How Much Does a Mail Order Bride Cost?

Often when people discuss the cost of mail order brides they make it sound like the man is buying the woman. 

No!

That would be human trafficking which is immoral, illegal, and the realm of truly despicable men. So, this is not a site where you can price women like horses or cars.

Sometimes people believe these urban legends because they have been misled by the mainstream media’s relentless misinformation campaign about international marriage. Other times it comes from simple ignorance about how the mail order bride industry works.

Mail Order Bride Basics

The truth is simple. Using most mail order bride agencies you can find on Google and all of the agencies mentioned on Mailorderbrideprices.com is similar to looking for a wife on any online dating site. 

The difference is that the men are almost exclusively from the United States, Western Europe, or other Western countries and the women from less developed nations in Eastern Europe, Latin America, or Asia. 

The average cost of a mail order bride is between $5,000 and $30,000.  A man who is really careful might be able to spend a little less and a billionaire could spend billions, but the vast majority of men who decide to search for foreign wives spend less than $30,000 and more than $5,000. 

It depends on how long and extravagant of a courtship the woman demands, a man’s financial resources, and just how much man wants to spend.  Believe it or not, spending unwisely is one of the worst mistakes men make when searching for a beautiful mail order bride.

We will explain that below, but right now lets look at the major expenses that are unavoidable. 

There are six main costs that most men spend money on:

  1. Agency Fees – This pays for the services the agency provides. Usually, it charges for contacting women in the agency’s database and sometimes also for coaching or matchmaking.
  2. Travel Expenses – Airfare, accommodations, and in-country travel, usually by rail or taxi, are a major expense.
  3. Translators/Guides/Drivers – Most men will need some of these personal services in Ukraine, Colombia, or Thailand.
  4. Dating ExpensesMen pay for dating expenses around the world.  Spending too little or worse too much is one of the biggest mistakes men make.
  5. Bureaucratic Charges – Charges for visas and passports are basically fairly cheap, but if something is amiss and you have to hire an immigration lawyer it can be expensive.
  6. Assimilation Expenses – This is probably the most overlooked expense.  It is going to take your new wife time to assimilate into your community and it is often more expensive than men expect.
cute Filipina girls looking for marriage

Marriage Agency Fees

Before you start your romantic adventure you have to pick a dating or marriage agency.  Regardless of what they are called the agencies help introduce foreign men to local women or who the mainstream media call mail order brides.

This is an important step, but most guys really do not think about the agency they pick. They simply see a hot girl in some online dating site and think: “Wow! I could actually imagine marrying a woman like that!”

They begin imaging little fantasies about their future wife or girlfriend and they decided they have to meet the girl they are looking at, so they join dating site that hosts her photo.

That’s almost an impossible urge to resist. Online dating sites know this and so they cover their websites with photos of hot mail order brides. They are not stupid. They want to hold your attention, and, yes, we do the same thing here on this page too.

But the agency you choose can drastically impact your costs and your chance of success. Agencies basically charge for two types of services communication services and logistical services.

Almost every agency allows men to sign up to look at the profiles of ladies for free.  Then they generate revenue by charging men fees to communicate with the women in their databases, because they know if you see the women you will want to get to know the women.

However, the structure and schedule of the fees they charge is usually confusing and unclear.  Even our favorite agency, A Foreign Affair, offers an array of tiers, discounts, and plans to send and read emails.

The most expensive agencies charge for credits that men can use to contact women through email or chat.

For instance, Anastasia’s family of sites (Anastasiadate, Amolatina, Asiandate, and Arabiandate) charge 10 credits to send an email and 10 credits to open a woman’s response.  

So, that’s twenty credits, but to understand the true cost you have to know what you paid for credits and that varies widely.

These sites give discounts for buying credits in bulk, but even the cheapest credits are .38 cents each. 

To get credits at that rate though you have to spend $1800, which means sending and receiving a letter is going to cost you at least $7.60. 

More than likely you will pay $12.00 for a letter, but if you buy the smallest package you will pay $16.00.

Chat is where you can really spend money because most companies that offer chat charge by the minute.  That can super expensive, especially if you are using video chat, but we highly recommend using video chat because then you can be sure that the woman you are speaking to is the woman you want to speak to.

But chat is a lot of fun.  You can see a sexy foreign woman laugh and smile. It is often really exciting and a lot of fun.

And, despite what the naysayers proclaim, there are literally thousands of men who have met the mail order bride for them on a chat site, but Amolatina, Anastasiadate, and the other chat agencies are not really the best way for serious men to meet foreign women. 

