Bridesmaids Dresses and Tuxedoes – How Does Your Wedding Party Measure Up?

In my career I have had to order thousands of bridesmaids dresses and tuxedos. It is typically a relatively painless process, but one portion of the ordering process is usually quite a challenge… getting accurate measurements!

Gone are the days when all the bridesmaids and groomsmen live in the same city. I have had to get measurements from New York to Hong Kong, Florida to Paris and beyond. If distance isn’t an issue, getting the wedding party to take the time to get measured can be. (There are always stragglers.)

Here are my suggestions for alleviating some of the chaos of getting measurements from your wedding party:

  • Give the wedding party a final measurement deadline of one month prior to when you want it. You will probably have to send reminders (and sometimes nag), but if you give yourself enough lead time, you won’t be in a panic.
  • Request that they go to a professional to get measured. The easiest way to do this is to order your tuxedos or gowns from a chain that has stores in your wedding party’s hometowns. If that isn’t possible, let them know that most tuxedo shops have an unwritten agreement to take measurements, at no charge, and give them to the groomsmen. That is not as common in bridal salons, but if your bridesmaid agrees to get her alterations done at the shop, they may be willing to help her.
  • If any of your bridesmaids and groomsmen insist on not going to a professional to get measured, please encourage them to have a friend help them read the measuring tape. You would not believe the crazy measurements we get from bridesmaids and groomsmen who pull the measuring tape away from their bodies to read the tape. (No girl who wears a size 4 dress has a 40 inch waist).
  • Make sure to review all the measurements with the professionals at the tuxedo shop or the gown salon. They will know by the height and weight whether or not there are any bogus measurements. Also, for those of you who have girls in the wedding party who are concerned about their size (so all of them), make sure to reassure them that the gown size will be larger than the size they typically wear.