First, don't let anyone rush you! We let people rush us & let others' opinions matter more than our own - that part, I regret so much.
To answer your question - 1 year exactly, 225 guests invited & very few are a considerable distance from us (1 couple is out of state, the rest are within 2.5 hours or so).
If you're planning a full on ceremony & reception, I'd say a year is perfect. If you're planning something smaller or less traditional, then yes, less time would work.
Family is usually hard to persuade either way (at least ours is) but you & your boyfriend need to be on the same page, ya know? If he thinks a year or longer is "ridiculous", I'd ask him how much of the wedding *he* will be planning & working on?? Sending "save the dates" a while before the actual invitations, might give those out of town family members more time to think about if they will be able to make arrangements to come.
Originally we wanted about an 18 month engagement & a smaller, intimate wedding. Now we have a 12 month engagement & a wedding bigger & more formal than I ever imagined! I really wish we had stuck to our guns instead of trying to make everyone else happy.
My husband and I were engaged for just over 2 years and got married on our actual 3 year anniversary. We had planned to get married after our first daughter was born but I got pregnant again before we started planning. We talked about getting married while I was pregnant but I didnt want to be a huge bride.. So we put everything on hold until after the pregnancy. We had her October 30th thats when we started planning really and got married this year Jan 12th. So 2 months of planning, we had about 27 people (just a ceremony and dinner) and we will be doing a huge reception sometime this summer with all our friends and family. I had 2 people (my best friend since I was 4 and her bf) they came in from the Yukon just to come to my wedding and left the next day.
We invited about 80 people, expecting about 70 to come - 65 did.
Only about 20 of those people were local. The rest were from out of town, or even Europe and Asia. It was a lot of work. Because of the amount of people coming in from abroad/out of town, we got the 'save the date' emails out quite early on, about 6 months in advance. 3 months before the wedding, we sent out official invitations and info
We reserved blocks at two different hotels, a higher end one and a more affordable one and we provided bus shuttles to and from the wedding, so people didn't feel compelled to get taxis or drive somewhat intoxicated