Congrats on your engagement, and I'm sure I'm not going to be the last to welcome you to the forum. Like a lot of other brides-to-be, I too was deciding between Mexico and the DR. The prices were more attractive in Mexico (being from Southern California) but after my FI heard about the blood tests and chest X-rays, he was not to keen on it. We ultimately decided to to with Excellence, Punta Cana and we couldn't be happier with our choice. The planning has been very easy. The WC has been great getting back to me, answering all my questions. We have a lot of friends from New York who have been to the DR many times and absolutely love it there.
We also liked the fact that there are a TON of affordable excursions that are easy to book and they pick you up at your resort including zip lining, xtreme dune buggy rides, safari, etc. We figured that there would be something for everyone, including the aforementioned casino option.
If you have any questions about the DR or Excellence, feel free to PM me. Whatever you choose, you'll have an amazing wedding, it's your special day and it'll be perfect.