The most popular online travel guide to Russia, since 2001.

Russian Brides or How to Marry a Russian Woman



contents: what is it about • disclaimer • who are the "russian brides" • how to find a russian wife

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
In the 90s Russia became popular not only as a new "unexplored" travel destination, but also as a place to find a "perfect" wife (not a husband, unfortunately for Russian men..) It's not a secret that

A woman waiting on Pushkinskaya square in Moscow, Russia
A woman meeting her friend in front of Pushkin momument, Moscow.
some male travelers who come to Russia are also interested in finding a woman, or that a lot of Russian women are not against marrying an interesting foreign man.
There are many reasons for that: Russian women are considered to be very attractive, and foreign men have an image (among many Russian women) of being intelligent, wealthy, and interesting partners.
It can be quite a good thing in itself: there are many examples of people who found each other and lived happily after... However, a huge demand from both sides gave a rise to a new "Russian brides" industry that is gaining popularity, and a lot of individuals found many dishonest ways of making money out of bringing people together. So, if you want to find a partner abroad, you should be really aware: there are a lot of opportunities, but also there's a lot of scam.

DISCLAIMER. We wrote this text in order to help you understand what all this new international "marriage race" is about, and how to make your way through all the haze, if you decide to. The information on this page tends to be more about Russian women for foreign men, than about Russian men (after all, this section is called "Women in Russia"), however, it might be interesting for western women as well.
Finally, we apologize, but when writing about such a matter, generalizations are unavoidable...

WHO ARE THE "RUSSIAN BRIDES"? It should be pointed out that here we talk not about all Russian women, but only about the women, who deliberately engaged into looking for a foreign husband (either through the internet or newspaper ads or by attending parties etc.).
Generally, the women who decide to find a foreign husband can be very different and can have completely different motivations. Some women are sincerely looking for a partner to create a family together, some women just want to have fun, others want to make money. So, the following classification might be helpful:
• "Family-Oriented" Woman. She is looking for a sincere relationship and wants to create a real stable family with a husband who will love her, understand her, and care about her. Usually, she's about 25 to 50 years

A woman waiting...
A woman waiting...

old. She would like to have a safe enviroment for her family and - partially - this makes her look for the future husband abroad, because it is considered that a foreigner can have a much more stable situation (socially and financially), than a Russian. Perhaps, she had already had a husband, but the first marriage didn't work out very well...
She does not necessarily want to leave their home country, usually, the main criteria is well-being of the future family, for which the place is not so important.
• "Russian Lover". She's not family oriented, but she's open and she wants to have nice time and to find an interesting man to spend time with. It doesn't matter if he's a foreigner or not, the main thing is that he's pretty, charming, and interesting to talk with.
A man might have a lot of nice time with such a woman, and perhaps, it would be an ideal introduction for an interesting relationship, that could maybe grow into something more serious in the future... The only problem is that this kind of women do not usually look for a husband deliberately. There's more chance to meet them accidentally or at a party.
• "Russian Blonde". This is a special kind of woman. When she was a young (17-20) pretty woman, she met a handsome "new Russian" with a lot of money, and fell in love with him and with the ambiance of success around him. She got used to indulge all her needs and to get what she wanted. However, their "new Russian" man was letting himself too much: having so much money, power, and charisma, he was getting with many other women. At one moment, the "blonde" had enough of being just "one of many", and broke the relationship with her rich friend. However, such a "beautiful girl" shouldn't be alone, so she's settled to find a worthy substitute to her old friend, who will worship only her, and will let her indulge into her old habits.
She will most likely not want to leave Russia, because it is very important for her to be able to show the new husband to her girlfriends and to be seen.
• "Russophobiac". She despises Russia and Russians, so her main goal is to emigrate. Usually, her first and main condition is to be able to live abroad, and deep inside she

A woman walking along Kuznetski Most street in Moscow
A woman walking along Kuznetski Most street in Moscow
doesn't care about the relationship. If necessary, she will be a slave to her future husband, only to be able to leave Russia.

