What is a ‘Mail Order Bride?’

What does this term mean? Where does it come from? Why do dating services use this term? Let’s dot our “i’s” and cross our “t’s” once and for all!

International marriages are very popular now. Though many people can’t understand them. Sometimes they just need to “mature” for it. Nevertheless, developed communications and Internet have done their part. It has become convenient, accessible and quick to meet people from other countries. But it hasn’t always been so! However, international marriages did exist. How did people meet?

Here is the version of Yale Professor of History, Howard R. Lamar:

At the early period of history of the USA, in California, the Chinese who found themselves there absolutely without women, started to organize marriages through go-betweens. The Frenchmen who found themselves in Louisiana among the English-speaking population organized marriage-mediation in a big way. The brides were brought for them from France. The women usually came with small boxes and due to these boxes they were named “casket-girls”. They became well-known.”

Later so-called “mercy’s girls” appeared. Mercy imported girls to Wyoming, Oregon and Alaska in vans. But these potential brides turned out to be surprising. They started their businesses at the West – stores, sewing workshops, kitchens, and the marriage-intermediary didn’t work out. And the opposite example. To the far west women were brought to brothels from Germany and France. Many of them were prostitutes in Europe, but in a new, big and rich country they realized that they could start a new life and they scattered, dispersed in the environment and married farmers”.

It was about this time that the term “mail-order brides” appeared. Here is how the history of its origin is explained in Answers.com:

“The term probably originated during the colonial period when men traveled through various empires for financial gain. After establishing their income in a new colony they faced three choices:

– stay single,

– marry a local indigenous woman or,

– seek to have an available woman come from the metropolitan centre; or in the case of economic immigrants that came from an economically depressed region to seek employment, from their mother country.

Often these marriages were arranged by members of the immigrants family ‘back home’ and the relatives picked amongst available women to find one that would suit their family member thus they would negotiate with the woman before she left with her belongings (and perhaps with her children if she was a widow). Often these women were willing to travel for marriage because of the limited opportunity in their place of origin. This tradition continues amongst first generation immigrants to western countries, most particularly amongst Pakistani, Bangladeshi and East Indian males and females who wish to marry someone of similar social, economic and educational status; indeed many marriages are arranged in India and the bride and groom may not have much if any opportunity to court before the marriage ceremony is conducted.

During the twentieth century this tradition has been used for a (in some ways) similar, yet very different social phenomenon, that of a western male, usually second or third generation immigrant himself, seeking a woman from a more ‘traditional’ or non-western culture. For whatever reason, these men seek out women from various countries, most notably economically depressed parts of the world, such as countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States like Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the other central Asian – stans, or from cultures where femininity is still encouraged and women are expected to take care of their husbands and engage in housekeeping, child rearing and other domestic chores».

It was in regard to the history of terms. However, international acquaintances became that popular during 1980-es. Telephone, fax, photos, catalogues.

Like some food you choose one out of thousands women, make an order, pay by a credit card and she is “coming over through Fed Ex in a big wooden crate” 😉

I don’t know, guys, how effective this way was and how many positive stories can be told to advocate this way of acquaintance today. Still there are agencies that stick to this way.


As a rule, at their sites there are thousands of women. 20-30 thousand is a norm. A huge catalogue, choose any. You can buy her contact information and correspond with her on your own, or can use the agency’s service for it. The main difference of this kind of agencies from dating services like ours (and their main minus) is that women are only pages of a catalogue for them: faceless, nameless goods.

The agencies like ours work with each woman personally! We not only know her by sight, but also checked her passport information, we know if she is well or ill at the moment, if she is in the city or left on business or holiday. We know some details of her life because we often talk to her at the office. We are more than marriage go-between for a woman. We are consultants, friends and psychologists. It is normal! So we can say with confidence: we answer for each woman of our agency! Can an agency that has 20 thousand women say it?

Why then you can find our site on request “mail order brides” in search services like http://www.google.com?

Unfortunately, this term is too loved by journalists and this is why it is so popular. And often, when talking about the bride from abroad, someone uses the term “mail order brides”, actually having no idea about the details of the process. So we have to use it in order than men who are interested in foreign brides get to our site.

Why “unfortunately”?

Because this term humiliates women! They find it very insulting that someone can think them to be goods that can be ordered by catalogue. The man who respects his bride will never allow himself, his relatives and friends to use this word.

This term is also very loved by American feminists. They say to American men: first you order wonderful, tender mail order brides and then we have to defend them from you! :))

So I’d like to sum up:

“Mail order brides” is the term that can mislead you, because it is a well-promoted brand. We can’t send you a bride by mail, but we can acquaint you with real women who want to make a family. Feel the difference 🙂

Source by Irina Chernoff

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