Fairies are said to covet anything that is beautiful, which includes the bride and all her fineries.
The wedding veil has special meaning in Ireland. In ancient time, it was believed to hide the bride away from leprechauns and fairies who would try to capture the bride and take her beautiful dress. Today in Ireland, veils are often embroidered with shamrocks or the Claddagh symbol.
It is also lucky for the bride and groom to wear old shoes when they get married. This would prevent their being kidnapped by fairies. In County Cork, it is believed that fairies would whisk away the wedding couple to the "Land of the Ever Young," just to get a hold of a pair of handsome new shoes.
Read more Celtic wedding traditions and toasts in the liner notes of my "Haste to the Wedding" CD, ©2005 Anne Roos.