The best choice for serious men is A Foreign Affair.  Their service has launched tens of thousands of happy marriages and takes customer service seriously. 

Do I Really Need a Dating Agency?

man pointing on a woman on the screen

No, you can just get in a plane and fly to the country with the women you are really interested in and try to meet your wife in a more natural manner. But it is tougher than it sounds.

First, there is the language barrier.  Do you speak Russian or Thai?  The Philippines is the only country where the language barrier is not an issue for English speakers.

Cultural barriers are a much bigger issue.  If you are seriously looking for a wife you really have to get an understanding of the culture. 

In many of these countries lots of single foreign men show up looking to meet women and these freelancers tend to have an awful reputation as playboys. 

If you are a sleazy hook up artist that is probably not a big deal, but if you are looking for a serious relationship it is a huge challenge.

Agencies are known in the communities where they are based.  Often women have friends or relatives who have met their husbands or boyfriends through an local matchmaker from an agency. 

So, if the matchmaker introduces you it helps quickly break the ice and overcome some of the early distrust in the relationship.

This trust within the community is part of why the mail order bride agencies continue to exist nearly every Russian bride has internet access on her phone.  So, do the ladies in the Philippines, Colombia, Thailand, and Costa Rica. 

But they continue to sign up with dating agencies to meet foreign men because they trust that the dating agencies will help screen out the real jerks, will be there with them when they meet the men in person, and protect their safety in the rare cases it comes to that.

That is why you probably should include the costs of a marriage agency into the cost of a mail order bride.

Travel Expenses

Travel expenses are probably the number one worry for most men.  For a lot of men, even those not from East Tennessee and Iowa, international travel is just outside of their comfort zone. 

So, they worry that they are going to get ripped off on airfare, hotel rates, restaurant bills, and taxis. 

For the most part, these fears are blown all out of proportion if you do a little due diligence and follow the simple suggestions below.

Airfare

Today it is especially easy to shop for airfare. Check your favorite sites and then compare them to Google Flights. That will give you a good base.

You might also want to compare the flight with what you can get through the airline’s official company website.

If the cheapest fare is on an airline you do not recognize you should check the airlines review on Skytrax. They have reviews of virtually every airline in the world and they can be really helpful.

A lot of the big foreign airlines offer a much higher level of service than is common on domestic flights in the United States or European Union, but many of the smaller airlines offer a level of service below anything you have ever imagined.

That might be the only way to get to where you want to go, but you might decide to spend a few dollars more and fly on a different airline with a higher reputation for customer service.

Accommodations

Shopping for accommodations has never been easier or offered more choices.

Besides regular hotels there you can rent apartments, guest houses, single rooms, or even just a bed in a hostel. And because of the plethora of internet travel sites, it is easy to shop for the best deals.

In Ukraine you can find hotel rooms for $7 and meet beautiful girls. Amazing!

In Ukraine you can find hotel rooms for $7 and meet beautiful girls. Amazing!

Currently, it is possible to get a five-star hotel room in Ukraine on Booking.com for about the same price as a Motel 6 in the United States and on Airbnb, it is possible to find private rooms for LESS than $10 a night.

Right now, Ukraine is a particularly good deal, but prices in Colombia, Thailand, Philippines, Costa Rica, and Peru are just a fraction of what you would pay in Western Europe, the United States, or Australia. 

Find the best deals you can and compare those to what you can find on Google’s Hotel site.

Even Russia is a lot better travel deal today than it was five or ten years ago.  Yes, even Moscow and St. Petersburg are a lot cheaper than just a few years ago.

Food

Food is another item you can easily save a fortune on.  If you want to eat like a native it is not hard to eat on $5.00 a day in any of the romance tourism destinations.

Now, I am not saying that you will love a daily diet of rice and boiled fish in Asia or borsch and potatoes in Eastern Europe, but you can find extremely cheap food.

If you want to eat “Western Food” in Asia you can probably do that for about one half of what you would pay in restaurants in the United States or Europe.  And, right now, Ukraine is foodie heaven.

The quality of the high-end restaurants in Kiev, Odesa, Lviv, or the other big cities stands up very well with the best restaurants in the world and the prices are incredible, often only 20% of what you might pay in Los Angeles, New York, or Sydney.

This makes taking a beautiful mail order bride out for a night on the town a lot more reasonable.

Check out what TripAdvisor’s best restaurants in Kiev and you will realize you can eat amazingly well for what you would pay to eat at Denny’s in Oklahoma.

