How To Find A Mail Order Bride

When considering searching for foreign women for marriage – also known as mail order brides – there are several issues to consider. The first of course is what part of the world you are considering pursing a bride from? There are cultural differences between Eastern European and Asian women, but you should avoid falling into the trap of stereotyping foreign brides, because this can ruin your chances before even starting.

Foreign women who sign up at international marriage agencies are individuals with feelings and hearts that are searching for love too, and you should never forget that. They are not really mail order brides in a derogatory sense that you can just order them via mail and expect them to be shipped like a product from They are real human beings looking for love, except that they have chosen to look for love outside their home countries in search for a better life and a better man, because opportunities in their home countries are limited.

You can find a Russian or Ukrainian woman who is totally submissive and there are Filipina’s who are pushy and forceful. Whatever grain of truth existed in the national stereotypes has changed, because the countries where most of the mail order brides come from today have under gone enormous social, political, and economic change in the last twenty-five years.

Ukrainian women that grew up in the last dreary days of the crumbling Soviet Union had a vastly different life experience than younger ones who grew up among the internet in a much freer society. So, the old stereotype of an Eastern European lady as a pushy, materialistic, green card searching mail order bride, which was always a gross exaggeration in the first place, is much less true today.

Case in point: Elena is a 32 year old native of Kharkov, Ukraine. She met her American husband through an agency 2 years ago. Before meeting her husband, Elena worked in Ukraine as a sexologist and relationship expert. Jumping into the marriage agency business therefore was not such a big leap considering her current skill set.

We asked Elena to give us her top 10 tips for finding an Eastern European bride. Here they are:

  • PREPARATION TILL PERSPIRATION. Take some time to prepare yourself for a successful relationship and improve your inner game. One of the great advantages of getting to know a potential foreign bride is that it will take you at least a few weeks, and usually a few months, before you can actually go see her in person. Use that time to take an honest assessment of yourself, your dreams and goals. Read books or seek coaching on dating/relationship topics which will all help impress and ultimately lead to success.
  • THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY PLAN. Get ready for the strong reactions you will receive from friends and family. You may believe you know what to expect, but you will probably be surprised. The jealous and judgmental reaction from both men and women will probably surprise you. Even sweet grandma may give you a sideways look.
  • TWO FISHING POLES CATCH MORE FISH THAN ONE. Find the best possible agencies, with good reputations, and don’t be afraid to use more than one at the same time. There are thousands of agencies out there and they’re not all created equal nor do they serve equal. Some have advantages that can suit your individual needs and some will just work better than others.
  • BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER. Sure the mega agencies have thousands of model caliber women on their site, but how certain can one be they are all legitimate? Ask if the agency takes their own photos or do they rely on their women to just send them in. Does the agency interview them in person or do they just gobble them up over the internet without ever talking or meeting? How accessible are the firm’s managers, staff and owners? Is there an easy way to speak with them in person or by phone? The more willing an agency is to communicate, the better service you should receive.
  • A PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS. Take a good look at the photos an agency provides. If they look too good to be true, they probably are. An oiled up women on the beach in a hot bikini, worthy of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, is most likely not seriously considering marriage at the moment. On the flip side, a nicely dressed woman, not totally displaying her breasts, with a warm smile and friendly posture is probably genuine.
  • STAY ON BUDGET. Finding love with a foreign bride will cost money.   But there is no reason to spend more than necessary. I suggest signing with agencies that offer services for a set fee. Avoid paying ‘as you go’ for every email or correspondence. These are clear signs the agency is more interested in making money than finding you a wife.
  • DON’T BE THAT GUY. One of the biggest fears men have is dealing with women who start asking for money for various reason after a few letters. Things like English lessons, rent, hospital bills, clothes and even food! Don’t do it. This is again a clear sign the agency, and women clients, are in it just for the dollars. I suggest choosing an agency that forbids women from ever even asking this from you.
  • LET’S GO TO THE VIDEO TAPE. Using an agency that offers video introductions in addition to just photographs will give you a huge advantage in your ability to read and understand the body language, English ability and general character of the women.
  • HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY. One day one of these women will be your wife. Don’t lie now, because if you plan to spend the rest of your life with this person, she’ll easily learn the truth sooner than later. From the very beginning of your communications with a woman, be totally open and honest. It’s not like dating an American here in the States who have a much higher judgmental reader in their brain. European women will value you for who you really are.
  • JUST DO IT. Stop putting it off till tomorrow. Stop procrastinating. It will take a decent amount of time and energy for the whole process to play out. Plan on about a year from start to ‘I do’. But the rewards are absolutely blissful. Then sooner you begin, the sooner a very special someone will be snuggling up in bed with you for a lifetime.

