Fairy godmothers are similar to fairies, though they are considered with some scorn by the Faerie court. Born as adults, their magic needs a conduit in order to display itself, leading them to use a wand in order to perform magic.
Fairy Godmothers are not to be confused with Fairy Godfathers. During the fourth book, "Once Upon a Crime", two characters are introduced as "Fairy Godfathers". One of whom is Tony Fats, (ex-boyfriend of Bess).