I know sometimes things seem impossible, but you’ll get there. Just have to have hope and a good attitude.
Have a garage sale and get rid of things you don’t use around your house anymore, or try to sell them on craigslist. Even if you feel like you need it or want to keep it, just ask yourself which is more important, the item, or a wedding?
Stop buying gifts! People will totally understand. Well, maybe not your son, but adults will. It’s the thought that counts. A homemade card and a batch of cookies or cupcakes can go a long way, or try to offer services instead, saying you can offer them some house cleaning, car wash, lawn wedding/mowing, something. There is always something to do.
Really cut down on your food budget, if you haven’t already. My hubby and I were paying $100 a week at the grocery store just because we weren’t careful with our money. None of that now that I’m unemployed! I make a grocery list and stick to it! I make sure we only get one or two "junk food" items, because I know if we didnt get any we’d feel deprived and splurge the next week, I also am sure to have a "cheap night" every week, where we eat something like chilimac- 2 boxes of cheap macaroni and cheese with a can of chili beans. Not the greatest, but not the worst, and it saves money. Last week, we spend $60 on groceries and neither of us starved, and even had leftovers for lunches! I’m sure we could have saved even more if I would have made cheaper dinners as well. try buying in bulk when you can.
Cut back on internet service, if you arent using dial up. DSL is expensive, but you could probably find dial up for $10 a month, unless you only have a laptop.
That said, usually you can get out of contracts. If you can’t pay, you can’t pay! Generally for wedding things, it just means you wont get your deposits back. You really don’t need a DJ, honest! We used an ipod that we borrowed from someone, but cds would work too! We also did cupcakes instead of a cake to save money. Hubby and I had a small cake so we could cut it together, but everyone else had cupcakes, and they loved them!
You could have a potluck dinner where everyone brings something so you don’t have to worry about food, or a picnic lunch reception in the park so you don’t even need tables and chairs, and could serve things like subway sandwhiches ($5 foot longs!)! Heck, you don’t even need to serve food at all! You could have ONLY cake and thats it! (works best in the evening, after 7 or so).
I know this is going to sound harsh, but if you really want THAT date, and it’s very important to you to hurry so your grandfather can be there, you need to stop this attidude! It’s not important if you have a DJ, or a cake, or favors (people dont like them anyway!) or even a wedding dress!! What is important is that the two of you will be married and spending the rest of your life together! You have plenty of time to have the wedding of your dreams, so don’t sell yourself short now just to be done in a rush. Have a small, intimate wedding (cutting back the guest list really cuts costs!) so that your grandfather can witness the wonderful, magical moment when you and your FI say "I do" and stop stressing about the rest. Heck yeah it’s a bummer, but a lot of people do this and then have a wedding later when they can afford it. Be realistic, if you REALLY can’t afford these things you want and if there is NO WAY you can cutback on ANYTHING or save money ANYWHERE, then you need to give this vision up for now and try something else. You can do something or not, and that’s your call.