Money can’t buy you love?
No, it can’t, but only a mad man would assume that he can find the bride of his dreams without spending money.
And that applies to marrying a foreign beauty – even “mail order” brides have a cost attached to them.
So the answer to questions like, “How much is a Russian bride?” or, “How much is a Thai bride?” is always the same – it all depends on a number of factors.
The reality is you don’t need to be a jet-setting billionaire, but finding, dating and marrying a mail order bride does cost money.
To keep things organized I have broken down the costs into 3 categories:
Rest assured that mail order brides really do exist, and they can be found using the internet. These are women that list themselves in online catalogs advertising their availability for marriage. Women who are interested in using these services to find mates come from many different countries.
Primarily, the majority come from the former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Surprisingly, there is a bit of a process to go through, and the cost of mail order brides can vary substantially depending upon the services you use and the country of the girl.
The first step in marrying a foreign lady is to actually find women who interest you. This isn’t as easy as jumping on Tinder and swiping left or right to your heart’s content.
Yes, there are lots of online dating sites that you could sign up for, but that can mean trawling through thousands of profiles to find the perfect girl.
If that’s your thing, then rock on and we wish you the best on your journey. But in our experience, you can get better and faster results by using a dating agency instead.
So let’s take a look at 3 of the leading international dating agencies to see what types of costs are involved.
What Are the Best International Dating Agencies?
“Best” can be a pretty difficult thing to quantify because one man’s meat is another man’s poison, so to speak.
But what we can say is that the dating agencies listed below are some of the most popular online, so they’re doing something right.
LoveMe is also known as A Foreign Affair and has been around since 1995.
That was the year 3 single guys looked at where the Internet was heading and saw that the future of international dating and romance tours was going to be online.
That put LoveMe.com well ahead of the curve, especially when you consider that many of the newer dating sites have only been online for less than a decade.
As of right now, they operate singles tours in multiple cities in Europe, Latin America and Asia. They also have offices in every city they have tours in, so customers can simply drop in and ask questions if they need to.
The site and interface are very dated by modern standards, but that obviously isn’t an issue for the tens of thousands of women using it to find foreign husbands.
But we’ve heard they’re in the middle of a total redesign, so that’ll be interesting to see when it goes live.
You can register for an account and have a browse through profiles without ever touching your credit card.
LoveMe.com is pretty typical of international dating agencies in that you have to spend money to use certain functions on the site.
They have the most confusing pricing structure of the sites in this line-up.
Basically, you can choose between a free or Platinum account.
Your Platinum account requires a $95 activation fee, but it’s a once-off. You then pay $29.95 per month after that, but you also need to top up your account to use translation services, etc.
It is worth mentioning that your $29.95 monthly fee is actually credited towards any future romance tour you want to take, so it’s more like a vacation savings plan than a subscription fee.
So, enough talk of interfaces and pricing structures – what are the girls like?
The good news is there are lots of them, and finding them is easy thanks to the site’s ‘Quick Search’ function. This allows you to filter potential girlfriends by age, weight and where they live.
You’ll only have to check out a few hundred results instead of thousands, and their search function is definitely the quickest of the sites featured here.
Overall you’ll find that because LoveMe.com/aka A Foreign Affair run singles tours in so many countries that other sites struggle to keep up with the sheer diversity of single foreign women in their database.
And the neat thing is you can take it from viewing a profile to meeting the girl in person within a couple of months, thanks to those same tours.
Cost to join: Free, but a Platinum account requires a once-off payment of $95 and then $29.95 per month.
Ease of sign up: It only takes a few moments to create your account.
Credits: You have to top up your account by amounts ranging from $50 to $500 to use different aspects of the site.
This dating agency has been in business since 2000, starting out with an office in Tver, Russia and expanding to locations across Russia, the United States, Asia and Ukraine.
You can register for an account without using any form of payment method, which is a refreshing change from most standard dating sites.
Your free membership also allows you to check out as many profiles as you wish, but that’s where the free stuff ends.
Every other interaction with women on the site will require that you have credits in your account.
You do get 10 “bonus credits” when you join the site though.
Unlike other dating sites where you pay a flat fee and then can exchange messages with an unlimited number of women, BeHappy2Day operates on a credit system.
This is basically old school international dating with a modern twist, but allowing you to directly control your spending.
The database of women using the site is huge, and they’ve thankfully broken it down into 3 different sections – Russian and Ukrainian, Asian and Latin brides.
