a mail order bride you’re now talking to may be the one, consider using more advanced features. For example, on SakuraDate, it’s audio and video messaging. They cost a bit more than texting but work much better for those who want to build a deep emotional connection with someone special.”

6. Plan a date IRL

“It takes some time to get to know a mail order bride better and start a long-distance relationship. Just don’t make that online stage last for too long. You’ll need to find out if there’s chemistry between you IRL one day anyways, so don’t be afraid to take the next step and take your relationship to a new level.”

Best Regions to Find Legit Mail Order Brides

Now you know how to find a foreign wife, but another important question is where you’ll have the best chance to meet your dream woman. It’s no secret that such a possibility is higher in certain areas and lower in others, so let’s take a look at the top-3 best regions to meet foreign brides first.

Asia

Many people associate the best foreign brides with Asia, and it’s hard to say they’re wrong. Asia is very diverse, and marriage immigration rates aren’t equal, but a man can find a real mail order bride pretty much in every region — in South Asia, Central Asia, East and SouthEast Asia. The fact is around 15,000 Asian women come to the US yearly to marry American citizens, and this number isn’t going to decline. Though you can find a mail order bride in every part of the continent, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, China, and India are considered to be the top countries to find a foreign bride.

Eastern Europe

In the case of Europe, there’s a difference between regions. Though you can meet a bride in the Western part of the continent, most men find their future wives in Eastern Europe or Central Europe. In particular, the number of marriage immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, and other Eastern European countries reached 2,000 in 2019, and considering these are mostly small countries, it’s impressive enough.

North America, South America, and the Caribbean.

The number of mail order brides immigrating to the US from South America and North America in 2019 was close to 7,000. Most men find their future spouses in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Colombia.

  • 🩷Best Latin website: LaDate

The best mail order brides sites usually accept members from one of these regions, so if you’re going to use mail order brides services, you need to choose the continent first.

Best Countries to Meet a Real Mail Order Bride

Every region has its leading country with the highest number of intercultural marriages and higher marriage immigration rates. Basically, these are the best places to find an Asian, Eastern European, or Latin wife, and currently, they are as follows:

🇵🇭 The Philippines

The Philippines is a country with a rich history of intermarriages. There, they’re not stigmatized and even are socially encouraged, so many local women see finding a foreigner not as something extraordinary but as just one of the pretty good options.

🇺🇦 Ukraine

Ukraine is now the number one country to meet Eastern European brides. Around a thousand local women immigrate to the US to get married yearly, let alone other countries, and they’re rightfully considered some of the most beautiful, well-educated, and loving women.

🇲🇽 Mexico

Mexico is geographically close to the US, and labor immigration is common — no wonder people there don’t stigmatize cross-cultural marriages. The number of women marrying Americans is steadily high, and it’s expected to grow further.

You can find mail order brides in any of the above-listed and multiple other countries. The trick is to learn as much as possible about the cultures and make the right choice.

How Much Is a Mail Order Bride? Foreign Bride Price

Note that the term mail order bride cost refers only to the total amount that a man spends while searching for a mail order bride, communicating with potential mail order wives on the site, trips, wedding, etc. There’s no way a man can make a direct purchase or pay a fixed price for a foreign woman — such kind of activity is illegal in every country of the world.

The decision to marry a mail order bride is a serious step in life, so you should plan it accordingly. Budget planning must begin before and not after you start searching for your perfect match, and the major expenditures are as follows (I also provide the approximate average prices, but there are a lot of things that may affect the cost):

  • $1,200. Online dating expenses, the cost of using a niche mail order bride site or a dating site with single women from a particular country/region
  • $3,000-$8,000. Trips to a mail order bride’s country or a third country where you plan to meet a girlfriend you’ve found online
  • $1,200. K-1 visa to the United States (getting an adjustment status not included )

So, the approximate minimal price for getting a bride is around $5,000. Note that it may vary greatly from country to country. Here are also some approximate costs for finding a mail order wife in three top regions to consider:

  • Asia — $8,000-$20,000
  • Slavic countries — $6,000-$9,000
  • Latin America — $6,000-$9,000

Again, these are just the figures to base on. The total cost will depend on lots of factors, from the country where a mail order bride is from to the number of your trips and hotels you prefer to stay at. Of course, it will also depend on how effective your dating site is.

