The nightmarish blind date. The horrendously awkward fix up. Most of us have suffered through them at one time or another and while occasionally they do result in a pleasant experience and maybe in a very rare case, a long term relationship, generally they are good for a laugh over drinks with friends and then best forgotten. This poses the problem; where can one meet a perspective partner or spouse? With so many people now working remotely from home, the chances of meeting someone at work may be slim. Still, there are ways around this predicament. Welcome to the world of online dating and private matchmakers.
The number of online dating sites seems to grow almost daily. While making introductions to other singles possible for a minimal fee, there is still a lot of work required on the part of each participant. There is the profile that must be written, the photos that must be added, and most likely a daily monitoring and weeding out of possible matches. There is also the investigative work required to insure your date is who they say they are and is even indeed truly single! While online dating sites can certainly find you that one special someone, you need to be very proactive to maintain your safety and privacy. It can be overwhelming.
Enter the private matchmaker. For those who can afford such a luxury, this option presents the safest and most reliable way of ensuring you find that special someone. Private matchmakers have been around for centuries, and with the success of the reality television show Millionaire Matchmaker, with Patti Stanger, they have now come into the forefront as a viable, albeit expensive option. Private matchmakers do it all, from helping you with personal style, coaching you through that first nerve wracking date and most importantly performing background checks, thereby taking away the safety issue as mentioned above. Below is a list of some of the most expensive and celebrated private matchmakers on the market today. Most are hesitant to list concrete prices so these prices represent a range from basic packages to the most expensive. For those who can afford it, no more "Looking for love in all the wrong places!"
10 Brooke Carsner: $3,300
Brooke Carsner is the owner of Intuitive Matchmaking, and is a matchmaker herself. Her company works with clients on a year long basis, which allows them to learn the client and focus on quality matches. Everyone in the agency is met with in person and goes through a screening process and a criminal background check. Intuitive Matchmaking takes their clients through the whole dating process and gives continuing support even once a successful match is achieved.
9 Stellar Hitch: $3,400
Stellar Hitch is owned by married couple Andrea and Cristina Morara. They began their matchmaking service in 2009 in Sarasota, Florida. Though they still maintain offices there, they have branched out to California where they now have a popular location in Los Angeles. Stellar Hitch bills itself as the antithesis to online dating. They are an OFFLINE matchmaking site meaning you deal with them directly. They focus on what they call "The inside and out" helping you prepare for the date, giving you plenty of feedback and keeping abreast of what men and women are looking for in a partner. Packages are customized depending on the client's criteria.
8 Marla Martenson: $5,000
Marla Martenson has been a professional matchmaker in the Los Angeles area since 2001. Not only a matchmaker, Marla is a professional dating coach and motivational speaker and has appeared on The Today Show, as well as a host of other television and radio programs. Marla does not have a set fee per package. She starts at $5,000 (men are her paying clients,) and it goes up from there as she develops a personalized program for each of her clients. She has a boutique service where every client is considered a VIP.
7 Lisa Ronis: $15,000
Lisa Ronis is a matchmaker specializing in bringing together upscale singles, who, due to busy work schedules and hectic lifestyles cannot find the time to meet that special person. She divides her time between New York City and Palm Beach and is willing to travel to meet the needs of her clients. She has a reputation for being warm and friendly, instantly putting her clients at ease. Unlike many other matchmakers, Lisa has both male and female paying clients, and indeed represents several very wealthy and successful women. For the initial fee of $15,000, Lisa provides one year of unlimited introductions for her clients, who range in age from late 20's to early 70's.
6 Kelleher International: $15,000 - $100,000
Kelleher International was established 26 years ago by Jill Kelleher, who was then joined in the business by her daughter Amber. This family owned San Francisco based company is now the largest privately owned matchmaking firm in the country. They are also known internationally because they have locations in London, Stockholm and Hong Kong to name just a few. They base their model on the "Personal Headhunter" technique, where they are continually networking and recruiting nationwide to provide quality matches for their clients. Staff members consist of intuitive matchmakers and skilled relationship coaches, many of whom hold Masters' and PhD's. A staff member meets and interviews every prospective client. The $15,000 fee buys a year's worth of unlimited matches in one city.
5 Samantha Daniels: $25,000
Samantha Daniels is the owner of Samantha's Table, a matchmaking service for the "discerning and discreet". Samantha runs her service a little differently in that she does not only introduce clients to other clients. Often times Samantha will introduce clients to people she knows socially on personal or professional levels. They are available as dates to her clients only because of the personal relationships she has with them. Samantha focuses her efforts in the New York City and Los Angeles markets. She introduces people one-on-one over drinks, thereby avoiding the stress of a long awkward dinner. As with most matchmakers, the intro fee of $25,000 can go up depending on the package best suited to the client.
4 Chris Stelmack: $25,000 - $100,000
Chris Stelmack is the founder of the 4M Club, a millionaire matchmaking agency catering to a select group of wealthy bachelors, primarily nationwide. This company differs from some of the others in that it has only men as paying clients. Women are never charged a fee and may confidentially fill out a pre-application on the web site to be considered for an interview and a potential match for a client. Chris works personally with every client. The fees above represent the low to high range of fees, and differs depending on the individual bachelor, his marketability and his expectations. The fee usually represents a one to two year agreement. The 4M Club typically represents bachelors with a net worth of three million or greater.
3 Kailen Rosenberg: $75,000
Kailen Rosenberg, the founder of The Love Architects is well-known in the matchmaking business. Branded "A true love ambassador," by Oprah Winfrey, she is also known as "The love whisperer," and the "Love guru". She is author of the book Real Love, Right Now, and has been featured in over 100 interviews including Good Morning America and CNN. The price listed above is for the "Elite Founder's Program,"which includes homework assignments, her trademarked custom Love and Life Design Blueprint, personalized coaching and home visit and up to 10 hand selected and custom matches/personalized referrals.
2 Janis Spindel: $250,000 - $500,000
Janis Spindel started her company, Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking, Inc in 1993. According to the website, Janis' clients are men and the women are members. All women must submit an application and there are various levels (costs) of membership. Though Janis does offer an introductory fee of $1,000, the true high end matches are made at a high-end level. Elite services, where Janis and her staff travel to the client and conduct an expansive search, costs $250,000 on the front end and another $250,000 upon a successful match. Janis has over 1,000 successful marriages to her name.
1 Orly Orya: $1,000,000
Orly Orya comes from a long line of matchmakers. Her parents were matchmakers in Israel and she has continued the tradition. Holding a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the highest paid matchmaker ever, she continues her grand legacy with a price tag to match. Orly still performs her magic without any computers or high-tech gadgets, preferring to spend time with each client on a one-on-one basis, in the old fashioned tradition of matchmaking from the heart. Orly offers a variety of high-end packages but her top of the line, cream of the crop is "Orly's Royalty and Fortune 500 Introductions." For the fee of $1,000,000 a gentleman receives a lifetime membership of introductions to "The finest and most elite women in the world." A client's search will be customized to their exact specifications. Orly is also author of the book, Finding the Perfect Match.