Far from easy way to be wed.
Perhaps the region's most famous brides abroad couple were former Northern Gas supremo Brian Clegg, who, at 75, wed 23-year-old Thai Banjit Sawaengdee.
She jilted him six days after arriving in Britain and he then fell for a Ugandan woman.
The idea of mail-order brides has been around for a while, since early settlers would write back to their homelands for a bride.
The term was reborn in the 80s, when there emerged a significant demand for mail-order brides from the Philippines, Thailand, and other Asian countries.
In the early 90s, after the Soviet Union collapsed and the Iron Curtain had been raised, there opened a new mail-order bride business opportunity.
When the internet appeared, the business boomed even further. Type in mail-order brides on the Net and you'll get 130,000 sites.
There are concerns about the practice among civil rights groups, claiming it leads to the abuse of women.