“If you’re looking for the most cost-effective solution and want to pay a reasonable price for online dating, take a look at the following sites:

SofiaDate — best for meeting Slavic mail order brides

SakuraDate — best for meeting Asian mail order brides

LatiDate — best for meeting Latin mail order brides

Each of these websites has some generous bonuses for newcomers, multiple credit packages, and regular discounts for members. Also, the pricing policies are transparent, so you can estimate the approximate cost of online dating services even before you make your first purchase.”

Tips on How to Save Money

Making spontaneous and emotional choices is natural, but it doesn’t mean we always must listen to our emotional side. Being rational can also be beneficial, especially if you’re going to cut a mail order bride price.

  1. Control your gift spending. You don’t have to try to attract a mail order bride with gifts, especially at the early stages. Make a gift for someone you’re sure is special, not for random beauties on a mail order bride site.
  2. Choose the cheaper country to meet a foreign bride. It doesn’t have to be your country or your girlfriend’s country. For example, if she’s from an expensive place like Japan, you can meet her in Vietnam.
  3. Estimate the cost of online dating services before you start spending money. A good mail order brides service will provide you with accurate fees for using every single feature. Estimate how much you’re going to spend in a month and improve your dating strategy, if necessary.

Such simple steps can help you not only save your money but also make more right and conscious decisions just because you won’t do something just because you feel such an impulse.

Success Stories

“I’ve never thought I’ll be looking for overseas brides. I dated American women and even married one of them, but obviously, things didn’t work that well for both of us. The divorce was horrible, and my 5-year-old stayed with his mom. After a year of depression, I decided it was time to move on and start going on dates. Some were good, some were bad, but no one was special. No one met my criteria. I wanted a woman who’d be more family-minded than self-centered, so a friend of mine asked me why didn’t look for her in another country. I had doubts, but it worked. I made a lot of mistakes and spent thousands of dollars on the wrong mail order brides sites, but I finally ended up marrying the right woman. My wife is from Vietnam, and she’s kinder and more loving than anyone I’ve ever met in my life.”

“At a certain stage of my life, I was more than surprised to find out that I was now in my early forties. It was time to start a family, so I went on a dating site with Ukrainian mail order brides. I’ve been using Tinder a lot before and had many fun dates and short-term relationships, but I was looking for a wife, so I had some criteria. I knew I wanted a beautiful wife, a loving wife, and a wife who puts family first. I have a good job and have much to offer, but I want a girl to have what to offer to me, too. It’s been a year since I registered on the site SofiaDate, and I just came back from Poland, where I first met my GF, so yes, I think I’m getting married now. She’s everything I expected and more. Such a girl would date a millionaire in the US btw, but I guess I’ll put a ring on her finger.”

Cons of Finding a Foreign Bride

A mail-order bride scenario may be good, but it’s not perfect. Here are some of the problems that a man may face:

  • Language barrier & cultural differences
  • The long-distance relationship stage
  • Failure to get emotionally close enough before you get married

Overcoming the Difficulties

Intercultural couples who could build a happy and healthy relationship note that they just focused more on their similarities rather than on their differences, and that made them a lot stronger. It makes a lot of sense, considering that when partners decide to get married, they are happy — they have similar interests, goals, and expectations, but couples who can’t make it just stop noticing that at a certain stage. If you remember how much you have in common, how many things you like about each other, and are patient enough and ready to compromise, your cross-cultural relationship will be super strong, stronger than most relationships between people born and raised in the same cultural environment.

Mail Order Bride Stories: The Interview

In my opinion, the best way to learn everything but a foreign mail order bride is to ask her about her motivation, dreams, expectations, and lifestyle. That’s why I registered on SofiaDate and met Inna, who agreed to share some insights into the world of modern foreign wives.

Q: Inna, I’ve read your bio. You seem confident, and undoubtedly, you’re attractive. So what made you look for love on mail order bride sites?

A: Thank you! Well, I really believe that I have much to offer to a man, but I also believe that it should be appreciated. Here’s how it often works in my home country. A guy is looking for a tender, feminine, yet hardworking woman who’ll work full-time, do household chores, and take care of him and his children. I have no problem with that, but at the safe time, many modern men forget that they also should be defenders and providers. It’s not about the budget. It’s about family roles.

Also, I’m 28. I don’t have that much time to start a family. At least, our cultural norms say so. Guys on Tinder want love, but they don’t want responsibility. I just think I have a better chance of finding a man who’s ready to settle down abroad, and I don’t mind if he’s older.

