The title, Breaking Dawn, is a reference to the beginning of Bella's life as a newborn vampire. The cover is a metaphor for Bella's progression throughout the entire series; she began as the physically weakest player on the board, the pawn, but at the end she becomes the strongest, the queen.
The plays The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream both influenced Breaking Dawn. Originally, Meyer wrote a book titled Forever Dawn, which was a direct sequel to Twilight. While the basic storyline remained the same, Forever Dawn was narrated completely from Bella's point of view, the werewolves and Jacob were "only sketchily developed", Victoria and Laurent were both alive, and there was an epilogue. Meyer went on to say that she "may post some extras someday if I ever have time to go back through the Forever Dawn manuscript—it's just as long as Breaking Dawn."
In regard to Renesmee's unique name, Meyer wrote that she "couldn't call her Jennifer or Ashley. What do you name the most unique baby in the world? I looked through a lot of baby name websites. Eventually I realized that there was no human name that was going to work for me, so I surrendered to necessity and made up my own." Meyer decided to include the pregnancy in her story while she was researching vampires and came across the legend of the incubus, a demon who could father children.
Meyer states in regard to ending the series that:
"The Twilight Saga is really Bella's story, and this was the natural place for her story to wind up. She overcame the major obstacles in her path and fought her way to the place she wanted to be. I suppose I could try to prolong her story unnaturally, but it wouldn't be interesting enough to keep me writing. Stories need conflict, and the conflicts that are Bella-centric are resolved."