Drawing on her years of expertise, JoAnne Hewlett of Make a Memory Event Planning offers 10 key ingredients to consider before you cut the baker a check:

Picking out a wedding cake seems like it would be a simple pursuit. After all, who doesn’t like cake?

But, with more than 20 years as a wedding planner, JoAnne Hewlett of Make a Memory Event Planning has seen some sweet buttercream dreams and more than a few nightmares.

The problem is that cakes now have as many options as a custom designed dress. Right off the bat, couples have to consider design, taste, style and price. But, should they go with buttercream or fondant? Edible flowers or elaborate scrollwork? Classic white or the color of the moment?

Drawing on her years of expertise, Hewlett offers 10 key ingredients to consider before you cut the baker a check:

1. How many guests are you expecting? Bakers charge by the slice so you have to know this number before you can discuss strawberry preserves versus chocolate ganache.

2. A picture is worth a thousand...bites With Pinterest, modern brides have a not-so-secret wedding idea book at their fingertips. Start a cake “board” to illustrate your preferences and ask specific questions. How much extra are sculpted flowers made of icing? Are edible flowers cheaper? What about edible glitter? Details can make or break your budget so get all the information up front.

3. Is your wedding inside or outside? Temperature and time of day can greatly effect what your cake will look like by the time you are ready to cut slices and pose for pictures.

4. Neighboring nibbles Summer weddings and five-tier cakes don’t mix well when the baker will have to drive an hour to deliver and set up. Pick a baker close to your venue.

5. The dreaded budget Think you can’t afford the cake of your dreams? Consider doing it on a small scale. Petite can still be dramatic. The baker can then supplement you with a traditional sheet cake for guests.

6. Be color smart You spent weeks picking out a beautiful wedding dress. Vivid colors—perfectly on trend right now—will shine like a neon sign under the camera’s flash if even a speck falls on your dress.

7. Think outside the knife Bite-size bundles have become increasingly popular. From cupcakes to doughnuts, you are no longer relegated to a classic three-tiered cake.

8. Sample before sale Taste and style are very important and, like it or not, everyone will be commenting on it. So, be wary of bakers who don’t have fresh samples ready for your appointment. Also, make sure you both speak the same sweet language. What does “scrollwork” mean to you? When you say strawberry filling, are you thinking about preserves or freshly cut berries?

9. Cutting the small details Most bakers supply dessert plates and utensils but it’s good to ask. However, brides usually supply their own special serving set (a cake knife and a serving knife).

10. Favors to go As expenses mount, consider that your cake could do double duty as a wedding favor. Invest in some cute miniature boxes or bags and, voila, your guests have their own edible parting gift!