• "Money Maker". This is a dangerous type. Her main goal is to make money, so a long-term relationship is not on her agenda. The most important is to get a regular allowance from the future husband. Usually, this kind of people come from poor families and are not able to do anything by themselves. However, some of them are just "players": they get pleasure in sucking out the money, and then dissappearing. There were a lot of cases, when a woman like this would engage into writing over the internet with a foreign man, and then at one moment ask some money to buy a plane ticket to be able to meet. So, a naive "husband" would send his "future wife" a check for $1000 US and never hear about her again...

HOW TO FIND A BRIDE? In general, a man can either use one of many marriage agencies' services or start looking for a future wife on his own. Usually, the search starts from writing a personal ad about yourself, which is intended for women. This ad can later be placed in special publications (offline and online), sent directly to women, or submitted to a marriage agency, which will distribute the information among its women-subscribers.

• Traditional Marriage Agencies.
There are a lot of marriage agencies in the world that offer introduction services. In most cases, these agencies have a database of women who want to find a foreign husband and a database of men who want to find a wife from another country. The marriage agencies make money by selling entries from these databases to men and women, who want to find a partner. However, usually, it is men paying to have their data submitted to the database, or to have access to some data from the "women" database.
Pro: a possibility of making a sample from this database based on such criteria as age, occupation, interests -- it makes it easier to find a kind of person you're looking for.
Contra: This approach seems quite general and time-consuming. Even if the database is quite comprehensive, it will never give a complete representation of a person. Also, the woman doesn't choose the man at all. Also, there's a high possibility that the woman was already contacted by many men, which lessens your chances. Also, the women who submit their profiles to marriage agencies are marriage-oriented by default, so there's a risk of getting into a "Money Maker" or a "Russophobic"...

• Internet Marriage Agencies. Generally, they employ the same concept as traditional ones, except that they use internet. It allows easier access to their databases, online search on various criterias, and makes the services more versatile and less expensive. It's better to find the agency, which operates its own database -- many marriage agencies just buy databases of other marriage agencies and these databases become outdated and old...
What services do they offer: (a) Submitting your data to marriage agencies (about $50 US per month); (b) Listing your ad in a special catalogue, which is then distributed among interested women (about $150 US); (c) Ads in Russian newspapers and magazines (the price depends); (d) Selling e-mail, postal addresses and phone numbers of women from the database (about $10 US for one address); (e) E-mail forwarding. Many ladies don't have an e-mail access, so you submit your e-mail, it is printed out and forwarded to the lady you're writing to. (usually it costs $5 US for a letter).
Things to be aware about:
(a) There's much scam on the internet related to "marriage business", be aware about it, choose only reputable agencies or the ones, that were recommended to you by a person who had his own positive experience at a specific agency.
(b) E-mail forwarding is a big business: most of the ladies don't have internet access, so the agencies make money out of it: every letter costs $5. Ask the lady you're writing with if the e-mail is her personal, and if it is not, ask for a post address or phone number.
(c) Sometimes, it's not even real women writing the letters, but agents (there were cases like this in Russia). So one should always be aware of it. The best way to check is to ask for a post address (no P.O. boxes) and a home phone number and check personally.
(d) Never send money. If you need to meet, better buy a plane ticket for yourself and come to Russia.
What agencies to use: There's a myriad of different agencies and it's hard to recommend something, but the most popular internet marriage agencies that have Russian women's profiles in their databases are: (please, note,
we do not recommend these agencies, just give information about them)

- Foreign Affair -- one of the biggest introduction agencies, it is based in Arizona, USA. Has databases of emails ($9 US for an address, $95 US for more than 20), offers a 3-month ad placement in a catalogue, magazines, newspapers ($145 US), has open access to profiles. Accepts credit cards.
- Elena's Models -- a quote from their site: "specializes in introducing Russian and Eastern European women of models quality who seek contacts with western men with the purpose of future marriage". Based in South Africa. Has online profiles, sells e-mail addresses ($9 US per one), does ad listing in special publications, e-mail forwarding, submitting data to marriage agencies.
- A Pretty Woman -- a US based small dating agency, features profiles on Russian women only.
- Bride.Ru -- a Russian based introduction agency. Features online profiles, sells e-mails and phone numbers of Russian marriage-minded women for $20 US for about 1800 addresses.