And it’s important to understand that these women aren’t looking for hook-ups or “fun”. They’re looking for a foreign guy who’s into foreign girls (and who isn’t, right?) and who wants to get married.
Pretty simple proposition when it comes down to it.
Do the profiles seem genuine?
The profiles are a diverse mix of absolutely stunning women with professional profile photos, to more average girls with photos obviously taken by a friend.
Their ‘Search Engine’ is also pretty cool because it allows you to quickly search their entire database of potential partners by specifying exactly the type of woman you’re looking for.
Cost to join: Free.
Ease of sign up: It took literally 2 minutes to get started.
Credits: Packages start at $15 for 20 credits, all the way up to $379 for 1,000 credits.
If you’ve never heard of AmoLatina before today well…we’re not really sure how that’s possible.
This Latina-focused site has been online since 1993, and now encompasses members from 32 different countries.
So although the site is focused primarily on matching you with hotties from Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru and other South American countries, you will also find women from all over the world using the site.
AmoLatina is a pay-per-action site, so although you can register for a free account to have a browse through profiles, if you want to actually message or video chat then you’ll need to purchase credits.
Your free account comes with 20 complimentary credits as standard, so you can get a feel for the site and its members before you decide to subscribe.
On the topic of subscription, things get a little muddled.
Your free account only lasts for one month, and after that, it becomes a $9.99 per month subscription, but you do get the following perks with your paid account:
- 10 free chats
- 10 free emails
- Free introduction messages
You’ll also need to purchase an additional credits package on top of this if you want to keep chatting.
Credit packages come in three flavors: 20 credits for $2.99 (limited offer), 160 credits for $96 and 1,000 credits for $480
If you’re looking for a Latina lovely to become your bride then you owe it to yourself to give AmoLatina a chance. They have some seriously sultry female members, from slender brunettes to blondes with thick bodies.
Basically, every single body type and look is represented here, so it’s a case of choosing your perfect match from thousands of potential partners, instead of hoping you’ll find at least one woman you’re interested in.
Again, most of the profiles seem 100% legit. It’s also nice to see selfies mixed in with the staged shots for women who either are models or should be.
There’s also a really strong mix of ethnicities on the site, so you’ll find women with African heritage, the obvious mestizos with European influences and lots of Native American women too.
Cost to join: Free, but then $9.99 per month
Ease of sign up: The Google sign-in option kept our registration time to under a minute.
Credits: Packages start at $2.99 for 20 credits all the way up to $480 for 1,000 credits.
Flowers & Gifts
All of the above sites allow you to send a gift to any of the women who catch your eye, but the types of gifts and the costs involved vary quite a bit:
Any physical gift you send via the site is deducted from your total credit balance. For example, flowers cost 597 credits, flowers and wine cost 679 credits, and flowers, a cuddly toy, and chocolates cost 999 credits.
You have two options for giving gifts on this site – virtual and physical. Virtual gifts can include items like diamonds you send to your belle, but you can also send physical gifts such as flowers, perfume and chocolates.
AmoLatina is pretty tight-lipped on pricing for physical gifts unless you’re a paid subscriber, so we don’t want to publicize the details here.
This site has a dedicated ‘Gift Centre’ for its users, allowing them to send flowers, candies and other similarly thoughtful gifts directly to their future girlfriend.
Again LoveMe.com don’t publicize the actual costs unless you’re a Platinum member, so we’ll refrain from sharing that same information in a public space like this.
Sending messages and emails back and forth is a great way to get a general feel for the woman you’re talking to.
But the only way to find out if you really click is to actually talk to each other.
Both AmoLatina and BeHappy2Day provide a 2-way video chat service, with the costs of using it calculated in credits.
A video chat on BeHappy2Day costs 5 credits per minute, and the same feature on AmoLatina costs 6 credits per minute. Just bear in mind that what a credit costs in real money terms vary from site to site.
LoveMe.com does things a little differently. Instead of a video chat, you get a telephone call with an interpreter to help knock down any language barriers.
A call costs $5.99 per minute for “standard” members and $3.99 per minute for Platinum members.
Step 1 of your journey towards marrying your mail order bride is complete – you’ve found at least one woman you want to meet through your international dating agency of choice.
Now for the next phase – traveling to meet her.
Travel to Her Country
You have two basic options here:
- Organize the entire trip yourself
- Book a spot on a singles tour
If you choose the first option then you’ll need to book your flights and your accommodation well in advance of your trip.
