Wait, What Actually Happens at the Met Gala Inside? Here’s What Goes Down

the 2019 met gala celebrating camp
What Actually Happens at the Met Gala Inside?Kevin Tachman/MG19 - Getty Images

Things we know about the 2024 Met Gala: It takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it’s organized by Anna Wintour, and literally every A-list celebrity is invited (well, almost every A-list celebrity). But aside from that? Pretty much ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

While we, the people wearing sweats and judging everyone from our couches, get to see celebs walk up the famous Met steps, that’s where the public part of this event stops. Once everyone goes inside, phones are (supposed to be) turned off, and there are no reporters present.

As Vogue puts it, “In short: It’s a secret. For this reason, guests must abide by the no phone (and therefore, no social media) policy.”

This means there are very few pics, but sometimes rules are broken—usually in the bathroom:

So, aside from some amazing bathroom selfies, what actually happens at the Met Gala inside? Here’s what we know:

The Carpet

We’ve already covered that. Celebs arrive. They pose. They walk inside. We complain about how they didn’t adhere to the theme and then loudly yell our opinions in various group chats. Tradition!

the 2019 met gala celebrating camp
Kevin Tachman/MG19 - Getty Images

The Cocktail Hour

After the carpet, celebs and guests mingle during a cocktail hour and get to tour the actual exhibition, which this year is “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” FYI, it opens to the public on May 10 and closes on September 2, so if you want, you can dust off your finest museum 'fit and live out your own personal Met Gala in just a couple of weeks!

The Dinner

Celebs sit down for a formal dinner (after checking out the exhibits, that is) complete with assigned seating, which is a beast to plan given everyone’s inevitable drama.

Back in 2021, party planner Eaddy Kiernan told Vogue that when it comes to deciding where the stars sit, “We really try to think very carefully about who’s sitting next to each other. Our ideal pairing would maybe be two people who we think will just get on like a house on fire but who may not even realize that they have a lot in common. So with each person, we really do take time to think, ‘What will they talk about?’ We try and think a lot about sight lines and where people have sat in the past. And we try to make sure someone isn’t staring into the eyes of a former flame.”

Here’s a look at the dinner layout for “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” in 2022:

the 2022 met gala
Matt Winkelmeyer - Getty Images
the 2022 met gala celebrating
Matt Winkelmeyer/MG22 - Getty Images

And the layout for “Camp: Notes on Fashion” in 2019:

the 2019 met gala celebrating camp notes on fashion inside
Matt Winkelmeyer/MG19 - Getty Images
the 2019 met gala celebrating camp notes on fashion inside
Kevin Tachman/MG19 - Getty Images

The Entertainment

Each year, at least one fancy performer puts on a show at the Met Gala (Vogue notes that “the event usually involves a high-profile performer”), but the evening honestly ends pretty early, giving celebs a chance to change outfits and hit the after-parties. Here’s Kim Kardashian and Kanye West heading to the official Met Gala after-party at Up and Down on May 6, 2019:

the 2019 met gala celebrating campnotes on fashion street sightings
Jackson Lee - Getty Images

And here’s Kenny and Bad Bunny at the ultimate NYC spot The Box after last year's event:

the after hosted by diddy doja cat
Shareif Ziyadat - Getty Images

Cool-cool-cool, will continue to be here on my couch!

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