For your destination wedding did you just send out standard save the date/invitations or did you reach out to people and provide advanced notice and put feelers out if they would definitely be there, maybe or no?
We had a DW in our same state but 8 hours away (a 1-hour flight for some). We asked our 15 guests if 1) they would go to our destination and 2) would our date work? Everyone said yes! I think we asked about a year before.
It's quite awhile until your wedding. I wouldn't commit to asking anyone yet, even verbally or in a text. Plans or guest list may change. I'd send STD's at about a year prior to the wedding, and formal invitations about 6-8 weeks before the wedding with RSVP date whenever your venue wants it.
I think it depends how much of a destination wedding it is.
I am in Australia and I had a friend plan to get married in Mexico (sadly cancelled due to COVID) and she deliberately gave everyone save the dates 2 years in advance because she knew it would be expensive for guests to attend and that everyone would appreciate the prolonged period to save for it.
For a destination wedding on the other side of the world, I'd give as much notice as possible, though for somewhere perhaps a few hours away or interstate, I'd give save the dates at least maybe 8-12 months in advance as appropriate based on the location/anticipated expense.
I sent out save the dates in January (as soon as I had our reception venue and our chapel booked for our date), our wedding is in November. I sent out invitations in August. Final guest headcount for vendors needs to be done by October (one month prior).
Ours is “destination” in that everyone will need to travel 3-6 hours. We are planning to send save the dates a year in advance, but I’ve been telling my VIPs what the date is as I speak with them even though we’re two years out.