The Most Surprising Rules You Didn't Know Met Gala Attendees Have to Follow

Read on for the most shocking rules invitees must abide by inside the Met Gala, including the no-phone policy

<p>NDZ/Star Max/GC</p> ASAP Rocky and Rihanna at the 2023 Met Gala.

NDZ/Star Max/GC

ASAP Rocky and Rihanna at the 2023 Met Gala.

If your invitation to the 2024 Met Gala got lost in the mail, but you're still holding out hope for next year, here are the rules that must be followed inside the exclusive event.

Undoubtedly known as the biggest night in fashion, zillions of A-listers ascend the Metropolitan Museum of Art in glamorous getups as they make their way inside.

But despite the flock of photographers and journalists granted access to line the steps outside the prestigious, invite-only event, the party itself is notoriously exclusive and very secretive.

Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who has been at the helm of the Met Gala as either chair or co-chair since 1995, discouraging invitees from disclosing what takes place once the elaborate, star-studded affair begins.

Under the "What happens at the Met Gala?" heading in its article "Everything to Know About the Met Gala," Vogue writes, "In short, it's a secret. (Give us nothing!)

That's why guests are given restrictions on phone and social media usage while inside the event, to preserve the air of mystery around one of the most difficult tickets to obtain. And the museum itself also has rigorous rules for attendees in order to preserve its priceless collections.

Scroll on for the most surprising rules and guidelines you didn't know Met Gala attendees must follow.

Related: All About the 2024 Met Gala, from the Co-Chairs to the Theme

Attendees have to be invited to the Met Gala

<p>Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty</p> Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, and Kendall Jenner arrive at The 2022 Met Gala.

Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty

Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, and Kendall Jenner arrive at The 2022 Met Gala.

In order to attend the Met Gala, you must be invited (and just because you were invited once, doesn't guarantee entry every year!). Celebrities, sports stars, fashion figures and other prominent pop culture names of today are among the prestigious bunch who receive invites.

The A-list guest list is kept confidential until the night before the Met Gala, though fashion fans cast predictions based on years past. Regulars who often attend, for example, include Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Blake Lively, Gigi Hadid, Beyoncé and Rihanna,

Plus, fashion designers receive the invite as they often accompany their muse on the red carpet alongside their elaborate designs. Marc Jacobs, Christian Siriano, Nicolas Ghesquière and Zac Posen are step staples.

Related: Zendaya’s Met Gala Dress Hasn’t Even Been Made Yet, According to Her Stylist

Attendees have to pay for a Met Gala ticket

And receiving the invite is just the beginning: You must also purchase a ticket to attend, or be a guest of someone who has. After all, at its core, the Met Gala is a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The earnings go towards its extensive fashion collection consisting of garments and accessories... from the past seven centuries!

Therefore, should you be so lucky to receive a coveted invite from Wintour, be prepared to pay upwards thousands of dollars to enter. According to Time, an individual ticket costs $75,000 (up 30% from last year’s price of $50,000) this year — while a table starts at $350,000.

Attendees have to follow a Met Gala dress code

John Lamparski/Getty Zendaya at the 2019 Met Gala.
John Lamparski/Getty Zendaya at the 2019 Met Gala.

Each year, the Costume Institute commissions an exhibit that pulls together art-quality pieces of fashion: This year, the theme is “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," and the hosts issue a corresponding theme for the gala that helps inform the attendees' ensembles for the evening. The 2024 Met Gala dress code is “The Garden of Time,” inspired by J.G. Ballard’s 1962 short story of the same name.

The dress code is among the most talked-about aspects of the evening, as many of the most high-profile celebrities and the designers that invite them dream up creative, head-turning interpretations of the theme. Some choose the literal route, others opt for avant-garde — and yet others, like Katy Perry in 2019, go haute hamburger.

(And if you don't have a fairy godstylist like Law Roach outfitting you, but you just want an elegant gown for the evening, err on the side of formality; in past years they've specified white tie.)

Related: Rihanna Teases Her 2024 Met Gala Look: 'I'm Actually Keeping It Real Simple This Year'

Attendees have to get their Met Gala outfits approved

<p>Noam Galai/GC Images</p> Anna Wintour attends the 2022 Met Gala.

Noam Galai/GC Images

Anna Wintour attends the 2022 Met Gala.

But before the designers execute their interpretations, they must be given Wintour's famous AWOK stamp of approval before hitting the Met Gala red carpet.

According to journalist Amy Odell, who penned a biography on Wintour, all outfits are pre-approved by the Vogue editor in chief well in advance of the evening.

Related: The Best Met Gala Looks of All Time

Attendees aren't allowed to use their phones inside the Met Gala

Vogue maintains a "no-phone policy" within the walls of the event.

Attendees aren't allowed to post on social media inside the Met Gala

Kevin Mazur/MG23/Getty Jimmy Fallon, Gigi Hadid, Karen Elson, and Mindy Kaling attend The 2023 Met Gala.
Kevin Mazur/MG23/Getty Jimmy Fallon, Gigi Hadid, Karen Elson, and Mindy Kaling attend The 2023 Met Gala.

And a no-phone policy inside the Met Gala means a no-social media policy from inside the event, either. However, when the stars convene in the bathroom, it appears all bets are off!

Related: Taylor Swift Is Not Attending the 2024 Met Gala to Focus on European Tour Dates

Attendees aren't allowed to smoke inside the Met Gala

While Vogue has its fair share of Met Gala guidelines in place, the Metropolitan Museum of Art itself has its own set of rules to ensure the safety of the guests in attendance. No smoking is among them, outlined on the museum's website.

"Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is prohibited in the Museum or near the entrances," the visitor guideline reads. In addition to the safety of the partygoers, this rule protects the priceless art inside the exhibit as well.

Attendees must sit in assigned seats at the Met Gala

Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington attend The 2023 Met Gala.
Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington attend The 2023 Met Gala.

No table hopping here: Seats are assigned inside the exclusive affair and expert party planner Eaddy Kiernan is the woman in charge of the daunting task. (What if she's responsible for the next "Getaway Car" moment?)

“We start with a seating document when the names come together in December,” Kiernan told Vogue. While she says the "actual seating chart" doesn't come together until about a month before the gala, the early process gives them "a sense for the layout of the room and the flow of the evening.”

Kiernan's goal is for everyone to have fun, seating stars who they think "will get on like a house on fire" and considering what guests will "talk about" if they were next to each other. "And we try to make sure someone isn’t staring into the eyes of a former flame,” she added.

Since the guest list changes every year, so does the seating chart. “It’s fun for me to look back through them, to see who was invited," Kiernan told Vogue.

Guests must be 18 or older to attend the Met Gala

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Bella Ramsey at the 2023 Met Gala.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Bella Ramsey at the 2023 Met Gala.

Met Gala invitees must be 18 or older to attend the event, a rule that was brought to light in 2018 when Dance Moms alum Maddie Ziegler told The Hollywood Reporter that she "can't go because I'm not old enough" at the time.

“Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" was the Met Gala theme that year, prompting suspicion over whether the age restriction was in place because of it. Event organizers toldTHR it had nothing to do with the theme, rather an executive decision that “it’s not an appropriate event for people under 18.”

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