Is your wedding ceremony or reception going to incorporate cultural traditions and customs? If so, you may want to choose a dress that represents your heritage, like a bright red sari or a silk kimono. If you'd rather merge elements of your culture with Western traditions, look for a dress that will coordinate with special accents, such as an heirloom shawl or a meaningful henna tattoo. Are your religious beliefs more on the conservative side? Modesty doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style! Shop for gowns with lace cap sleeves and fabulous sequined bib necklines.
Of course, be sure to consider the season when choosing your gown. If you're getting married outside during the summer months, shop for dresses made of lightweight, airy fabrics with minimal beading and layers to keep you from feeling hot and sticky. For colder months, heavier fabrics, like satin and taffeta, are more appropriate, and warm, stylish wraps, such as a mink stole or a cashmere cardigan, can be an elegant addition to your ensemble.
Finally, make sure your dress fits the venue. If you're having an outdoor affair at the beach or in a botanical garden, opt for a simple, breezy wedding dress. Is your wedding going to be a black-tie event? Make sure your dress is equally as formal and reflects the tone of the evening. Go for the Monique Lhuillier dress with the silk organza ruffle skirt, and bring the drama!