Q: Do you have a good career in Khmel’nyts’kyy? Is it important for you, and aren’t you afraid to become just a housewife after you get married and immigrate to another country?

A: Yes, I have a good career and a lot of orders in my home city. However, I’m a photographer. I don’t think I need something but a good portfolio and Instagram page to achieve success in another country. Yes, I’ll have to learn the language if my future husband will be, for example, Portuguese, but I think it’s not such a big problem. I don’t want to quit photography. I think I’ll still be able to work part-time when I get pregnant, and I’ll return to work when my kid goes to kindergarten.

Q: For how long have you been registered on the mail order bride platform? What’s the experience like?

A: I’ve been here for just two months, and I like the experience. I can’t say I’ve already found the love of my life, but I met a few good men, and even if things don’t work with the guy I’m now chatting with, I believe I’ll meet someone anyways. I also must admit there are fewer weirdos than on most dating apps here, and I appreciate that. There were a few guys who seemed to be interested in sexting, but it’s nothing compared to all those men who ask you to send them nudes on Tinder.

Q: What kind of man are you looking for, and what can make you block a guy on the site?

A: I’m looking for a man who’s more into a traditional family model but with some improvements. I don’t want to stay at home 24/7 and be completely reliant and dependent on my husband, but I want to meet a strong guy, a defender, and I’m ready to be the most loving girl for him and no one but him. I block men who just want cyber sex, men who act like they can buy me, and those who seem to pay no attention to my personality and just compliment me, you know. It’s better than nudes requests, but such conversations just don’t go anywhere.

Q: Is it okay for you to be a mail order bride? What do your family and friends think of your decision?

A: My parents just know I consider dating a foreigner, and they are okay with that. My friends know more, and they didn’t seem to be happy at first. It took time for me to explain that I’m not going to list myself in any kind of a mail order bride catalog. Stereotypes are still strong, and even my friends thought that I was going to immigrate to marry an old rich man I didn’t even like and wondered why? I said that’s not going to happen. I’m going to marry a man I love, and that’s all. When I explained this, they were just like, okay, we heard you, no worries now.

Why do Foreign Women Look for Foreign Husbands?

A man can’t order a wife online not only because it’s illegal. The thing is that the motivation of modern women from Eastern European countries, Asia, or Latin America doesn’t have much to do with money or the fact of immigration as is. They’re looking for different things, but it’s always something that is too difficult to get in their home country. Many modern brides are looking for men who are ready to settle down and start a family not in 5 years but in the near future, many want to avoid negative social trends like the impact of machismo culture, and some women like Inna want to start a more traditional family with good old (yet a bit modernized) family role distribution.

Mail Order Bride Statistics

Sometimes, figures tell more than works, and here are some illustrative statistics on the mail order bride industry.

  • About 10,000 mail order brides marry American men yearly.
  • The divorce rate is lower than the average American divorce rate overall. It’s around 35.8% and 41.3% percent compared to the national average of around 48%.
  • Most mail order brides don’t think that age difference is important. In foreign-American couples, it usually ranges from 1 to 12 years.
  • Most mail order brides marry young. Asian brides are often the youngest (19–25, not including South Korea), while the European brides are the oldest (25 y.o. is the average age for Eastern Europe and 30 y.o. for Western Europe).
  • Most women don’t have kids from previous marriages. Only around 10% of brides immigrate with children.

As you can see, this information differs a lot from what people are often saying about foreign brides.

Mail Order Bride Scam

According to the statistics provided by the Federal Trade Commission, over 70,000 people became the victims of romance scams in 2022. The danger is real, and it shouldn’t be ignored by those who are going to choose and use a mail order bride website. Here are some major types of scams you can face on such platforms:

  • ⚠️ Fake messaging. That’s how a mail order bride site can scam you — you’ll be receiving hundreds of emails (usually weird, often the same from different women) and forced to pay for replying to them.
  • ⚠️ Personal data scams. That’s the scam that’s harder to track for the site’s administration. Another user can just ask you to share some personal or financial data for various reasons or just send you phishing links.
  • ⚠️ Fake mail order brides in trouble. It’s the most common type of scam. You meet a mail order bride, and she seems to be in love despite you knowing each other for a fairly short time; you develop a strong emotional connection, and suddenly, she gets in trouble and asks you to send her some money and help her.
  • ⚠️ Blackmailing. It’s rare, but it happens. If you share any sensitive and explicit media with someone you’ve met online, these files and/or information can be used to blackmail you, especially if a scammer can easily find your page on social media or networking sites.

