A Company Bus Ride Set Their Romance in Motion

Stephanie Ann Quintero and Eric Michael Wall did not know each other when they walked out of a Dallas hotel along with 14 colleagues one morning in December 2018. Both employees of the accounting firm Deloitte — she in its Boston office, he out of Detroit — boarded a bus bound for a conference at nearby Deloitte University, the company’s leadership center.

“I heard a lot of noise coming from the Boston crowd on the bus,” said Mr. Wall, 33, and as it turned out, “Stephanie was making most of it.”

“She was talking about the Miami Dolphins and a bunch of other things,” Mr. Wall said. “I wasn’t listening as much as I was staring, because she was absolutely beautiful.”

Ms. Quintero, 32, had been noticing Mr. Wall, too.

“He was a very nice-looking guy,” said Ms. Quintero, who was among a delegation of 15 from the Deloitte Boston arm. Mr. Wall was the lone Detroit representative.

“We felt kind of bad that Eric was sitting all alone,” Ms. Quintero said, “so we kind of adopted him by pulling him into our conversation.”

From there, the two didn’t get to socialize very much. “The conference was mostly all work,” Ms. Quintero said. But she and Mr. Wall spoke long enough to exchange contact information, and she offered him a standing invite to visit her in Boston at a time of his choosing.

Two weeks later, that time arrived for Mr. Wall. He reached out via text to Ms. Quintero and told her that he planned to visit her — and hoped to take her on a date.

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Ms. Quintero responded with some good news, telling Mr. Wall that she was interested in him, too. Then came some bad news: that she was studying for the bar exam at the time, and had to “stay focused,” she recalled telling him, and asked Mr. Wall if they could “revisit our situation — post-examination.”

Mr. Wall assumed that Ms. Quintero was brushing him off, and resolved to treat her as nothing more than a friend. Their relationship remained platonic until June 2019, when both were assigned by Deloitte to work on a project together in India for six weeks.

“Even though India was a work thing for us, I still found Eric as attractive as I had when I first had seen him on the bus,” Ms. Quintero said. They decided to visit London and Paris on their layover to India; it was in Paris that they shared their first kiss.

“I had a policy that I would not date people who worked in the same office as I did,” Ms. Quintero said. “But I liked Eric so much that I broke my own rule.”

On a weekend trip to Dubai — where they had to pretend to be married to be able to share a hotel room — the couple formalized their relationship. By the end of the India project, each had said they loved the other. And approximately 12 hours after their respective flights returned from India, Mr. Wall flew from Detroit to Boston to visit Ms. Quintero. A long-distance relationship ensued.

But they wouldn’t be apart for long. In May 2020, a few months after Covid struck, Mr. Wall and Ms. Quintero decided to move to Denver together.

“Eric had already wanted to move there before beginning our courtship and convinced me it would be the perfect place to live,” said Ms. Quintero, who was able to work remotely while keeping her position as a manager for Deloitte’s Boston office. Mr. Wall became a supervisor for the accounting firm CBIZ in Denver.

On Jan. 17, 2021, they were engaged in Aspen, Colo., with Mr. Wall “dropping to one knee, really old school,” as Ms. Quintero described it.

They were married on Jan. 16 by Rabbi Emily Hyatt at The St. Vrain in Longmont, Colo., before 96 vaccinated guests.

Though her and Mr. Wall’s courtship took a while to get off the ground, “I have grandparents who are in their 90s who have been married for 70 years,” the bride said. “They are the main reason I believe in marriage.”