Why choose it: You're looking for extra coverage for a strapless gown or you just want an insurance policy against a September chill.
What to consider: Options range from the simple (a white pashmina or cashmere cardigan) to the ornate (a beaded shrug). You may want to swathe a satin gown in a panel made from the same fabric. Ask your dressmaker to order extra material from the same dye lot as your dress, as colors can vary slightly. Standard silk, chiffon, and lace wraps are sure bets, too―and with any luck you'll have an accessory you'll actually wear again.
2 of 4Debra McClinton
Why choose it: Many women don't feel fully bridal without a veil, a tiara, or some other adornment.
What to consider: If you go the veil route, try on a variety of lengths and shapes with your gown to see what complements it best. (In general, longer veils are considered more formal and shorter ones have a slightly retro feel.) At veilshop.com, you can design your own veil in three clicks. Just choose your desired style, length, and trim. Tiaras, silk flowers, vintage combs, or pearl and crystal hairpins can also add a special touch. Find options at perfectdetails.com.
3 of 4Debra McClinton
Why choose it: To complement your neckline or simply to add sparkle to your Big Day.
What to consider: You don't want jewelry that steals the show. The pieces you purchase (or, better yet, borrow) should enhance your gown, not compete with it. So if you're wearing a dress with an elaborately beaded neckline, a necklace of any kind could be distracting. Diamond studs, pearl earrings, or a delicate diamond bracelet would work well instead. On the other hand, a wide-set portrait neckline begs to be completed with a pendant or a pair of chandelier danglers.
4 of 4Debra McClinton
Why choose them: Unless your ceremony involves sand, you can't exactly go barefoot.
What to consider: Heel height. Ballet flats or kitten heels are the safest call, but higher heels can also be comfortable if you choose a stacked or platform heel. Browse styles of flats at frenchsole.com. And visit myglassslipper.com for heels. Dyeing shoes the same color as your gown is the easiest way to guarantee a match, but you can also try buying a metallic pair. Ivory dresses tend to go well with gold shades; truer whites work better with silver tones.