Want to Attend the Met Gala? It's Invite-Only and Doesn't Come Cheap

The Met Gala is an exclusive event attended by celebs to raise money for the famed museum. But there's still an entry price, so how much is a Met Gala ticket?

Kathryn Underwood - Author

May 1 2023, Updated 2:37 p.m. ET

Kendall Jenner in a black dress at the 2022 Met Gala
Source: Getty Images

The Met Gala has always been known for its over-the-top fashion and for being one of the most exclusive invites for a celebrity to receive. However, an invite isn't all you'll need. How much is a Met Gala ticket for those lucky invitees?

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The Met Gala requires an invitation to be admitted, and those who are invited must pay, which makes sense as the entire event is meant to be a fundraiser. It's also a luxurious event to plan and the Met Gala comes with a hefty price tag to host.

Anna Wintour, Roger Federer, and Carla Bruni at Met Gala press conference 2023
Source: Getty Images
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What is the history of the Met Gala?

The Met Gala is an annual event that takes place at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art. It started in 1948 as a fundraiser for the Met's Costume Institute. According to JD School of Design, it was founded by Eleanor Lambert and has come to be a major event in fashion. Attendees dress according to the theme and tour the exhibit, which remains on display for several months after the event.

As TIME magazine explains, there are about 33,000 objects spanning seven hundred years of fashion in the Costume Institute at the Met. The gala usually happens on the first Monday in May.Vogue editor Anna Wintour has headed up the organization of the Met Gala since 1995.

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Natasha Poonawalla in a gold dress and headpiece at the 2022 Met Gala
Source: Getty Images

How much is a Met Gala ticket?

According to TIME, one ticket to the Met Gala in 2023 costs about $50,000. Some designers might choose to purchase an entire table worth of tickets, for at least $300,000 in all. This enables designers to dress celebrities to show off their latest styles.

For comparison, Newsweek reported that in 2021 a ticket cost $30,000. In 1995, when Wintour took over, a ticket was about $1,000, and back in 1960, an invitee could score a ticket for only $100.

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Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth at the 2019 Met Gala
Source: Getty
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Who decides the theme, and what is the theme of the 2023 Met Gala?

This year, the theme is "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty," and that theme has prompted discussion about how it may be problematic. Lagerfeld was a successful designer who died in 2019 at the age of 85. As TIME noted, Lagerfeld was known for public comments that were racist, misogynistic, and fat-phobic.

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The Costume Institute’s chief curator, Andrew Bolton, is charged with picking a Met Gala theme, though it also must pass approval of the museum's director and president. Bolton said in 2020 that each "exhibition should generate debate," so he may be purposely choosing a theme to cause controversy.

The Karl Lagerfeld theme is troublesome for many due to his comments, some of which The Washington Post explained:

  • 2009: insulted plus-sized models
  • 2012: called Adele "a little too fat"
  • 2017: said that Germany's greatest invention was the Holocaust
  • 2018: criticized the #MeToo movement

Bolton's explanation was that the Met Gala would focus on Lagerfeld's fashion work, not his words.

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Blake Lively copper and green dress at 2022 Met Gala
Source: Met Gala Facebook

Blake Lively in her Statue of Liberty-inspired gown at the 2022 Met Gala.

Who are the Met Gala co-chairs?

Alongside Wintour, who leads the planning of the Met Gala, a number of co-chairs work to create the guest list, plan the menu, and assist with interior design. This year co-chairs include British screenwriter and actress Michaela Coel, Penélope Cruz, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, and singer Dua Lipa.

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Does every Met Gala guest purchase a ticket?

Although tickets are pricey at about $50,000 apiece, as stated before, some celebrities may be invited by designers. These guests would likely neither pay for their ticket nor their clothing, since the designer would want to dress that celebrity as a form of self-promotion.

The Met Gala often raises millions of dollars for the Costume Institute. Newsweek stated that in 2017 the gala raised $12 million, and in 2019 it brought in over $15 million.

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