Beyond TripAdvisor, there are not as many good restaurant rating sites. Yelp and Kayak do not even cover most of the best mail order bride countries, but Google is still a reliable source.

Just Google, “Best restaurant near me,” and enjoy.

Oh, and be sure to ask for the menus with the prices on them. It could not even hurt to take a photo of the menu, because overcharging foreigners is something that happens pretty regularly.

In-Country Travel

It used to be that in-country travel was an absolute nightmare for international travelers. Haggling with foreign taxi drivers is a nightmare and something you should avoid at all costs.

No one wants to start a trip by haggling over a few dollars, but today Uber, Lyft, or the Asian knockoff Grab are ubiquitous.  That means there is no haggling and you know exactly what you owe before you step into the car.

For longer trips in country there are some very good local airlines in most of these countries.

Cebu Pacific is a highly rated airline in the Philippines with a very friendly cabin crew.

If you are going to stay for a month or two in Ukraine you will definitely fall in love with Ukraine Rail. The trains are generally on time, but the real attraction is the price.

Prices have gone up a little recently, but if you are not in a hurry you can travel anywhere in the country on a third-class train for about $20. If you are in a rush you can take the inter-city trains to the major cities for less than $50.

Most tourists take the inter-cities, which are faster and more luxurious, but it is really educational to take the 3rd class train at least once. That is how most Ukrainians travel.

So, if you are a Western man with a middle-class income, travel expenses should not be a reason for you to not to pursue a mail order bride.

Translators, Guides & Drivers

Costs of translators - pile of books

Traveling to meet a foreign woman is different from just traveling.  You are journeying around the world in pursuit of a goal that might just change your life forever and there are some specialized expenses you will have to pursue that goal.

Translators are an unavoidable expense for most Western men visiting Ukraine and really for serious guys visiting Thailand or even Colombia it is probably wise to use a translator. 

Yes, Google Translate is pretty amazing, but it is not as quick and easy as using a human translator.

A translator can help you make a good impression on a first date.  A lot of women, particularly in Ukraine, having a translator with them for the first meeting even if they do not really need a translator.

But translators are expensive.  Most of the time a girl will try to get you to use a translator hired through the agency that represents her. 

If you do the rate will be about $20 to $25 an hour.  A lot of times that is simply a necessary expense on the first date.

Now, some men fret that the woman is getting a kickback on the translator’s fee and that undoubtedly happens sometimes, but that does not mean that the woman is not serious about a relationship. It means she is a realist. 

She knows most dates are not going to go anywhere, so she might as well make a little money.

If you really want a date with a super-hot Ukrainian fitness model you probably should simply consider using a translator just one of the old traditions, you have to follow on the first date.  Just tell the girl it is only for the first date.

For second dates or women you meet on social media sites you can go with one of the independent translation agencies. You will probably pay $15 an hour or so.  The translators at Go2UA gets great reviews.

You also might want to hire a driver, because in many of these countries street signs are optional and renting a car can be a hassle.

Now, one way you can get most or even all of your translation and transportation costs in one place is to use a romance tour by one of the dating agencies.   

A Foreign Affair is the dominant company in the field because they do such an incredible job.

Check out the video below and you will understand why they are so well respected:

>>Check Out Loveme.com Romance Tour Page<<

On a romance tour, the company will help you meet women from their database individually or in groups at parties they hold. 

Romance tours also usually cover the costs of food and housing, so there are few out of pocket expenses if you stick with the group.

If you decide to go on a private date the agency can help you get a driver and translator at a competitive rate.

All in all romance tours are the best way for most Western men to meet a mail order bride.  They help with all the annoying hassles of travel so you can focus on impressing a beautiful young woman.

Dating Expenses

older man kissing the hand of his date

Now, we get to the big expense that most men imagine when they are trying to figure out the cost of mail order brides: dating expenses.  Yes, you must spend money on dates. 

This is not optional if you are serious about finding a wife, but if you are not careful you can attracted a mail order bride scammer. That is the last thing you want.

But this is the most tricky part of the entire process.     

How Much Should I Spend on a Date?

In the United State or Canada or wherever you are from you understand what to spend on a date, but it is wildly different overseas.  Because before you can understand the cost of international dating you have to understand where you are dating.

The first thing you need to do is check out the relative costs of living in the country you are going to be dating in with the cost of living in your home country. The easiest place to do this is at Numbeo’s Cost of Living Comparison Tool.

cost of living comparison
Figure 1 Cost of Living Comparison Tool

Just type in the name of your hometown and the city where you are planning to date and you can get a great idea of the costs of a date in any major city in the world, because at the top of the results they go down a list of costs at restaurants.

