It turned out great! I am glad you decided to scale back your design, better to have a nice cake that you can get made in the time you had, rather than no cake, or a mess of a cake, that is too complicated and time consuming. Now you can play around with the fondant when you don't have a time pressure. By the way, this cake would serve around 64.
Another difference is that a larger bakery can get bulk pricing, a small home baker doesn't. A larger bakery also can be more efficient, making large batches of icing, batter, larger ovens, etc so that they can be more efficient than a smaller baker. So a small baker will likely have greater expenses in some categories.
Best, I had thought of that a few years ago and tried it out. I didn't like how much thicker the thickness of the pipe is compared to the purchased tube. I didn't like how it pushed down on the cake more, even if I tapered the downward edge. Plus the extra work to saw and file the edges, takes more time. I decided against sticking with the pvc.
My statement was not referring to putting a cream cheese iced cake out in the hot sun and it not sagging. Of course it will, as will most icings. I was simply stating that you can pipe and make borders with cream cheese icing. Cream cheese icing does not have to be a soft, droopy icing with the right recipe.
Can you post a picture of what is happening with yours? How high is the cake and how many blobs are you putting in your vertical line. Are you practicing with just one color or the ombre colors? I wonder if you need to use more pressure and make bigger blobs. If you look at the tutorial, the blobs are about the same size as the spatula. And yes, it is time consuming cause you need to scrape the spatula with each blob.
That is actually pretty basic piping, just some dots and some lines. Make up a batch of icing and start practicing. Take a cake pan and flip it upside down on some non-skid to practice. Pipe all over it, scrape it off, put it back in the bag and do it again and again. Just keep reusing the icing. It is amazing how much better you can get if you just do 15 minutes or so each day.
I think this is better, especially after typos from our dear cwr41. It doesn't double up on the info about the all scratch baked and does a much better job on differentiating and explaining the two order options.