First, instead of having all girls stand on one side and all guys on the other have your bridal party stand boy, girl, boy girl. This helps spread your color across the front (which helps with flower costs). Also, during your wedding ceremony the officiant/minister can say "if the wedding party would please join hands (or not) and form a circle we will pray for the couple". Often times at this time the parents of the bride and groom will also join in and this becomes the Circle of Friends. This is an excellent time for scripture readings and a chance to say, "These are the brothers, sisters friends and family that will keep this couple accountable during the life of their marriage..."
A Second idea is doing a God's Knot. It requires a ring and three ropes or strands. This is a great alternative to a unity candle because the mothers of the bride and groom can carry one rope or strand down the aisle and take turns attaching them to the ring. During the ceremony, the groom holds the ring and the bride braids the ropes together. The scripture associated with this ceremony is Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 which is below...
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.