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Meet Leslie Wardman [Best SF Matchmaker For You?]

Leslie Wardman has been playing Cupid for more than 20 years. But if you’re wondering whether or not Ambiance Matchmaking can find that special someone for you, too, it makes sense to want to dig a little deeper into who she is and how she works her magic.

Our team of experts has reviewed 200+ matchmakers, diving into their service, process, success rate, and client reviews.

We've been in the industry since 2009, and our reviews are not only built on our comprehensive research but also our first-hand experience and insights.

Let’s jump in!

Meet Matchmaker Leslie Wardman

Ambiance Matchmaking co-founder Leslie Wardman

Ambiance Matchmaking, launched in 2002 by Leslie Wardman and Taylor Wade, emerged from the founders’ desire for a personalized matchmaking service focused on quality rather than quantity. 

Wardman, a Los Angeles native, spent twenty years in a successful career at ESPN in production and advertising. However, she felt the need to reinvent herself in the business world and channel her networking skills into helping others find someone special. 

In an interview with Voyage Houston Wardman shared her journey, saying, 

I would like to say that I aspired to be in this industry but it isn’t quite how it happened. I was at a time in my life when I was wanting to reinvent myself in the business world.”

Wardman’s entry into matchmaking was somewhat accidental. Intrigued by a magazine advertisement, she reached out to learn more about the featured matchmaking company.   

Reflecting on this experience, she described it this way

I didn’t seek it out, matchmaking came to me. It was a fluke. I had been working in broadcasting when I saw something about matchmaking. Long story short, I was curious – and after reaching out and chatting with the owner of the company, the next thing I knew, I’d been offered a job. I was hired out of a pool of 250 others.

While working for the international dating agency, Wardman gained valuable experience but eventually decided to leave and start her own firm. In 2002, she partnered with Taylor Wade, a long-time friend with entrepreneurial experience, to bring her vision to life. 

Ambiance Matchmaking

Together, they founded Ambiance Matchmaking with the vision of creating what they describe on their website as “a world full of conscious relationships through awareness, integrity, and commitment.” 

Expert Dating Advice Straight From The Matchmaker

Passionate about helping singles find love, Wardman and Wade created a podcast called “Date Smart” with the intention of educating and helping singles navigate common dating challenges.

Date Smart podcast logo

In an interview with Dating News Wardman expressed that one of the goals is to help people have more positive financial discussions.  

“I want to equip singles and couples with the tools to openly discuss money in their relationships and treat money as a positive thing in their lives, rather than a negative. I want to change the dialogue and mindset around money.”

And if you’re just starting to get back into the dating scene, she recommends two things: working with a professional and taking things at a comfortable pace. 

It takes time to get to know someone. Let things flow organically without being too robotic about how you think things should be. Stay away from interview-type dates, and don’t overthink. Be in the moment when you’re with someone.”

Here are a few more of Wardman’s best dating tips from around the web:

Leslie Wardman dating tips

Wardman’s Matchmaking Process & Philosophy

In a discussion with 405 Magazine, Wardman briefly explained her matchmaking process.  

I start with the basic skeleton, like, ‘Does this person fit this person’s age requirement?’ Then I start matching other elements. Where a person is in their career is very important. Balance is huge. I look for humility and good energy in people. People can go through phases of ego, and ego can get in the way.” 

The Ambiance team leverages several methods to find compatible matches. They explore their singles database, tap into their private matchmaking network, and actively recruit on your behalf. 

You may also be paired with other active members if it seems like a suitable match.  

When determining what makes a good match, Wardman emphasizes the significance of upbringing and parental influence. 

As she shared in an interview

We are always getting more sophisticated and savvy, but one thing that determines a good match would be how someone was raised. It’s like being programmed, like a computer. And how you watched your parents interact.” 

Client referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations hold great value for Wardman, as she considers them to be the most favorable forms of advertising. 

I rely on client referrals and word-of-mouth. I believe a job well done is better than any form of advertising. This adds an extra layer to the pre-screening process since I’ll already have a built-in reference.”

For Wardman, nothing brings greater joy than witnessing a genuine connection between two people. In an interview with Voyage Chicago, she expressed her ultimate goal: 

Nothing makes me happier than when two people come together and really click. Getting that phone call asking to put their account on hold because they have met the person of their dreams. Being able to feel their joy and experience the excitement vicariously is what makes it all worthwhile.”

When it comes to meeting your matches, Wardman and her team make your reservations at partnering restaurants and other local businesses. Additionally, the team follows up after each date to gather feedback and assess how the experience went.

Now that you know about Wardman’s dating philosophy, you might be curious about…

How Much It Costs To Hire Leslie Wardman

Ambiance Matchmaking provides a range of membership packages, starting around $25,000. Packages can run up to $100,000, with the total cost depending on your match criteria, the services included, and the geographical parameters of your search. 

Membership options include local, regional, national, international, and VIP packages. Contracts are typically for a year-long membership with the option to put it on hold. 

Joining the Ambiance Matchmaking database as a potential match for paying clients is free, but considered a passive membership. This means that no active scouting will be conducted for you. 

This level of service does not guarantee you’ll meet any paying clients and you’ll only be contacted if you meet the matching requirements of a member. 

Ambiance Matchmaking prices are aligned with what many other matchmaking services with a national reach charge. 

Enamour, for instance, offers elite matchmaking to successful and selective singles around the world. Matches are pulled from the exclusive, invitation-only database, or identified via a sophisticated recruiting network.

Enamour packages start around $20,000 for a 6-month contract. To learn more about Enamour, go here.

Selective Search, headquartered in Chicago and helmed by former executive recruiter Barbie Adler, offers matchmaking packages that run from $25,000 to over $250,000.

To learn more about Adler’s matchmaking service, check out these Selective Search reviews!

VIDA Select takes a different approach to pricing, offering pay-as-you-go monthly packages rather than requiring a multi-month contract. 

With a modern approach to matchmaking that leverages the largest source of eligible singles there is, the average VIDA Select client begins a relationship with someone special in just 3 months. 

Matchmaking packages begin at just $1095 per month for Basic services, $1695 per month for Premium packages, and only $2595 per month for Elite options. To learn more about VIDA Select, go here.

Want to take a closer look at Wardman’s matchmaking service? Read these Ambiance Matchmaking reviews next!

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Why Choose VIDA Select?

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Since 2009, thousands of clients have discovered true love thanks to VIDA Select’s fresh, modern approach to matchmaking – which has finally thrown blind dates and long-term contracts out the window. This isn't your grandmother’s matchmaking!

Instead of working with a single matchmaker using a small rolodex of potential partners, VIDA Select’s matchmaking team taps into the world’s largest database of available singles. We’ll quickly identify the matches who check all of your boxes so you can finally experience true chemistry. Are you ready to become our next success story? Schedule your complimentary consultation now by clicking the button below!

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