Let’s look at the potential costs involved in such a trip:
Well, that all depends on where you’re traveling to and from, i.e. a flight from New York to Mexico is going to be a lot cheaper (and shorter) than a flight to Kiev, Ukraine.
You can save yourself a lot of money by booking flights with multiple stopovers, but you can equally save yourself a lot of time by flying direct.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common routes a single guy might have to take to meet his future wife.
Flight, Duration, Cost
|New York To Lima, Peru||8 hours||$800 roundtrip|
|New York To Kiev, Ukraine||11 hours||$750 roundtrip|
|London to Lima, Peru||17 hours||£860 roundtrip|
|London to Kiev, Ukraine||5 hours||£150 roundtrip|
Should you book an expensive hotel to show off how much you earn?
Or something more basic because you don’t think that spending $900 per night on a hotel is a sane thing for any human to do?
Here’s something worth considering – all hotel rooms look the exact same when your eyes are closed.
Personally speaking, I’ve stayed in everything from 2-star budget hotels to 7-star hotels (in India) and as long as the bed was comfortable, the hotel wasn’t too noisy, my belongings were secure and the food was palatable, I didn’t really care.
If you’re worried that your date might judge you by the quality of your lodgings, then maybe she isn’t the right lady for you?
With that being said, it is important to have a hotel bar to hang out at, a nice restaurant to eat in, and if they have a nice pool and spa facilities, then so much the better.
Location, star rating, cost per night
Hotel cost (per night)
|Location||Hotel rating||Cost per night|
As you can see, luxury hotels are expensive no matter where you are in the world.
Plus, the additional cost of staying in a 5-star hotel vs. a 4-star hotel, for a 10-night stay, will be around $2,000.
One of the biggest mistakes Western guys make on the international dating scene – time and time again – is assuming that everyone in the world speaks at least some English.
That’s simply not true – Spanish and Chinese are spoken by a much larger percentage of the world’s population.
So that means you’ll either need to learn how to speak the local lingo in a hurry, or you’ll need to hire a translator.
Hiring a translator or interpreter isn’t anything to feel weird about, because they can definitely help the conversation flow more smoothly, especially during your first few dates.
Translators, however, don’t work for free, so you can expect to pay anywhere from $8 – $20 per hour for their services, again depending on what country you’re in and also how experienced the translator is.
Meet Her Family
If all has gone well for you so far, then it’s time to face the task most guys absolutely dread with every fiber of their being – meeting their girlfriend’s family.
The good news is that this is a different experience in Eastern Europe, South America and especially in Asia.
Write this down: South American and Asian women value family above relationships.
No matter what it takes, avoid insulting any member of her family for any reason. Doing that is enough to bring your relationship with her to an abrupt halt.
There are also some potential costs to factor in when meeting her family for the first time, such as it’s good manners to bring her parents a thoughtful gift.
But there might also be an unspoken tradition of paying for a meal for her family to celebrate their daughter’s newfound happiness.
Obviously, you shouldn’t get taken for a ride here either i.e. being asked to “gift” or loan a family member a sum of cash.
Basically, you’ll need to budget for gifts and meals as another factor in how much your “mail order” bride costs.
They say that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but the same is true for most women.
Sharing a meal in a relaxed setting is one of the best ways to see how your girlfriend not only behaves in public but treats other people.
It also gives you some time to really get to know each other, and if you can be as happy together eating in silence as you are chatting the night away.
There are a time and a place in every relationship for hitting the local burger joint for beef patties and beer.
But in the early stages of your courtship, it would be plain ol’ dumb not to bring your new girl to one of the best restaurants in town.
You’re showing her a couple of things by doing this:
- You can afford it, so you’re not a broke bum
- You want to make a good impression on her from the outset
- You think highly enough of her to pay for a night to remember
This again is another expense you need to factor into the dating phase of your international relationship, which can easily add up to $200 – $300 per night.
And yes, that includes eating in countries like Ukraine, Russia or Colombia – fine dining always comes with a mild case of sticker shock.
It’s unlikely that you’ll bring your girlfriend to a fancy restaurant every night – unless you have serious financial firepower – so treat these events as an investment in your future happiness.
Now we finally come to your second option for finding a foreign bride – booking yourself a place on a romance tour, more commonly known as singles tours.