• Internet Dating Sites. These kind of sites are not marriage agencies. They are free both for men and women who want to find a partner. Usually, a person submits his / her profile and a photograph to a searchable database. Once the profile is in the database, everybody can have access to it. A good thing about this service is that it's free and opened to everybody, however, it is not targeted specially to marriage-minded people. To be able to present yourself to Russian women, it's better to use Russian dating sites. Most of them are in Russian language, however, if you have a Russian-speaking friend, it's very much worth to try to place an ad in Russian there or surf through the existing ads. Among the most popular Russian dating sites are:
- Omen.Ru - A popular Russian entertainment portal, dating section.
- Dating.Ru - Another Russian dating portal
- Aslanova.Ru - Personal ads posted by Russian girls from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, and other Russian cities. Careful: there are some erotics links inside. The site is fully in Russian, but you can click through to get to e-mails.

• Placing Your Own Ad. Doing things yourself, you bypass all kinds of intermediaries. The best thing to do is to put a personal ad in a newspaper or a magazine which is published in Russia. You might do it in English, but to increase your chances, you can try to find a Russian friend, who'll translate your ad for you. The only problem with that is that your ad will be most probably targeted to people from Moscow and St. Petersburg only. It'll be hard to put a personal ad in a newspaper or a magazine issued in a provincial Russian town. In that case, the best is to find special publications for marriage-minded women and to place an ad there, or use the services of introduction agencies.
Anyway, here's a list of some Russian publications, which might be interesting for placing an ad in:
- The Moscow Times (http://www.themoscowtimes.com) -- a daily English-language newspaper published in Moscow. Very popular among expats and middle-class educated Moscovitans. There's a classified section, where you can put a personal for about $10-$20 US.
- The St. Petersburg Times (http://www.sptimes.ru) -- a daily English-language newspaper, a twin of the Moscow Times, published in St. Petersburg.
- The Russian Journal (http://www.russianjournal.ru) -- a daily and weekly English-language newspaper.
- Afisha Magazine (http://www.afisha.ru) -- a very popular Moscow listings publication in Russian language, features culture, arts, what's on listings, cinema and more. A kind of TimeOut Magazine for Moscow. Features "Personals" section in classified. Popular among young people, people, who want to be "in fashion", Moscow intelligentsia.


HOW TO MARRY IN RUSSIA. Please, read a complete guide to marriage in Russia based on personal experience (from the very beginning to the very end!) at Practicalities / Travelers Advice / Marriage section.


Your Comments
Please, post your messages at Talk Lounge Russia Forums.

 
Comment (posted on 28/10/02): "Hi.
I have a new 'type' of Russian Woman for you - my ex-wife! She's a combination of several different 'types'.
Started by ripping me off (I ignore red flags) - then tells me the truth that she was ripping me off, but now says she has fallen in love with me - seems totally genuine (but its not: spoilt upbringing, immature, no morals) - we get married, she comes to live in the UK - then she decides her husband is not wealthy enough for her, so finds another guy, and leaves me after a mere 5 months.
Be warned, all my family and friends fell for her lies; there are some evil creatures out there!"
Answer: Witch!


Comment (posted on 13/11/02): "i have met several guys in alaska who have married russian woman through the internet. they have been together for many years and are happy.the service they used was pretty woman. they say the russian woman have old values and know what they want. unlike american woman.
Answer: Hhhhmmmmm..... You're not advertising, are you? And I thought it was American women who knew what they want...