FAQ On How To Find A Mail Order Bride

We had a few more follow-up questions for Elena to get the inside scoop on what’s happening with the mail order bride business today and how to avoid scammers:

UM: Why do Eastern European women look outside their home countries for love?

Elena: This is one of my favorite questions, because the answers are not always what you’d expect. The simple answer is there is a population imbalance in the former Soviet Union. Places like Ukraine, Russia and Belarus all have more women than men. And the reasons for this imbalance have a lot to do with lifestyle choices the men are making. First, let’s look at the numbers. Ukraine’s current population is 42 million. However, there are 3.8 million more women walking the streets in high heels and short skirts than men sitting on the curb whistling at them. Statistically there are far more bride’s maids then can ever be brides.

In a sense, it would appear the Ukrainian men live in paradise. Nature’s gift to the female species, the power of selection, is drastically reduced and almost irreverent. But unfortunately Ukrainian men have squandered this imbalance and grossly take it for granted. Now why are there so few men? Because they are killing themselves – literally. More than fifty percent of men are heavy smokers, many more consume excess alcohol on a daily basis, drug addiction and high-risk jobs (including the military) all shorten their life spans. No one likes to discuss this next point but a good number of males born around the time of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, young men now in their late 20s, suffer from some serious health abnormalities. Unable to father children is one of them. Not only are there misfortunes in the history of this nation causing a shortage of healthy, responsible men but the current political and military conflicts in the East with Russia take lives every day. Last year the CIA World/Factbook reported that Ukraine had 15.75 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants (the second highest rate in the world, behind only South Africa). And by the year 2050 the population is expected to fall below 34 million. So the chances of finding true love, let alone a decent man, in the Ukraine are quite bleak. Hence, the allure of meeting a foreign man who lives in a more stable country and has a healthier way of life is a dream. 

Separately, the economic situation in the Ukraine is also quite bad. GDP per capita in 2013 is said to have been $3,901 (source: World Bank), compared to US’s GDP per capita of $53,143. In other words, a person’s average salary might only be a few hundred dollars per month. Ukraine also reports an unemployment rate of 8.24% compared to US’s 5.9%. All this leads to a lower overall standard of living for Ukrainians, making people consider professional and personal options outside their home countries for that reason also.

With all these nasty things happening in the Ukraine, it would seem totally acceptable to an outsider that Ukrainians would do anything to change their situation. And the truth is yes; a lot of women want out and change their economic situation even if they have to resort to scamming and gold-digging. But this percentage is really quite low. Only problem is the majority of these women use the big dating sites as a chance to get out.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian people are traditionally extremely kind, peaceful and family oriented. Most Ukrainians hold themselves to a high moral standard. Therefore 95% of women considering a foreign husband would do so only in an honest manner. The problem is that most of these women might not want to use mail order bride agencies or dating sites. And the reason they are not is because many of the large dating sites are corrupt and unethical. And some Ukrainian women would not want to be labeled a gold-digger by friends and family, so they don’t even try. So a little bit of adverse selection is happening where the largest agencies attract more unethical gold-diggers, and the very best women might not sign-up in the first place. 

Having said that, there are hundreds if not millions of sweet, proud, smart, sexy, educated and honest women in Ukraine thinking about a future with a man abroad. They are out there. 

UM: How much does the whole process to find a mail order bride cost?

