Ah, the Met Gala: It’s the most glamorous night in the fashion sphere…that’s so unbelievably formal it nearly requires its own regulatory manual. What? There are rules at Anna Wintour’s highly exclusive party? You don’t say. And we don’t just mean “stick to the dress code.” (The theme of tonight’s big bash is “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”) If we ever hope to be invited, here are the strict—albeit unwritten—guidelines we need to start memorizing, stat.
Wait, There Are *Rules* at the Met Gala?
Rule No. 1: No selfies
We have to admit, this would pose a lot of problems for us. Did the Met Gala even happen if you didn’t snap a selfie for the ’Gram? Regardless, guests are told to refrain from taking pictures inside the event—after all, the secrecy is what makes it so exclusive.
Rule No. 2: No cellphones
If you can’t take pictures, you might as well just ban cellphones altogether. But this requirement is about more than just keeping the party under wraps: No phones means no distractions means actual socialization.
Rule No. 3: No publicists
For the lucky A-listers on the guest list (which, yes, is handpicked by Wintour herself), the red carpet portion of the evening means navigating the press and photographers without misspeaking or suffering a wardrobe malfunction. Doing so without their usual wingman or woman—AKA a well-trained publicist—is probably frightening. We just hope everyone’s tiny clutch is stocked with a few rolls of fashion tape.
Rule No. 4: No smoking
After one too many, um, incidents in the bathrooms, the Met put the kibosh on lighting up at the event. OK, so that’s only part of the story. There’s actually a New York state-mandated law that prohibits smoking indoors. Plus, think of all that artwork!
Rule No. 5: No children
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Met Gala is officially off-limits to anyone under the age of 18. That’s because “it’s not an appropriate event for people under 18,” per official Met Gala planners. Last year, 15-year-old dancer and actress Maddie Ziegler admitted, “I can’t go, because I’m not old enough!”
Rule No. 6: No ugly food
For the sake of guests’ breath and teeth, there’s a moratorium on onion, garlic, parsley and basically anything tasty that could linger in your mouth. So *that’s* why everyone’s ordering Shake Shack afterward.
Rule No. 7: You must mingle
Wintour reportedly arranges the seating chart so that, even if you’re coming as a couple, you probably won’t sit with your boo. In the Met Gala documentary The First Monday in May, the event’s former producer Sylvana Durrett explained, “The whole point of these things is to meet new people, and to be interested in what others are doing. What’s the point if you come here to hang out with your husband?”
Rule No. 6: You must attend…or else
According to The New York Times, last year’s tickets cost $30,000 apiece, and $275,000 for a table [insert screaming emoji]. Even so, getting an invitation is considered a high honor, so you better not turn it down. According to Page Six, attendees have heard of people who “decided not to go one year because they weren’t around or didn’t like the theme,” and were never invited back (unless they were, like, Rihanna or something).