Comment (posted on 16/12/02):
"There are lots of very useful information at www.antiscam.net about the Russian Dating/Bride frauds and scammers. I'm heading to Russia to visit a fantastic girl I met through Elenasmodels.com, for the New Year. Its sure beats having to spend the holidays on overpriced alcohol in Ireland and then having to chat up "Not so Attractive" woman with Beer Goggles on. I have travelled the world and had a lot of friends and Girlfriends but I must say that in Ireland and the UK, I believe that it is truely exceptional for High Intelligence and Outstanding Beauty to combine together in a woman. If she is extremely Beautiful she will be modelling before she is 16 and then will never even dream about spending 4 years in University on peanuts when teh modelling career pays so much."
Hope I don't start a fire here, its just my opinion after all. Great site though.."

Comment (posted 2/02/03): "How to find a russian bride:
Just try www.love.germany.ru - almost no agencies, lots of privat contacts.
Enjoy it, some are really magnifying beauties!"
Answer: I checked out this website, looks like they can really give you contacts for free. If you have any experience with them, please, let us know, so we let other people know about that. Cheers (Dmitri)

Comment (posted 27/02/03):
"I was contacted by a Russian women last month. It was thru yahoo personals. She writes daily and sends pics each time, even ones of her cat. She is attractive and seems genuine. How can I figure out is she is on the up-n-up? I was not looking for a russian bride per say and she contacted me. Any ideas would be appreciated."
 

Comment (posted 9/03/03):
To the man asking advice on Russian woman:
try sending her a small gift or a bunch of flowers using any flowers delivery service - if you know her address.
If not - it's a big Red flag :(
ask the agency to make a picture of delivery, you can check this way:
1) if she really exists at the address given;
2) if she really looks like she tries to show to you
If any of the above fail - run from her like from hell :)
Best,
Andrew
You can order flower delivery at Extra Services / Flower Delivery section of WayToRussia.Net


Comment (8/04/03):
"Can anyone please recommend a free tried and tested russian dating website in english? As most of the website recommended here are either by subscription/payment or written in Russian. Your kind responses would be appreciated. Dmitri and crew keep up the good work - nice and informative website."

Comment (17/04/03):
"Hello! I'm really shocked about your full information of Russia. Congratulations!!
I'm a spanish guy, and i go sometimes to Russia, i have found this page seeking Novosibirsk by on line seeker.
Really thank your for all these information!
It help me very much!
Excuse my bad english...
Regards, Nico."
Answer: Thank you, Nico, you just gave us our daily dose of motivation :-).

Comment (18/04/03): "My advice is that there's no need to use any of these artificial dating agencies to meet women, just go there, and travel and enjoy the culture, I made many good friends and men and women and saw some great history, and eventually you will meet the right person, naturally, not artificially, as it should be.
This advice is for men and women, because Russian men are not the stereotyped slobs or slackers as maybe even many Russian women say, I have great Russian male friends too, they are educated and intelligent and keen to meet people from different cultures. i am tired of this racist portrayal of russian men as alcoholics, bums etc.
I am not russian by the way, but I am speaking from personal experience."

Comment (27/04/03): "i received a e-mail address from brides.ru we have been talking e-mail for a while she has sent me her address and phone number but the problem is she dont speak english or i russian. is ther some way we can chat on here for free useing a translator"
Answer: You can use interpreting services offered on waytorussia.net site, see Extra Services section.

Comment (2/06/03): "From my personnal experience, you can meet by friendly (I mean no rip-off without pay any kopeck) matchmaking website like www.netclub.fr, where you can friendly get first contact with real and sincere young and intelligent russian woman (I admit that I was a bit very lucky).
Then if you are on same wavelength, continue to know each other by phone (phone each other at home and at jobplace allow confidence take place) and write emails regularly, before arrange meet each other and share a stay in an apartment rent by yourself !
IMO, it's one of the best way to have "apercu" (preview in french) of a family life with her without any "interference" of business third party...
Oljenka, I hope that you are reading me !
Ton amour, Jacques."