Elena: This question is a bit like asking how much will it cost to lease a car. Well, it depends if you will lease a compact or luxury and how many bells and whistles you want on top. Same concept holds true for the quest to find your perfect mail order bride. To accurately answer this question let us first define a fixed cost that everyone has to pay, no matter which method they choose. Everyone needs to buy a flight and will have some kind of meal/lodging cost associated with staying for, on average, a week. On average it will cost you about $2,000 for a week. The rest dependon the individual and what kind of assistance (if any) he decides to use in his search, for example a dating or marriage agency. A very savvy person could avoid these costs altogether, if he utilizes all of the free methods available such as free dating sites, social networks like Facebook and VKontakte (the most popular Eastern European social network) and the assistance of a priest from a Ukrainian Orthodox church located right here in America! (Actually before my husband met me, he was offered to travel to Ukraine with a priest from Hudson, New York.) It would have been the equivalent of a ‘romance tour’, with guidance coming from God himself. In fact, this particular priest, Father Vladimir, graciously led another New Yorker on such a tour a few years ago successful matching him to a women he married.

If he chooses an agency the costs vary depending on services and the length of time he uses the service. A person using strictly an agency’s website for six months could spend between $1,200 – $6,000. Another person who simply books a ‘romance tour’, which has nothing to do with writing letters or chatting over the internet, could pay between $1,200 – $3,000 (not including the flight, hotel and food). Bottom line, before you head to the Ukrainian jewelry store in the main square and place an engagement ring on her finger, you’ll probably have spent $6,000 – $10,000 in total. For the lucky, intelligent man who wins the heart of the right woman, it will be the best investment he ever made. But, for the ill prepared, socially inept man it was a useful as placing all that money on the roulette wheel in Vegas.

UM: What are typical mistakes people do? What explains those horror stories about the whole mail order bride business?

Elena: Believe it or not, the typical mistakes a man makes when pursuing a woman abroad are the same mistakes he makes when pursuing a woman from his own country. And this is trying to impress the women with gifts, flowers, jewelry or money. The second biggest mistake is the man has no ‘game’. And if the man’s game is unsuccessful with American women, he’ll be just as unsuccessful on the other side of the pond.

Another major mistake men make in their pursuit of a foreign woman is thinking it will somehow be easier to win them over than the women in his own country. Men would be very wrong thinking that simply showing up as an American is the silver bullet to wining a Ukrainian women’s broken heart just because she is living in a third world country with little options. It’s a pipedream to view his American passport as the Superman ‘S’ on his chest, being enough to show her how special he is and take her away back to his home planet. I am afraid this man is gravely mistaken. 

UM: How many trips to the Ukraine would be required?

Elena: To meet the minimum requirement of the United States Customs and Immigration K-1 fiancée visa application you only have to visit her once. It is necessary to meet your fiancée in person just one time and best to have some photos of this as that’s required evidence. Although, odds you’ll meet your future wife on the first trip, at best, might be 1 out of 4. So, realistically I’d count on making at least 2 maybe 3 trips. And truth be told, the more trips you make the more you will learn about the people, the country, their foods, customs and culture. All this makes understanding your future wife a little easier and will help later on as you build a sound foundation for your relationship with her. You wouldn’t want to end-up like those men who got scammed by gold-diggers that divorced their husbands the day they found a better man in the US.

UM: How do I pick the best mail order bride agency for my search?

Elena: The biggest pitfalls are the big agencies that nickel and dime men to death, e.g. some agencies charge money for every single email sent and received. Similarly are those that charge by the minute for how long you can chat with a woman. Best advice here is to use agencies that offer fixed price service, for example, one price that allows unlimited communication for a month. Some scam mail order bride agencies employ beautiful women pretending to be looking for a husband, so be careful in selecting the right mail order bridge agency. It is essential a man use his Sherlock Holmes skills so he can dismiss a woman that’s clearly a professional scammer.

Here are red flags that will indicate a girl is a scammer:

  • The minute you log onto a chat site, this women appears in less than 5 seconds writing how much she wants to get to know you.
  • Here age range for finding a man is 30 – 65 years old.
  • She tells you her cat Fluffy ate a bucket of thumb tacks last night and she has no idea where she’ll get $1500 to pay the vet bill.
  • Right around the time you are planning to go visit her in Ukraine she says a relative is sick and will be out of town for the week you’ll be staying.

Some of the best women are found on the smaller boutique marriage agency websites, preferably run by people that went through the process themselves. So do your due diligence before you spent thousands of dollars for a scam service.