Here is a recent comparison of the costs of eating out in Dallas, Texas and Kiev.

dating cost comparison
Figure 2 Dating Cost Comparison

You can see how much cheaper it is to date a beautiful mail order bride than a woman from Texas. In some regards this probably underestimates the costs, because Kiev today is a great foodie city and you will probably end up spending slightly more than the price shown for a mid-range restaurant ($25.67) to eat at a place that would be much closer to a $100 in Dallas.   

Then, particularly if you have been out of the dating market, stop and do a little research on what people in your area are spending on spending on dates in your area. 

According to a detailed USA Today article…

The average cost of a date today — consisting of two dinners, a bottle of wine, and two movie tickets — adds up to $102.32.

USA Today

Yes, in some places that would be considered a cheap date. 

According to an interesting article in Bustle, the British spend an average of £106 pounds or $132 U.S. dollars on a date. I never new Brits were so romantic, but Bustle is a women’s website and maybe it is trying to establish a very high bar.

A hundred dollars is a reasonable number to spend on a first date in Ukraine, Colombia, or the Philippines. That is basically the most you should spend on dinner and drinks and some flowers. 

And, yes, flowers are necessary everywhere overseas.  

The other big expense you might require is a translator.

A translator is going to run at least $10 an hour, but more likely $20 or $25 dollars an hour.  But be sure you get the price before the date or you might get gouged and you should offer to pay for the translator’s food and drink during the date.

Yeah, you aren’t interested in the translator, but a good translator can make you sound like Shakespeare instead of Urkle. 

And, remember, no matter how much you impress your heart’s desire she is going to ask the translator what she thought of you, so don’t insult the translator.  

So, when you figure the translator, transportation, and everything there is no way you will probably spend around $200 for a four-hour date. 

For some guys, that is a fortune and for others a rounding error on their monthly entertainment expenses, but you really do not want to spend too much more than that or too much less. 

You do not want to mislead the woman about what you can afford or make her believe you are rich.  And if you are rich you don’t want to attract gold diggers.

Keep the first date nice but simple and then play it by ear.  And, remember, what you spend is less important than the context of your spending.  Let her see who you really are by how you spend your money. 

If you are generally frugal let her know how special she is for you to spend what you are spending and explain the reasons for your frugality.

If money is not important to you tell her that, but just remember she is watching not just how much you spend but your attitude towards money. 

Bureaucratic Charges

If you have never traveled you will need a passport.  Currently, the basic fee for a United States passport is $110, plus probably another $12 to get acceptable passport photos. 

Here is the link to the United States State Department’s Passport Office.

Most of the countries that generate large numbers of mail order brides offer free entry visas to visitors from most Western countries.

That means if you are going to Odessa, Ukraine you simply fly their and give your passport to a sleepy young guard who will stamp it and wave you along. 

The same thing happens in the Philippines, Thailand, and other countries.  It is very relaxed.

The one notable exception is Russia.  Getting a Russian visa is a huge hassle. It is going to cost you at least $300 and probably take several weeks.  

Plus, Russian passport control has reverted to something straight out of a John le Carré novel with pushy guards and lots of machinegun-toting border police everywhere. 

So, for most guys, Russia is simply off the radar.

The biggest bureaucratic expense occurs if you actually decide to marry a mail order bride and bring her back to your home country. 

For a United States citizen, the experts at RapidVisa believe that…

…the typical case can range from about $1,200 to $5,000 including government fees, medical exam, assistance and miscellaneous.

Rapid Visa

So, that is pretty steep, but you also have the choice to marry the woman in her home country and then bring her back to the United States.  That is a little less expensive, but of course, either of these approaches only really gets expensive when you have to hire an immigration attorney.

An immigration attorney is going to start at about $300 an hour and go up, up, up. 

That’s where you can spend $100k before you know what happened, but that is extraordinarily rare and generally will only apply to men who have other criminal problems and lie to the State Department.

Never lie to the State Department; yes, being in violation of some rule might cost you a little time and money, but if they catch you in a lie it can make the price of a mail order bride expensive.

Assimilation Costs

Happy family in backyard

The last cost that guys often overlook is the cost of assimilating your mail order bride into your community. 

For instance, do you have a car for your new wife?  In most of the United States, she is going to need a car and a cell phone.  (If you think your wife does not need a cell phone and a car, please leave this page and go back in your cave.)