Comment (15/09/03): " Hi, I just wanted to say that this is a great article and I learned a lot, but I would never tell a girl that I was rich in the first place, I would just tell her that I am a person of average wealth, just like her. Also, I would not use an internet site to find a girl (Russian or otherwise), the best thing to do is to go to the country and if u see a nice girl, just make conversation with her in the normal way, treat her nicely, make her feel really special and theres a good chance that after a while, she will like you a lot. However, if you are seriously looking for marriage then an agency is not a bad idea. I am not rich but even if I was I would never tell anyone about it, remember, you cannot trust anyone in this world other than yourself and almighty God! I really want to go to Russia soon, not because I want a Russian woman (although I wouldn't mind lol) but because I have a great admiration for Russia and the Russian people, I admire their strength and their great history, the way that they always survive no matter what the problems and hardships, they always find a way to victory. I can't understand why any one would be a "Russophobiac", If I was Russian I would be very proud! Anyway, if I wanted to get married, then I would only go for the "family" type, even if she was "blonde", I would make sure that she was a good person from her heart... Too many Westerners make mistakes and end up marrying a girl who is just a "Gold Digger" and wants to rip you off, which is why it is very important that you really get to the know the girl first! However, it is quite true that Russian women in general are honest, kind, caring, and have good hearts, I know this because my one of my friends is married to a wonderful Russian girl, she is the nicest person I have ever met... Anyway, I could talk about Russia forever coz I love it so much but I have to go, all I say is that please take care and be careful, a TRUE woman (Not just in Russia but from anywhere in the world) does not really need money or material things to make her happy, she just needs love! This doesn't mean that you are a slave for her and do everything to make her happy, it just means that you are there for her when she really needs you and that she can always rely on you to be there for her, in her good times and her bad times, just stand by her and always be her BEST FRIEND! This is the key! Remember, you can't BUY love, you can only EARN it, love is the greatest gift that a woman can give you, so please treat this gift with great care and respect, and I GUARANTEE that you will always be truly HAPPY! Thanks..."

Comment (23/09/03): "I've just written and published a novel about an ESL instructor obsessed with winning a Russian mail-order bride he "meets" on the Internet. I found my Russian wife online, the love of my life: the novel grew out of my experience (although it's fictionalized). Generalizations are always terrible -- still, I think Russian women must be the best in the world. Go to http://www.stalinsdacha.com and get my novel and read it. My experience was not the main character's, and the main character's will not be yours, exactly, but there is a lot of overlap. It will definitely give you something to think about.
--Eric Woro
Author of "Stalin's Dacha""

Comment (29/01/04): "I think the best way I did so I got married with a beautiful ukrainian lady is enclosed in this:
1)lear russian languages in your mother country. It isn't so difficult, in a term period of 6 months within 2 hours daily base you will speak more or less enough for you to understand each other.
2)GO to Russia or Ukraine,
spend there at least one month and start talking with all ladies you like.They are everywhere on streets,churches
and museums,parties,exibitions
and parks,movies,schools,etc.
Don't be shy they are so nice and will be delighted to start a chat with a nice foreigner like you.Besides they feel very proud of their countries so they will become the best tourist guide you can find and in love as well as relationship ukrainian or russian ladies are the most passionate criatures in all the world you simple can't stand it."




Relevant Links:

Way to Russia Talk Lounge Forums:
How to win a Russian woman back
Should I trust her?
A furios feedback to "Russian Women" article
Marriage in Russia
How to get a Russian woman

Articles:
Middle-aged women in Russia
Russian people interviews


News:
Russian football players' wives strip to support the Russian team at Euro 2004

 
 


 

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