My fiance and I are getting married June 28th 2011 at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort and Spa in Punta Cana DR. I have yet to find another person on this site getting married at that resort. I realize it is only a 4 star resort and not quite the caliber of Moon Palace or Excellence which I know are popular. However, we were on a really tight budget as was our immediate family so this resort was a great find. The beach is gorgeous, the resort is smaller than some, 7 restaurants and no casino but it got decent reviews on trip advisor and other sites and the rates are unbeatable! We are doing the symbolic wedding package which is $900 (for 10 guests, then $10 extra per each additional guest, very reasonable). My fiance and I are going for 15 days and our total package cost for the 2 of us out of Chicago O'hare from June 23rd-July 7th 2011 was $2500 for both of us combined including all taxes.
So that plus the wedding package is only costing us around $3500 We had to consider cost as the #1 factor because we also have my fiance's 2 daughters to pay for who are coming for a week and then his mother is coming for a week and taking the children home with her.
For anyone on a tight budget who enjoys a nice resort but doesn't need the fanciest one on the island, check out IFA villas. The WC has been amazing and SUPER fast in her email communication. I've been really impressed so far.
My take on it is, since we have never been to the DR and never been to an all inclusive resort nor have most of our guests, we won't know what is missing compared to the resorts that are double the price.
And BTW, for the poster who was wondering about $900 for 5 days at Moon Palace, I think that is a good rate. For our wedding, out of Chicago for 7 days Moon Palace was about $2000 per person.
Remember, there isn't going to be much difference between 4, 5, 7, or even 15 days...the bulk of the price is airfare which is the same regardless of how many nights you stay (depending on the day of the week you are flying of course). For example, our rate for one of us at 15 days was about $1250 and the rate for 7 days was about $900...so only $350 more to say for an additional full week! Heck yeah!