And here’s how you can protect yourself when looking for a legit mail order bride online:

  1. ❗ Don’t share any information your potential date shouldn’t know about you, from your address to your credit card number.
  2. ❗ Don’t reply to messages that seem weird.
  3. ❗ If something in the bio contradicts something a person is telling you, stop communicating with a user.
  4. ❗ Check photos to make sure they are real and not stolen from someone’s social media page.
  5. ❗ Whatever happens, never send money to anyone.

If you’re going to find foreign wife, you should be cautious and even skeptical. If things are too good to be true, it’s definitely a red flag.

How to Take Foreign Bride to the US

Are mail order brides legal? Yes, but you need to be aware of the legal procedure of inviting a mail order wife to the US. There are certain rules to follow, and I explain the most important of them below.

  • Applying for a visa. Most foreign brides get a K-1 visa after their foreign boyfriends propose to them. This is the visa that allows a foreign fiance(e) to enter the country and then get married to their American partner within 90 days.
  • Filing the application. A groom is the one who files Form I-129F Petition, and when it’s approved, the NVC sends the case to the US Embassy in the bride’s country.
  • Collecting documents and having an interview. A bride needs to have an interview with a representative of the immigration service and provide documents, including the completed Form DS-160, passport, birth certificate, evidence of relationship, payment of fees, divorce or death certificate, police certificates, medical examination, and evidence of financial support (Form I-134).
  • Immigration. Once the application is approved, the visa is granted, and a bride is able to go to the US to get married.

If a mail order bride has children from previous marriages, they’ll need K-2 visas to immigrate with her.

Final Thoughts

The mail order bride meaning has changed a lot over time. Centuries ago, mail order brides were women who really agreed to marry strangers, but the system doesn’t work like that anymore. Modern foreign brides make conscious choices and are looking for decent men with whom they can enjoy a happy family life. Though some may think it’s a drawback, it’s actually a benefit as such mail order bride marriages really last, and modern websites provide us with everything we may need to find the right person and build an authentic, deep, and healthy relationship.

FAQ

What’s a mail order bride?

Mail order bride meaning has changed a lot over time. Modern foreign brides are, first and foremost, single foreign women who are 100% family-minded and motivated to find a husband abroad. They’re looking for their perfect matches online, on mail order bride sites.

How much does a mail order bride cost?

You can’t purchase female order brides through a mail order bride website or in any other way. If you want to find foreign wife, you can meet her on a niche website, and the cost will refer to the price of online dating services, trips, and visa expenses. The average cost ranges from $8,000 to 10,000.

Are mail order brides illegal?

Are mail order brides legal or illegal? Considering that they are just singles willing to build authentic relationships with men from other countries and don’t get any financial compensation, you can find the best foreign wives to marry, and it will be completely legal.

How to mail order a bride?

You can’t literally mail order a wife, but you can meet a single woman on one of the best mail order bride sites, start a long-distance relationship first, and then meet your bride in real life and legally marry her.

Can you really mail order a bride?

No, a real mail order bride can’t be literally ordered. Men can only meet foreign brides in USA online, start dating them, and meet them in real life — in this case, their relationship will be legal. Websites that offer you to buy a bride through some sort of a mail order bride catalog are just scams.

Are mail order brides a thing?

Yes, men can still find the best foreign brides pretty easily. However, things don’t work the way they worked centuries or even decades ago. A modern mail order bride site just connects you with family-minded women from a certain location, and you are actually building a relationship. There’s no purchase of any kind, and modern brides are looking for a decent man, not just for someone who’ll get them a Green Card.

Do mail order brides still exist?

Yes, they do. Now, they’re just foreign family-minded women who join niche websites to find a foreign husband. They’re willing to marry a foreigner for many cultural, social, political, personal, and other reasons, but they would rather immigrate to get married than get married to immigrate.

*Advertising Disclosure: This article might have sponsored content. We recommend doing your own research and making choices that are best for you. The content provided here is for informational purposes only.

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Ellen Withrow
Mail Order Bride-US
0 Followers

Dating expert, psychologist, writer