How to go about getting a certain hair style?

I wear glasses, have a round face, with long(probably mid-back length) straight hair(when it’s dry. when it’s wet there’s some wave to it) thats rather thick. I want a Meg Ryan type style, (similar to this: short and wavy. I’ve had perms before, and I’ve had short hair before. Which order should I go in – hair cut first, then perm, or perm first, then style? I don’t want bangs, but otherwise I’m pretty open. Any ideas? And what kind of perm do I ask for so I don’t end up with a ‘fro?
Here’s a link to another picture:
photo id is 16078
photo id 8434 (that’s the first one I posted)

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