Congratulations as a bride-to-be, and also as a new mommy! I got married at the Palace on May 12, and I can't answer all of your questions, but I can help with some!
We did our reception around the pool at the Palace, and it was beautiful, however if the other option fits better with your budget then I would say do that option. Anything that you do there will be beautiful, and as long as you have all of the people you love it will be perfect.
I used Styling Trio on my wedding day for myself, my bridesmaids and my mom and they were absolutely amazing. All 7 of us have gotten our makeup done many times for many occasions, and we ALL agreed that this was the best hair and makeup we had ever gotten done. We all still looked flawless the next morning even after sweating all day and night! For some of the brides you get hair and makeup included from the Barcelo, so I used this for my welcome dinner the night before and I have to say while the women were extremely nice, I was very unimpressed with the results.
Apologies for not being able to help with any of your other questions, but if there is anything else that comes up please feel free to reach out!
Happy Planning xoxo