It somehow doesn't seem quite fair, but it doesn't at all surprise me, the differences between what bridesmaids and the groomsmen in what they have to go through.
I decided to go with the designer Alfred Angelo for my bridesmaids. He has a several dozen different styles, colors, and fabrics from which to choose, and many bridal shops sell his gowns and dresses, which made it helpful: There was at least one store within a reasonable proximity to all my bridesmaids (who live in California; Utah; upstate New York; Long Island, New York; and Massachusetts). My bridesmaids could choose whichever style of gown they'd like, but I asked them to order their gown in tea rose, which is a pale pink. My girls could view all the styles online, choose a few that they liked, and go to their nearest store.
Meanwhile, the groomsmen are being sent to Men's Wearhouse. The closest store to us is about half a mile away; there are Men's Wearhouses close to all our groomsmen, and several in the Lehigh Valley, so the men can all return their tuxes to one of the local stores the day after the wedding. They need to be fitted three weeks before the wedding, but it doesn't matter at which store they get fitted or from which store they pick up their tux because all that information is accessible from any store nationwide. Furthermore, after he chose all the accessories, he gave Men's Wearhouse the names of our groomsmen and our fathers, Ed was given an access code to he could check up online to see when the groomsmen have been fitted. E-Z Groomsmen Cyberstalking.
The bridesmaids' dresses take an indeterminate amount of time to arrive, which is to say I have no idea how long it takes. It probably varies by store, the particular dress ordered, when it was ordered, etc. Furthermore, I have no way of tracking who has done what, so I've had to e-mail my bridesmaids several times to ask when they've gone shopping and asking if they've run into any problems. I feel like I'm micromanaging them, which I am absolutely not trying to do, but no one has volunteered any info and because I've never been married before and haven't gone through this process before, I have no way of knowing what the process is from the bride's point of view. So I send emails and try to explain that they may need several weeks for the dresses to come in, they may need alterations, etc., so sooner rather than later is preferable. And to please just keep my apprised of the situation.
It's a fine line between being an irritant and just asking for information. I don't expect anyone in our bridal party to view my wedding as being as important to them as it is to me, but it does give me a new appreciation for letting folks know what's going on in a timely manner.