The problem with even saying the words “romance tour” is the stigma attached to the term. People have visions of geriatric men trundling around Asia, scooping up innocent farm girls as they go.
That was never a true representation of romance tours, and that’s doubly true now.
Your average singles tour will consist of guys ranging in age from 25 to 65, and in professions from farmer to financier.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, organizing your own personal “romance tour” is lots and lots of work.
You have to handle everything from figuring out how to get there, where to stay, what to eat, and so on.
Romance tours simplify the entire process by doing all the hard work for you.
You can meet 200 beautiful foreign women with serious bride potential in one trip, and without doing so much as breaking a sweat.
Typically the only thing you need to arrange is your flights to and from the destination, but all your accommodation, dining and introductions to the lovely locals are taken care of for you by the romance tour operator.
Are romance tours cheaper than doing it yourself?
Nope, but they do make your foreign dating experience far more enjoyable.
Here’s a quick list of companies that offer singles/romance tours and the regions they cover:
A Foreign Affair (Loveme.com)
They offer romance tours in Ukraine, Russia, Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Thailand, the Philippines, and China.
This company offers personalized tours of Ukraine as part of their dating agency offerings.
We couldn’t find an “About us” page on the site, which is always a little concerning. You’re also limited to dating women from this one country.
This dating agency appears to have been in business since 2002, and they do have a great range of services. Unfortunately, they only organize romance tours to Colombia, and no other locations.
Probably one of the most professional looking dating agency website we’ve ever seen, with tons of great content.
Their tours are far more expensive than A Foreign Affair, and again you are limited to dating women in Ukraine.
So you’ve decided that she’s your perfect match, and you’re ready to put a ring on it.
Now the next step is organizing a visa for her so she can travel back to your hometown and meet your family.
The type of visa, and the costs involved, will depend on what country you’re from.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect:
K1 Visa – this is also known as the fiancée visa and must be applied for at least 4 months before your future wife travels to the United States to be with you.
You can expect to pay $2,025 in total for this visa, including all the required documentation.
If you’re still uncertain what to do next, LoveMe.com sells a visa kit, created by immigration attorney, Laurie Wu.
Marriage Visitor Visa- this must be applied for 3 months in advance of your fiancée arriving in the United Kingdom. This visa costs about £90 but does not entitle your new wife to permanent residency.
To do that she must successfully apply for and be granted ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ within 6 months of being granted the above visa.
Prospective Marriage Visa – as the name suggests this document allows your fiancée to enter Australia to get married to you. She must do this within 9 months of being granted this visa.
This visa can cost anywhere up to $7,000 and take up to 12 months to process, so it’s one of the more difficult and expensive to acquire.
Support While She Waits for Approval
Obviously, your fiancée will be unable to legally work during her time in your country of origin, so you’ll need to revise your current living expenses.
Fiancées can be entitled to some form of social welfare payment in certain countries, but generally speaking, you’ll be expected to pay for all of her living and accommodation expenses.
In fact, “foreign bride” visas will only be granted in certain countries once you can prove you have the financial resources to care for your future wife.
If you’re not sure how to calculate how much your new living expenses will be, simply take what you’re currently spending on yourself and double it.
Moving your Foreign Bride to Your Country
The big day has arrived where it’s time for your bride to relocate to Western Europe, North America or Australasia.
In an ideal world, she’d only need to bring personal belongings like clothing, electronic devices, etc. Basically what you’d bring with you for an extended holiday.
But you have to bear in mind that this woman has taken the brave step of volunteering to move halfway around the world from her family and friends to be with you.
So the least you can do is make her relocation as easy as possible, and if that means using international movers then so be it.
Those few boxes of personal items she wants to take with her could be the difference between her feeling homesick and lost, and being able to make herself at home in your home.
Your New Wife Back Home
Okay, so everything has gone smoothly with your visas, your girlfriend is now your wife, and she’s moved her important possessions into your home.
Now it’s time to look at whether or not you’ll need a second car, changing your home from being a bachelor pad into one ready for a young family, and basically taking on the role of husband and mostly provider.
We say “mostly provider” because your mail-order bride is going to be more eager than you can imagine getting your life together off to the best possible start.
How much does a mail order bride cost?
At the lower end of the scale, you can expect to spend at least $10,000 in finding, dating, relocating and marrying the woman of your dreams. But a more realistic figure is in the region of $30,000 when you take additional living and lifestyle expenses into account during your first year or so together.