Due to changing opinions about weddings, what is expected and what is appropriate are two different things. Sorry to say, but today's bride expects a lot, and all of it expensive. Short story: I was invited verbally to co-worker's wedding. Bought stainless name brand place setting off the registry list, bought 3-4. Bride never knew I got it on sale, would have been @$160 full price, I forget exactly. I did not go to the wedding, and barely knew the bride, and did not know her socially at all. She confronted me, wanting to know why I did not buy all 8 place settings, price well over $330.
There used to be no such thing as a bachelorette party, now it is common. This is the one where everybody gets a hotel room, a limo, and bar hop and get plastered drunk. For this one, naughty gifts and paying the bride's way for the night is the norm. Usually it just the bridesmaids, and maybe a close relative of the bride.
A official wedding shower in those kinder gentler times of days past was given to a bride who was traditionally marrying out of her parents household, who probably had a few household goods put away in her hope chest, but nothing else. Gifts would be practical and useful and some times inventive for someone just beginning life away from their Mom. They might be home made, or hand made. They might include practical but pretty lingerie, even a penoir for the wedding night, or travel pajamas that can be rolled up and not wrinkle. They invariably cost far less than the wedding present.
Fast forward to today. People are wising up, and making the shower present the most expensive one, since that one is opened in public, where everyone can see how generous the giver is. And since brides no longer display their wedding gifts at home, and since we have gotten away from delivering the wedding present to the home, and being invited in for tea and seeing the presents, few people even see the wedding present. And lingerie parties are more frequent, since brides have been on their own, or living with the groom probably for years, and have an established household. And the lingerie expected is naughtier.
So, if the shower present was at the top of your budget, and yes, a wedding present is expected still, but not mandatory, so spend wisely. Check out discount stores like Tuesday Morning, and get a bargain on something. The have beautiful frames for very little money, the bride will have no idea that that silver frame only cost you $12, just remember to get the tag off. Check out places like Macy's, they have wedding gifts already in boxes, for not a lot of money, and these are often on sale. $29 is a common price, and they might be a set of photo frames, a pretty clock, a set of serving dishes, a pretty serving platter. Check out the kitchen wares department at Walmart, and Macy's try to catch sales. I got a nest of spring form pans for > $9 at Walmart, and I saw a box of Pyrex oven ware for $29 at Macy's. Both of these are almost mandatory kitchen needs. And no one has to know what you actually paid.
And take advantage of cheap gift wrapping options. Dollar Tree has some really cute gift sacks for a buck. A friend had a fit over her bag that looked like and was shaped like a victorian purse. Tuesday Mornings has high end things for cheap, again a friend had a fit over her Michelangelo inspired angel bag, it was 3-D, the angel appeared to be flying.