You should let your wife have some real input into the decoration of your place.

This is important!

Think about the situation for a moment.  This beautiful young woman trusted you with her life. 

She came halfway around the world to a country that does not speak her native language because despite what her friends and parents might have told her she believes you are a pretty amazing guy.

Now, you need to show her that she is the most important thing in the world to you and one of the easiest ways to do it is to do a little redecorating of your house.  

You should be happy to buy some new furniture or do a little remodeling to make her really feel it is her house too.

In the long run, this can be the best money you have ever spent on sticks and bricks and honestly do you really need to keep that flea-bitten moose head your granddad shot in 1939 over the kitchen table? 

And if you don’t have a moose head you probably have high school football trophies, Star Wars posters, or pictures of your ex-wife up that really need to go.

This is a great project for the two of you, because she probably cannot work for the first year or so she is in the country.

No matter how well educated and professionally successful your new wife is she is probably not going to be able to work for at least a year. 

Some of this is because she is probably going to need to work on her English, but also most professionals will need to be re-certified in their new country.

So, you need to be totally ready to completely support her for at least a year and you need to keep her busy.  Taking a few extra vacations can be nice too.  Show her what you love about your city or state.

There are some education costs.  For instance, you might need to pay for English lessons even if her English was good enough for you during the courting process.   Driving lessons are another expense for a lot of mail order brides.

Also, you will probably end up buying her clothes.  More than likely she will either be living in a significantly hotter or colder climate and will need clothes to match. 

And more than likely you are going to want to buy your sexy mail order bride a lot of cute clothes.

The point is you want to help her assimilate and be happy.  It is a struggle and oddly there is not a lot of helpful information about this subject, but the website MultlingualLiving.com is a great source on these issues. 

You should give it a read before you bring your mail order bride home.  It will probably save you money and it will certainly save you a lot of hassles.

All of these expenses add up, so let’s try to dig into the average cost of a mail order bride from a different angle.

Average Cost of a Mail Order Bride

Determining the average cost of a mail order bride is difficult, but here we are going to consider the costs for an American man who is not willing to fly the worst airlines, stay in abysmal hotels, or eat SPAM the whole trip.

But we also assume he is not going to stay at five-star hotels, fly first class, or eat Kobe beef and caviar the entire trip.

For a normal guy the minimum costs required to find and marry a foreign lady are probably around $5000 if you quickly meet the woman of your dreams and bring her over to your country without multiple trips to visit her first.

You could do it for even less if you fly her straight to your country without a visit to meet her first, perhaps as low as $1200.  This is a half-crazy approach, but every year there are couples who pull it off.

However, if you are that stressed over money you probably should not be considering a mail order bride.

But those numbers would be hard to pull off – not impossible – just a steep challenge.

Realistically, the REAL cost of pursuing a mail order bride is somewhere between $15,000 and $30,000. 

Those are very realistic numbers, but you don’t have to pay that all at once.

You just need to be able to budget that amount over the time of your search and most men probably spend from nine months to two years or so on their romantic quests.

One additional cost that you need to remember is the ongoing expenses related to having an extra person in your household and because she is from overseas those expenses are probably going to be higher. 

She is probably not going to bring a gigantic wardrobe, so that first year she is going to buy a lot of new clothes.

The same sort of process applies to a lot of other things.

You might end up buying some new furniture, kitchen utensils, or curtains that you would have bought if you had remained a bachelor.  Just keep this in mind.

Eventually, perhaps your new wife will get a job and help out with expenses, but you should probably plan to spend the same amount of time and money on the acclimation process as you did on the romance.

So, if it took you a year and $18,000 then you should assume it will take about the same amount of time and money for you and her to fully integrate into a working family.

Final Analysis

Is it worth it for you to consider a mail order bride?

That depends on your situation.  Do you have the basic financial resources?  Are you flexible enough to meet a woman, probably a younger woman, from a different culture and build a deep lasting relationship?

It does require work.  You have to learn about one another’s strengths and weaknesses.  You have to get at least some idea of the woman’s habits and personal deportment. 

Most importantly, you have to come to a general agreement about the nature of your relationship, so you both have similar expectations.

Those are all tough enough to communicate in person, but they are especially difficult to communicate over vast distances to someone you have never met who probably speaks a different language and grew up in a different culture.

But statistics show that ever year, thousands of mail order brides come to this country. Over three-quarters of these marriages end happily and are long-lasting.

If you end up happily married then the price of a mail order bride is a bargain. 

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