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A mail-order bride is a woman who lists herself in catalogs and is selected by a man for marriage.
Key variables determining the relationship between migration and marriage were demographics, legal policies, cultural perceptions and technology.
Men who list themselves in such publications are referred to as "mail-order husbands," although this is much less common.
The term "mail-order bride" is both criticized by owners (and customers) of international marriage agencies and used by them as an easily recognizable term.
Many women wanted to escape their present way of living, gain financial security and see what life on the frontier could offer them.
Most of these women were single, but some were widows, divorcées or runaways.