Today's traditional "to have and to hold" marriage vows date back to medieval times. Though the words have changed little in more than 500 years (with the exception of "to obey," now largely omitted), many couples now opt to pen their own.

Today's traditional "to have and to hold" marriage vows date back to medieval times. Though the words have changed little in more than 500 years (with the exception of "to obey," now largely omitted), many couples now opt to pen their own.

We asked recent Columbus brides who customized their own vows to pass along their tips.

Our Brides

Heidi Hubmann, wed Joe Rettof

Sarah Wegener, wed Andrew Good

Natasha Ballard, wed Adam Churches

Rachel Gapa, wed Greg Pace

Why did you write your vows?

Heidi: Our ceremony was somewhat nontraditional. It was very centered around us as a couple … This option seemedthe most obvious way to make the ceremony even more personal.

Natasha: This was a perfect opportunity for our friends and family to not only be reminded of that piece of us they knew individually, but also see how open and honest [we] are withone another.

Did you memorize them?

Heidi: We didn't. I revised mine right up until bedtimethe night before. I didn't want to focus too much on the memorization and lose emotion.

Rachel: I didn't want to add "remembering my vows" to the list of things that made me nervous.We had our pastor read them to us and we repeated after.

Advice for other couples?

Rachel: We looked at using traditional vows and realized that they didn't apply to us enough. We wanted our vows to reflect who we are as a couple. We frequently make jokes by rhyming, so we put a joke-y rhyme in them: "… To talk with you, and joke with you, even if I go broke with you"

Sarah: We wrote our vows separately.One month before our big day, we shared them with each other to determine if there was anything we should change.We both loved what the other had written, and didn't make any changes.It was great to have shared them once beforehand to help with the wedding-day jitters!